Hiring for job positions in technology means that you’ll need to assess the technical skills of each candidate.
The only caveat is narrowing down the list of applications effectively and overcoming the unique set of challenges that come along with the process.
For this reason, it’s necessary to evaluate all applicants’ levels of ability and applied knowledge.
In this guide, we’ll cover the importance of testing on-the-job skills and performance, as well as how to assess technical skills for job openings in the tech space.
What is a Technical Skills Assessment?
A technical skills assessment is a test you give to candidates to determine whether or not they have the expertise to carry out their job responsibilities.
These may consist of tasks related to the essential hard skills required for the job such as:
- Programming languages
By observing their actual ability and job performance, you’re more likely to hire with confidence knowing they can complete their tasks to a good standard. This helps you reduce the odds of mis-hire, verify candidate applications, and ensure the prospective employee is up-to-date.
The Importance of Assessing Technical Skills
The more skilled employees you have in your team, the better.
That being said, an accurate way to validate job applications and find experts is by observing what they’re like in action.
Not only are you verifying the experience and knowledge they claim on their resume. But, you also see how they apply what they know in different situations and how they operate in a work environment.
In other words, assessing technical skills gives you more accurate data before making a hiring decision.
Without any concrete data to ascertain whether or not they’re a good fit for the team, it’s difficult to identify the top technical talent for your organization.
Examples of Technical Competencies
The value of job titles related to tech is increasing in the market.
It’s one reason why people with specific skills are valuable assets as we continue to work in an environment making use of the latest technology and software.
With that in mind, according to Zippia, the top 10 most in-demand technical skills based on more than 3 million postings are:
How to Assess Technical Skills Effectively
Now, we’ll go through the steps on how to assess a candidate’s technical skills.
Building a talent pool of candidates with specialized skills for specific jobs means more value to the growth of your organization.
1. Set a Budget
A recruitment budget is essential. Even more so for startups and small businesses as efficiency is a surviving factor.
This should cover a range of recruiting and talent acquisition activities such as:
- Job boards
- Recruitment agencies
Sufficient planning is required to make the recruitment process efficient and effective. Otherwise, it can compromise future hiring activities and the use of resources.
2. Define the Job Position
Before handing out tasks to test the technical skills of applicants, it’s key to have a good understanding of the job position you’re looking to fill. This way, you know what makes a reliable employee that you can trust with minimal supervision.
When you understand what makes the ideal type of candidate in this role, it also gives you an idea of the other attributes and competencies to look out for.
On top of boosting hiring efficiency, the recruiters and hiring managers in your team will have a smoother collaboration since they’re on the same page.
3. Determine What Tests Are Necessary
When looking to fill a particular vacancy, give candidates specific assessments that are related to their job title. For example, if you’re looking to hire a coder, it makes sense to give them a coding assessment.
By observing certain abilities related to tech, you’ll know if they’re a good fit. Or, if they’re more suited for a different role than the one you’re actively recruiting for.
However, these types of employment tests are only one way of evaluating a candidate. There is more than just the skills factor to determine their value.
- Competency assessments
- Situational tests
- Personality tests
- Work simulations
Other than computerized examinations, some may even take the form of games or quizzes.
4. Prepare For a Technical Interview
A technical interview is different from a normal interview for one reason.
That’s to get a measure of the candidate’s approach and process when solving a problem that requires technical proficiency.
On that note, it’s crucial to have a list of unique and meaningful questions prepared by subject-matter experts. The right questions allow you to get insight into their natural ability and how they would react in different situations.
Here are a few examples:
- How do you approach a task you’re unsure of?
- What was one of your most challenging projects and how did you overcome it?
- What coding languages have you operated with?
This also lets you confirm the details that have been mentioned in their resume.
But, there is a range of questions with different purposes to validate different things. For instance:
- Behavioral testing
- Situational circumstances
- Work habits
- Technology tools and software
5. Organize Different Types of Skills
There’s a chance that you already have someone on your team who could be capable of taking on more job responsibilities and tasks.
One way to find out is by categorizing the skills of each individual and seeing their other areas of expertise. If they’re willing and they’re reliable enough to take on further tasks, you can close the gap by providing training and professional development.
Don’t only observe where candidates or employees are currently at. Take into account their other areas of expertise as well as the room for growth and future potential.
6. Use the Data to Make a Decision
The best approach will be an objective one that uses data.
With everything up until now, you should have enough information and quantifiable data to make a fair analysis. After completing an interview with a prospective employee, storing their data, and benchmarking their scores from each assessment, it’s time to make a decision.
As for those in your team who continue to work for your organization, always monitor performance and results to see whenever they’re ready to work on new things.
The Best Technical Screening Tools
To conduct fair tests and ascertain the asset value of a professional, technical screening tools are almost essential.
It boosts the entire process by endorsing efficiency and a positive experience that’s less constraining. As a result, you’re able to put your focus into other key areas that require more of your attention as opposed to focusing on time-consuming tasks that could be automated.
More importantly, it becomes more seamless to filter quality tech-skilled candidates.
A Reliable Process to Hire the Best Candidates
It’s not enough to rely on everything that’s been mentioned on a candidate’s resume.
Without verifying their application and level of skill to see where they’re currently at, it means making a decision based on speculation.
The data-driven approach would be to assess their performance by giving them a few tasks to complete. This allows you to test their on-the-job skills and intuitive ability to apply what they’ve learned and developed over the years of their professional journey.
It’s one of the things Testlify does best.
They provide you with all the necessary tools to build a reliable recruitment process and to hire the best candidates.