Why You Should Employ Skills or Assessment Tests

Kevin Nye —  October 20, 2013 — Leave a comment


When hiring a new employee, the interview process should include multiple candidates coming in for face-to-face interviews. Oftentimes you’ll find a candidate who surprises you in a how-did-they-get-this-far sort of way. It’s not ideal, but people can look good on a resume and have the experience that you’re looking for, but they may end up being something completely different in person. One of the ways to limit this possibility, is the implementation of assessment tests.

Skills and assessment tests come in many different shapes and sizes – you can get one that judges someone’s ability in almost anything. Here is a look at some of the different types of assessments.

Software Testing

            Let’s say you’re trying to hire someone for a marketing position. Chances are good that you’re going to want someone who can use Word, PowerPoint, and/or something like Photoshop. In that case, test them on it before you interview them. If you have a list of 10 people who are in the hunt, have each of them take a PowerPoint assessment test and see that two or three of them will have eliminated themselves by way of poor results. Sure, according to their resume they have the experience, but rather than finding out too late, you’ve now seen the truth in the form of a score report which takes up 15 seconds of your time.

Intelligence Testing

            While it’s hard to say that any test is bulletproof, certain tests have a reputation for being good measuring sticks. Our rule of the thumb is that before you use it on a candidate, you must use it on yourself! Feel free to try out a few of our options here. Among the most reputable is the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability test. Employed by the NFL since the 1970s, the Wonderlic tests a person’s general intelligence, aptitude, and problem-solving ability by running a participant through a series of 50 questions over 12 minutes (or an off-site, remotely administered version at 30 questions over 8 minutes). The results are sent back to you with the score ranges color coded and the score (or applicable score range, in the 30-question version) highlighted on the page.

Behaviors and Personality Tests

Sales assessment tests seem to be the most common example of these (Meyers Briggs has long been one of the most popular sales assessment tests) but there are many different options when working to assess behaviors. These tests will ask a series of questions that help determine what motivates an individual, how they act naturally, how they act in a workplace, and what kinds of results they value most. As an example, Target Testing International (TTI) has a test which features a DISC assessment – determining the candidate’s Drive, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance – and a PIAV side – determining the personal interests, attitudes, and values of your potential employee. When used together, they provide a strong indication of the person’s makeup, which can then be measured against what you know about the position you want to fill.

Beyond this, there are certainly other options still out there for you to assess your candidates. Obviously, each of the above choices does come with a relatively low financial cost; significantly lower than finding out that someone doesn’t have their advertised skills after you hired them.

Kevin Nye


Kevin Nye was an account manager here at NewHire and pro at understanding clients’ hiring needs. He performs stand-up and improv at comedy clubs around Chicago.

Get more recruiting tips via email. Straight forward. No spam.

No Comments

Be the first to start the conversation.

Leave a Reply

Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>