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8 Tips for Conducting Technical Assessment Tests

Technical assessment tests are the best way to screen suitable candidates for your company and the new roles. There’s no need to take our word for it – the Aberdeen Group conducted a research study on the matter. The study revealed that –

Hiring managers who use tech assessments to screen applicants report 36% greater satisfaction with their verdict, than those who don’t.

If that’s not reason enough to conduct your technical screening with skill assessments, then you should also know that the same study found that organizations that utilize skill assessment tests are 24% more likely to employ candidates that go on to exceed performance goals.

Of course, only structured, relevant, and high-quality technical assessment tests will bring your organization success. A poorly designed test may discourage applicants, or scare them off entirely. So, we have put together this guide to help recruiters and hiring managers conduct tech assessments the right way.  But first, you might be wondering…

How do technical assessment tests guarantee better hires?

We cited some pretty promising figures regarding tech assessments, but how do they actually optimize your recruitment process and pull these improvements off? 

Well, for starters, technical assessments offer exceptionally reliable results, especially in comparison to other screening methods such as resume screening. Resumes rely on the applicants’ honesty and ability to communicate their skills and experience in writing coherently. Unfortunately, these limitations lead to evaluation inaccuracies – in fact, a study found that up to 46% of resumes contain lies.

Another major problem that technical assessment tests help overcome is the rampant skills gap that has afflicted many industries, especially Tech & IT. The skills gap has only widened in IT in recent years, because of factors such as the coronavirus pandemic, rapidly advancing technologies, and a lack of updating academic curricula to meet the latest industry needs.

You may also like – A tech employer’s guide to addressing the widening skills gap

Tech assessment tests help tech companies screen candidates pre-interview for specific skills that a role requires, such as programming language fluency, complex problem-solving proficiency, or familiarity with key algorithms. Moreover, unlike resume screening, tech assessments do not rely on a candidate being upfront for evaluation – the tests vet applicants solely for their skills. This helps ensure that new hires are best suited to the workplace requirements.

8 tips and best practices for conducting technical assessment tests

A poorly conducted technical assessment test won’t screen candidates in the way you want and will result in unfit hires. This is why it’s important to design and conduct your tech assessment tests in the best possible way, and here’s how to.


1. Make the test questions relevant

The technical assessment interview questions should evaluate candidates on skills pertinent to the role they are applying for. Otherwise, asking questions for every skill in the market makes the process tedious and may discourage them from completing the assessments.

For example, if you are hiring for a project that primarily works with Python, it’s best to evaluate candidates’ programming skills with Python exclusively. If the role requires knowledge of additional programming languages, then only it’s worth including other problems. However, it’s best not to overdo it with the questions.


2. Pace the test fairly

Tech assessment tests are usually timed, with an allotted time slot for each test. When it comes to timing these tests, it’s important to keep the candidates in mind. If your priority is to assess candidates based on their skills alone, it’s beneficial to provide them with a fairly relaxed time to solve each problem.

However, if you’re looking to hire an employee to work in a fast-paced environment, then keeping the time slots a little constrained helps assess the applicants’ cultural fit alongside their skills.


3. Cheat-proof your technical assessment tests

Cheat-proofing your technical assessment tests is vital for two core reasons:

  1. To avoid overestimating a candidate’s potential; if an applicant has cheated to oversell their worth, they may be ill-fit for the role.
  2. To ensure candidates are evaluated and compared fairly; otherwise, you might give preference to the wrong candidate over the legitimate ones.

There are different ways to cheat-proof your assessment tests, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. For example, one way to make the assessments cheat-proof is to conduct the test on-site and physically monitor applicants throughout the process. However, not only this method is time-consuming, it is far from ideal given the pandemic situation.

A more effective way to prevent any malicious practices during the assessments is to use an online cheat-proof assessment tool. Tech recruitment software like WeCP (We Create Problems) guarantees cheat-proof assessments with AI proctoring and question shuffling features, as well as with plagiarism detection. You can also use these platforms to design custom tests to evaluate candidates on the skills necessary to perform in a role. 


4. Combine tech assessments with video interviews

Tech assessments on their own give you a good idea of a candidate’s skills, but following the test up with a video interview offers the best results. Video interviews allow hiring managers to evaluate candidates on their interpersonal skills. Moreover, through an online video interview, applicants can also share their experience with the tech assessment. It’s possible that they under-performed in a given question for external reasons. 


5. Keep your applicants in the know

Sharing information about the criteria beforehand helps them prepare for the tests. This allows candidates who are serious about working at your company to put the extra effort into preparing. Conversely, candidates who are not fully committed may opt-out of the recruitment process, saving both their own time and yours.


6. Provide meaningful, timely feedback

Providing candidates with feedback helps motivate them and further encourages them to work on any weak points. Moreover, it motivates candidates to apply to your company again if they weren’t selected the first time. This is important for companies that rely on a talent pool for recruitment.

Having access to qualified candidates that previously expressed interest in your company helps fill new roles. An applicant that was not suited for a role they applied to previously, may be ideal for a new role.


7. Decide when to conduct the tech assessment tests

Recruiters can choose to conduct the tech assessment test pre-interview or during the interview itself. We recommend conducting the assessment pre-interview, with the possibility of conducting a second assessment during the interview.

The merit of assessing candidates pre-interview is to screen out the less qualified ones early on, saving the hiring team’s time in the long run. You can then conduct a technical video interview with pair programming to test the real-time skills of those who qualify for the second round.


8. Consider using an all-in-one recruitment solution

There’s a lot of work that goes into conducting successful technical assessment tests – they have to be designed, refined for roles, and conducted with cheat-proof facilities. Moreover, an adequate scoring method needs to be used and candidates expect timely feedback. 

Managing all these technicalities on a regular basis becomes difficult – imagine having to sit down and come up with custom problems for each new open position. You can’t even pluck questions off Google, because that means your applicants can find the answers instantly. So what’s the solution?

Well, a technical recruitment platform like WeCP (We Create Problems) can help you cut back on hiring costs and simultaneously optimize your recruitment funnel. WeCP has a repository of over 0.2 million cheat-proof questions, which recruiters can use to create custom tests for technical roles.

Moreover, the platform offers automated scoring and interview scheduling features, cheat-proof technology, and integrated HD virtual interviews. So recruiting teams can use the platform to wrap all their recruiting needs collectively.

Get to hire - the right way

We’d love to say that skill assessment tests are the future of tech recruitment, but the truth is, they’re the now of hiring. Technical assessment tests are the most reliable, efficient, and cost-effective way to screen applicants in the modern world.

If you’re looking to design cheat-proof, high-quality, custom technical assessment tests, schedule a demo with WeCP today and achieve all your hiring goals.

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