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Beyond the Resume: Assessing Technical Skills Online Effectively

10 MINS READ

Relying solely on resumes can be limiting in today’s fast-paced business landscape, where technical skills are in high demand. 

While traditional resumes offer insights into a candidate’s background, they often lack depth in terms of technical competencies and may lead to mismatches between job requirements. This is where accurate technical skill assessment proves necessary. 

To enhance hiring processes, online assessment tools offer a solution. These platforms enable businesses to evaluate candidates more effectively and comprehensively.

These tools can also streamline hiring processes, save time and costs, and build high-performing teams capable of driving innovation that will help them stay competitive in their talent acquisition efforts.

Understanding the need for technical skill assessment

With 1.1 billion jobs set to undergo technological transformation in the next decade, the demand for skilled tech talent has never been more urgent. 

Software engineers need languages like Python, Java, or JavaScript for apps and websites, while data scientists use SQL, R, or Python for big data analysis. Cybersecurity pros use network security and threat analysis skills to safeguard digital assets. 

These skills shape innovation, efficiency, and security in today’s tech world. In this fiercely competitive sector, startups and tech industries struggle to attract top talent.

Resumes often provide limited insight into a candidate’s actual skill level or ability to perform job tasks effectively. 

Technical Skills Assessments

In contrast to traditional resumes, technical skill assessments allow employers to gauge candidates’ analytical knowledge and mastery of fundamental concepts in the field accurately. 

For instance, instead of simply believing in a candidate’s claim of proficiency in a programming language, an assessment can evaluate their ability to solve real-world coding challenges. 

Similarly, in data science roles, an assessment can test a candidate’s understanding of statistical analysis and their capability to derive insights from complex datasets. 

This approach helps address the scarcity of available tech talent and the widening digital skills gap, particularly in recruiting for senior-level and hard-to-fill positions. 

By implementing efficient technical skill assessments, companies can ensure precise skill matching while attracting and retaining the best candidates in an increasingly competitive landscape. 

The limitations of traditional resumes

Traditional resumes have their place but should not be the sole factor in hiring decisions. 

Instead, a combination of technical skills assessments, coding challenges, and project presentations can offer a more accurate evaluation of a candidate’s technical abilities and potential fit for a role. 

Here are some instances where traditional resumes may not always reflect the actual technical abilities of candidates:

Linear career paths vs. diverse experiences

Traditional resumes often favour linear career progression. This disadvantages candidates with non-traditional paths. 

For example, those with diverse interests or acquired skills through unconventional means might not fit the traditional resume format.

Keyword limitations

In traditional resumes, candidates typically emphasize specific technical skills or qualifications that closely align with the job description, such as programming languages like Python or Java, relevant software tools, or industry-specific certifications. 

This keyword-focused approach aims to capture the attention of hiring managers or applicant tracking systems seeking specific criteria. However, it may overlook emerging skills essential in today’s job market, such as social media management. 

This can potentially pigeonhole candidates and disregard their broader skill sets.

Incomplete representation

Traditional resumes may fail to capture the full spectrum of a candidate’s experiences and skills, especially for polymaths with diverse backgrounds. This can result in overlooking valuable talents and potential fits for roles.

Incorporating alternative methods into the hiring process is becoming increasingly crucial, with 73% of recruiting professionals stating that hiring based on skills is a priority

This shift reflects the growing recognition that traditional methods alone may not accurately assess a candidate’s true potential. 

To gain a more profound insight, here are examples of failures in traditional hiring processes you can learn from:

  • Rejecting a candidate with coding expertise but no formal CS degree over for someone with a prestigious degree but less experience.
  • Losing out on a candidate with a finance background and strong data skills for a data analyst role to someone with a perfect GPA but struggles with practical data analysis.
  • Dismissing a highly skilled but shy candidate for someone with a polished resume but weaker problem-solving skills and who excels only during the interview.

The rise of online assessment tools to assess technical skills

Skill Assessment

Online assessment tools are increasingly favoured for evaluating technical skills. This is because they address the need for precise skill matching in the tech industry while overcoming the limitations of traditional resumes. 

These tools also offer benefits such as the following:

  • Ensure objectivity in evaluation by minimizing bias and focusing solely on candidates’ skills.
  • Streamline the initial screening process.
  • Enable recruiters to efficiently identify top talent and avoid wasting time on unqualified candidates.
  • Evaluate candidates thoroughly, revealing their problem-solving abilities, code quality, and capacity to handle complex tasks.
  • Assess candidates globally, broaden the talent pool, and boost recruitment efficiency.
  • Provide predictive insights for better hiring and stronger teams.

Depending on your needs, a variety of online tools can revolutionize your recruitment process. 

These are the tools that can transform your recruitment process for skills-based hiring:

Coding challenge platforms

Coding challenge platforms offer extensive libraries of coding challenges covering various programming languages. 

Some examples of these tools include HackerRank, Codility, and CodeSignal. 

With these tools, candidates engage in problem-solving within a simulated environment. These tools help demonstrate the applicant’s coding proficiency and problem-solving skills effectively.

Technical skills assessment platforms

Technical skills assessment platforms like Qualified, DevSkiller, and iMocha go beyond coding assessments. These tools incorporate multiple-choice questions and simulations. 

These platforms also provide a comprehensive evaluation of candidates’ technical knowledge across diverse domains and offer a broader assessment scope.

Video interviewing platforms

Video interviewing platforms facilitate pre-recorded or live video interviews with integrated technical assessments. With tools like Zappyhire, VidCruiter and HireVue, candidates can respond to technical inquiries and present code walkthroughs. 

These tools provide an interactive evaluation that goes beyond traditional methods.

automated video interview software

Key features to look for in an online technical skill assessment platform

Not all online technical skill assessment platforms are built the same. With that in mind, you need to be familiar with the key features that make a robust assessment platform. 

Here are the top features to look for so you can make informed hiring decisions and streamline your assessment process:

Customizable tests

An ideal platform allows recruiters to design assessments that closely align with the technical skills and competencies required for the job role. The platform should be flexible to allow candidates to be evaluated on relevant areas.

In the case of hiring engineers, using online skill assessment tools gives a better idea of their suitability for the job, regardless of whether they earned a cheap online engineering degree or if they are Ivy-educated.

Real-time feedback

The platform should offer instant feedback to both employers and candidates upon completion of the assessment. 

With real-time feedback, recruiters can quickly gauge a candidate’s performance and provide candidates with valuable insights into their strengths and areas for improvement. 

This can also foster transparency and enhance the overall candidate experience.

Real time feedback

Comprehensive reporting

Robust reporting capabilities are essential for analyzing test outcomes effectively. The platform should provide detailed reports that offer insights into candidate performance. 

This must include strengths, weaknesses, and areas needing development. This data-driven approach helps recruiters make informed hiring decisions and efficiently identify top talent.

Integration capabilities

The recruitment process becomes more simplified when there is seamless integration with existing HR systems. With this integration, recruiters can manage assessment data within familiar platforms. 

Whether it’s integrating with applicant tracking systems or talent management software, integration capabilities ensure a smoother workflow and enhance overall efficiency in talent acquisition.

Best practices for implementing online skill assessments

By following best practices of implementing online skills assessments, organizations can streamline their assessment procedures and make well-informed decisions when evaluating candidates. 

From selecting the right assessment tools to designing relevant tests and providing constructive feedback, these practices can help you identify top talent and build high-performing teams.

online skill assessments

Setting clear assessment objectives

Online skills assessments become more efficient when you clearly define the skills and competencies required for the role. Doing this will ensure that assessments are tailored to measure these specific criteria. 

This clarity also helps evaluate candidates accurately and align assessment outcomes with job requirements

Choosing the right platform

There are different assessment platforms for various assessment needs. As such, when selecting an assessment platform, you must consider factors like company size, industry, and technical requirements. 

You should also evaluate platforms based on the features your business needs. 

Look into the platform’s scalability, compatibility with existing systems, and the ability to customize assessments to meet the organization’s unique needs.

Ensuring a fair assessment process

Implementing online skills assessments also requires strategies that minimize bias and promote fairness throughout the assessment process. 

You should use standardized evaluation criteria, provide equal opportunities for all candidates, and offer accommodations for individuals with disabilities or diverse backgrounds.

Feedback and follow-up

Online skills assessments go beyond completing the assessments. Instead, you should use assessment outcomes to provide constructive feedback to candidates and inform interview discussions. 

Furthermore, you must use assessment results as a basis for making final hiring decisions. This will guarantee that the chosen candidate possesses the required skills and competencies identified during the assessment process.

Success stories: Companies excelling with online technical assessments

Businesses are increasingly turning to online technical assessments to enhance their hiring processes, improve efficiency, and enhance the candidate experience.

Take OLX Group as an example – 

This global network of trading platforms faced the challenge of managing huge applications while maintaining consistency in screening and interviews. 

To address this, they implemented online skill assessment platforms. This shift enabled them to reach a wider pool of talent globally, particularly targeting female engineers and remote workers.

As a result, OLX Group conducted over 386 interviews. This helped enhance their hiring quality and efficiency while providing candidates with an excellent experience.

Another example is Bentley Systems

This infrastructure engineering software company successfully integrated online skill assessments into their hiring process and gained impressive results. 

This company swiftly transitioned to online recruitment by using platforms for pre-screening and technical interviews.

This shift reduced their time-to-hire from 6 to 4 weeks, attracted over 3000 global applicants, and achieved an 85% offer acceptance rate before the end of the fall season in the United States. 

Furthermore, Bentley Systems embraced online assessment and this led to enhanced hiring efficiency and maintained graduate program quality.

Break free from traditional hiring with technical skills assessment

Thanks to online technical skills assessments, hiring practices are increasingly modernized. 

By moving beyond the limitations of traditional resumes and leveraging online assessment tools, recruiters can more effectively, unbiasedly, and comprehensively evaluate candidates’ capabilities. 

Given the positive effects of online assessments on businesses, it is best to explore and integrate such tools into hiring processes to attract and retain top talent. 

With online assessment tools, recruiters can streamline hiring and improve the overall quality of recruitment decisions. This is your chance to take the next step in revolutionizing your hiring process. Take it from this article and use these innovative solutions today.

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