Use Assessment Testing Instead of Relying on the Force

online assessments, testing, evaluations

This post is sponsored by Dice. Read more about their partnership with HackerEarth by clicking here

How to Hire Using The Force

In Star Wars, the force is a gut feeling. It’s an intuition that relies on energy fields created by all living things. The force grants a number of useful powers which many of us leverage in our daily tasks and responsibilities in work and life such as the ability to sense impending attacks, influencing the thoughts of others and the ability to foresee if someone is a good or bad hire for our company. 

Unfortunately, it takes time to use the force effectively. You must develop, comprehend, and train your skills. I’m urgently attempting to learn the Jedi art of persuasion in meetings. I want nothing more than to use force in a meeting with coworkers who are reluctant to try out a crazy concept I just pitched. When raising a snarky 8-year-old, the force is also a skill that is useful, but alas, the force eludes me. I’d love to “push her” to tidy her room, or in the most desperate of parenting situations, I’d even be content if she caved to my not-so-subtle suggestions and bribes of ice cream and toys. Despite our best efforts to deny it, company executives and recruiters can’t completely harness the power of the force until they’ve had substantial training in it.

Nothing is more fulfilling than observing the aura surrounding your applicant during the interview to decide whether you should recommend them to the hiring manager or make them an offer. Unfortunately, I can never learn to grasp the power of foresight when it comes to effective and qualified recruiting, no matter how much meditation and instruction I receive from my Jedi master.

How Online Assessment Enhances the Power of Foresight

The force’s foresee ability requires substantial training to perfect. Perhaps years, something we don’t always have in the world of business. Headcounts change in minutes, not years, and your division’s, department’s, or organization’s income projections alter just as quickly. Even the most talented Jedi can have an advantage over the Empire because to technology. The Jedi were not visible when they pushed their bodies into hyperspace. Like us, they were forced to rely on technology, such as online testing, to identify the qualifications of their top prospects.

You may find all of this absurd, but I believe that this is exactly what recruiters and talent acquisition leaders are doing when they use their “gut feelings” to decide whether a candidate is qualified for a position or not, as opposed to using an online assessment to help them assess their skills and abilities.

Nothing is worse for a recruiter or hiring manager than making a decision based solely on intuition (or the force) when it comes to highly technical and skilled positions like data scientists, java programmers, or engineers, only to discover that their top choice is unqualified for the senior position. Later, you discover that he purchased a number of books at the used bookshop and, following your initial interview, spent the previous two weeks studying to be prepared for work at your company.

The Place For Skills Testing in the Hiring Process

Your time is valuable, whether you are a hiring manager who leads a 15-person engineering team, an applicant, or a recruiter. I don’t want my engineering lead to talk to a candidate for even an hour who doesn’t fit the bill for the position. Because time is money, the skills exam for technical recruiting must take place as soon as feasible in the hiring and selection process.

It’s not enough to look at code in GitHub or invite your candidate to an in person whiteboard session. GitHub can be gamed and the whiteboard takes the candidate away from their work as well as your hiring manager. Here’s a script GitHub users can use to increase their “stars” and followers on the site. Sites like GitHub, while helpful, should not be used as your only talent assessment. Your skills test should happen alongside the initial candidate application or even before the candidate completes the long form application. You want to respect their time, interest and expertise. 

And that’s why I was so impressed and intrigued by Dice’s recent partnership with HackerEarth. Combining the power of their reputation and technology in the tech space with HackerEarth’s skills assessment and coding challenges allows employers to screen and qualify candidates across 32 different programming languages. This partnership allows companies to invest in technical online assessments quickly using an HR technology partner you are already working with your Dice rep. 

Like many of you, I’m reckless when it comes to technology and code. I’m obviously no Jedi master of coding. I’m not especially skilled in the fields I’m frequently requested to hire for, which makes it difficult for me as a recruiter to understand the talents and nuances of technical candidates. Instead of depending on instinct and force, skills tests are a terrific method to expand and standardize your hiring operations.

FTC Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Dice. I received compensation for mentioning them. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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