Technical skills vastly vary from soft skills. They are also considered as hard skills, specific for a specific job role. For example, a corporate worker may be a very effective communicator, but has inadequate experience in the equipment and tools they are required to handle. Therefore, a company needs to be very careful in selecting a candidate who is highly efficient when it comes to hard skills. Here are some methods to enhance the test of the technical skills of candidates:
- There are various written employee technical skills tests to monitor the theoretical knowledge of candidates. These tests may be online or offline written exams, but they are supposed to be equally rigorous, with varying difficulty level according to the specific jobs.
- Technical skills pertain to certain job specifications; hence the questions asked should narrow down to job-specific assessments. Instead of generic tests, technical skill tests must be focused on the day to day responsibilities of the employee, which will make the picture clearer. The skills which are important can be discovered by monitoring the current workplace conditions, talking to the supervisors and the management.
- The ideal testing method for technical assessment can be decided after the skills have been identified. Apart from written exams, companies can use a more creative approach like playing serious games, online scenarios for skills that do not have a fixed grading rubric. For example, there can be games where the candidate has to choose between paths, which will have positive or negative consequences. The ideas implemented must be employee friendly, so as to encourage more creative testing methods.
- The ‘free size made to fit all’ approach towards the assessment of an individual is like pouring water over a built sandcastle. Every department in an organization has a different skill set. Hence, the test for every technical skill set should differ, as if personalizing the tests for every candidate. A sales person should not waste time learning how to fix a computer and an IT technician should know how to repair the website rather than having impeccable people skills. This will help attain work goals as candidates will successfully comprehend their job description and focus on their designated job.
- Simulations and real-world scenarios help in technical skill assessment as well. The problems provided to candidates can be related to the socio-economic conditions of the country at that time and the solutions should real life, practical solutions. This can be an effective way to select long-term employees in the company, who will be trustworthy and beneficial for the company’s progress. This will also help understand how well the candidate can handle pressure, maintain their calm under stress and compete with rival companies.
- Online tests could be used to judge the candidate and also train them through websites, e-learning videos, tutorials, and lectures. Using these methods will judge the candidate’s credibility and ability to absorb, digest, and process information and create documentation.
- An important thing to check for is the ability of the candidate to ‘mould’ to changing situations. Innovative technology is produced every day and if candidates are not updated or changing their style of thinking accordingly, then the company is producing a group of ‘stale’ employees. It is necessary for a candidate to be eager for change and adapt accordingly.