The lack of skilled IT workers is hurting the deployment of emerging technology, according to a new survey from Gartner. In areas from cloud to cybersecurity, this crisis is expected to last for years to come.
However, the biggest challenge faced by recruiters on the hunt for tech talent is filtering the initial round of resumes. Unlike non-tech roles, where a simple chat or telephone interview can give you valuable insights into whether a candidate is worth hiring, tech jobs require a more concrete assessment of skills.
One cannot rate a tech candidate’s potential based on a phone interview alone especially now, with most of us recruiting entirely remotely.
Most recruiters aren’t subject-matter experts when it comes to tech, so they need the help of tech experts in the company to screen resumes or even do a basic elimination interview. Let’s be honest: That’s too much of an ask, considering all the resumes your job ad is likely to bring in.
So what is the best way to recruit tech talent?
The best way to go about recruiting for tech roles would be to start with a pre-assessment test that can be sent to your candidates.
Assessment tests can easily filter candidates based on their knowledge and eliminate bias around credentials, race, or gender so that only the truly great candidates make it through to the next round. These pre-assessment tests can make remote hiring for tech roles so much easier.
In five simple steps below, we’ll walk you through how to set up and use pre-assessment tests in your hiring process.
The first step is to find the right tool to use. There are quite a few pre-assessment tools that you can include in the hiring process. For maximum benefit, pick a pre-assessment tool that can integrate with your applicant tracking system (ATS).
A good pre-assessment tool will help you set up the test as a part of your hiring process and add the candidates’ test scores automatically to their profiles with all the other relevant candidate information, giving you a complete picture of each applicant.
An ATS with pre-assessment tool integration makes candidates’ scores easily available for interview panel members and hiring managers to access any time. You don’t have to log in and out of multiple assessment test providers to send tests or follow up on them, either; you can send tests and messages right from your ATS.
Once you have chosen a tool, the next step would be to design the actual challenges that you will send out in the test. Most test providers have libraries of challenges from which you can choose or an option to design your own.
To choose or design your challenge, you first need an understanding of what you really want from your candidates. Then, you can design the challenge to test whether your candidate has whatever it is that you want.
The longer the test, the lower the completion rates will be. Thirty or forty minutes is a widely accepted standard duration for a pre-assessment test. It would be courteous to stick to as few tests as possible as well. Candidates in pursuit of jobs are likely giving interviews at multiple places while doing their full-time jobs, which doesn’t afford them to give a lot of time to your hiring process.
You can test some of your employees and use their performances as a reference to arrive at minimum and maximum required scores for the test. After all, you do not want to send a test that your own employees cannot pass to a new candidate. You need hires who can work with your existing team members efficiently. The best way to find those hires is by asking your employees to take the test, establishing an average score range, and using that as a scale to evaluate the candidates.
The stage in which you include the test will affect your recruiting costs and the efficiency of your recruiting process. Every test costs you, so it would be wise to do as much initial screening as possible to identify any potential deal-breakers. Then, only the candidates with no red flags will move onto the testing stage to assess their tech skills.
Pre-assessments can occur after your initial screening and before your interviews. Sometimes, campus recruiters give out assessment tests during the first round of screening. This approach can come in handy when you have to screen many candidates.
If you already use an ATS, you can configure the test as a stage in your hiring process. If you are not using an ATS, you really should; it will increase your chances of hiring the right person by a lot.
An ATS helps you gather all candidate information in one place, collaborate with your team members, and automate a ton of mundane tasks. That gives recruiters more time and energy to focus on finding and hiring the best candidates out there.
It goes without saying that you should choose an ATS that comes with smart integrations, especially assessment tools integrations.