If you’re looking for the perfect position, want to develop your skills and career or are aiming to improve the skills of your team and entire organization, you need the same thing: a skill assessment process.
Many people have taken skills assessments as part of the interview process, but many don’t understand exactly what they are and how they work. If you’re wondering, “What are my skills and abilities?”, “What is an online skills test?” or “What information does this give my employers?”, we have the answers you need, as well as the benefits that skills assessments bring when it comes to employee engagement, communication, and more.
What Types of Skills Assessments Are There?
There are a lot of skills assessments on the market, but they are not all created equally. Look for an assessment provider that provides data and research behind their processes and assessment creation.
TTI Success Insights offers 5 core sciences for skill assessments, and then these sciences are combined into other assessment packages.
Those Skill Assessments Are
- DISC, which measures behavior or ‘how you do what you do’,
- 12 Driving Forces, which measures motivation,
- Emotional Quotient, which measures 5 factors of emotional intelligence,
- Competencies (DNA), which measures 25 research-based skills required by any job
- Acumen (ACI), which measures both how people interact with the world and, on a more personal level, how they view their value in the world.
Essentially, assessments measure the skills and abilities that show how you do what you do, why you do what you do, emotional intelligence, and competencies in basic job-necessary skills.
How Are Skills Assessments Different From Personality Tests?
When you are asked to answer questions about yourself for a job position or personal development, the fastest association will likely be with personality tests. There’s a reason quick quizzes and ‘pop science’ tests are so popular; people want to know more about themselves and enjoy the shorthand associations that come with that. However, behavioral and skills assessments go far beyond that.
First of all, assessments aren’t tests, since they aren’t “pass/fail”! An assessment like DISC is just a way for others to understand your observable behavior with a shared language. Since there’s no right or wrong way to behave as measured by the four categories of DISC, you certainly can’t fail.
This even goes for assessments like Competencies (DNA), which measures development in skills necessary for any workplace.
How Can Skills Assessments Be Used in the Workplace?
There are a lot of uses for skills assessments in the workplace. Here are a few of the ways you might see them show up:
Hiring & Benchmarking
You’re probably wondering how skill tests are used in the recruitment process. Assessments are a valuable tool for employers to get instant insight into their potential employees. This process often involves benchmarking, the process of creating the profile of the ideal candidate for a position and then measuring candidates’ own assessment results against that profile.
This process helps employers understand the skills, emotional and social intelligence, temperament, and motivation of their job candidates. For example, if a role will require lots of research, fact-checking, and slow but steady progress, a person who prefers a faster pace and more direct behavior might be unhappy. Benchmarking helps prevent bad hires, and it’s achieved through job candidate assessments.
Employment engagement is crucial for organizational success. If your team isn’t invested in their work and achieving the best possible results, productivity and company culture will suffer. Show your team that you are invested in them with career development through skills assessments!
These tools hone in on skills to improve, patterns of behavior, and shine light on their best traits. When employees get a tangible investment in their wellbeing and professional development, they’ll return and surpass that investment with their hard work.
Skills Gap Management
The world of work is changing quickly, and sometimes that can mean that a position evolves beyond the person currently filling it. Don’t panic! Skills assessments are your key to retaining current employees while figuring out how to develop them for success. Job benchmarks can be used again here to get a sense of the ideal candidate. Measure the current employee’s results against this benchmark and you’ll find out exactly where to start developing their talents.
When undergoing this process, be clear to ensure your employee that they aren’t being fired! The skill assessment process is often associated with hiring and firing, so let them know it’s for their benefit and development upfront.
Pitfalls to Avoid While Using Skills Assessments
While the benefits to using skills assessments are overwhelming, there can be some drawbacks if you’re not careful. Here are a few things to consider and avoid while you get started.
Don’t Assume Someone Is a “Type”
Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons why personality tests are so popular. People love putting others in a box to categorize them, but this is overly simplistic. When looking at DISC, people aren’t just a High I; they’re a combination of all four categories, high and low scores included. Someone might take offense or be resistant to being discussed in this way, so remember that behavioral and skills assessments are just tools to gather data; they aren’t always definitive.
Don’t Just Use One Science
Using only one science or assessment might feel like the fastest way to get results, but it’s not if you want accuracy. Each assessment brings a different element of understanding to its users. Use multiple sciences for best understanding.
Our Talent Insights suite, for example, combines DISC and 12 Driving Forces, which reveals behavior and motivators, or how something does what they do and why someone does what they do. Even that combination of just two sciences adds depth and insight to your understanding of yourself and others. Imagine what combining 3 or more sciences reveal!
What Challenges Can Skills Assessments Help Organizations Overcome?
Skills assessments are your path forward for a better understanding of yourself and others.
Improve Employee Retention
Keep your current team happy with the improved communication and understanding that comes from assessments.
Increase Hiring Accuracy
Find the perfect fit for every position with the right employee as determined by the data that comes from benchmarking.
Assessments give your team a shared language and understanding of each other’s behavior, which cuts down on misunderstandings and conflict.
Advance Workplace Engagement
When you invest in your organization, they will invest in their work. When employees are truly understood in their workplace, engagement increases.
Reduce Destructive Stress
Stress affects physical and mental health as well as engagement and productivity. By increasing understanding of the self and of others, conflicts can be prevented before they start.
So now you understand exactly what assessments are and how they’re used in the workplace. Let’s start at the beginning of the process and walk through exactly how assessments are used in the hiring process.