Technical testing when and how to do it!!!
Within the staffing community, Hiring teams (HT, (this consists of Hiring manager, and possible first and second level interviewers) and businesses themselves there has always been controversy over how do you determine the expertise level of a candidate. Interviews, technical testing, reference checks, and more are all tools that can be used. Some staffing professionals (SP), and companies rely purely on one of the afore mentioned tools. (please keep in mind this applies mainly to corporate staffing). In reality it should not be anyone thing. It should be a combination, some people are not good test takers, but can perform the job way above and beyond.
The key is to remember an interview, a test, a resume, a reference check, social media checking, are all parts of the puzzle that need to be done to get the full picture. That is not to say you must do them all to make a decision. However the more you know the better decision you can make.
As it relates to testing it is very important to remember that you do not make the test too long, and that you administer it at the right time or you will lose potential candidates who do not want to waste time taking a long test when they have not been given the opportunity to talk to anyone the HT to ensure they are interested. A SP can only get a candidate so interested then the HT must help.
An example of a process that incorporates all of these tools is below (this is a shortened version and not all inclusive just an example)
1. Decision made to make a hire
2. JD written and posted
3. Sourcing happens
4. A candidate found from sourcing or applies (this means resume are screened to determine first level fit) and are screened by staffing professional. These screens include talking with candidate, and social media check (this includes; blogs, Linkedin recommendation, SP network check, etc.).
5. Results presented to HT
6. Candidates who are chosen for next steps talk with first level HT interviewer, who spends 5-10 minutes asking general question to gain more info, usually these are general technical questions. Reason for this is also to allow the candidates to ask more question about the job, group, etc. (remember the candidates are interviewing the company hiring as well as we are interviewing them.)
7. Decision is made to go on to next step or not.
8. If decision is to move on to next step then SP sends a 5-10 question technical test. If not SP lets the candidate know
9. Results of technical test are put together with SP screen, Fist level HT screen, resume, social media check, and any other info to determine fi face to face interviews should happen. The key here is no one thing should make a candidate a go or a no. If the candidate did well on the phone with the first level HT interviewer but only did okay on the tech test you might want to still bring them in.
Of course you might be able to delete a step here and there or add as needed, but you get the idea. The point is to ensure any testing is done at the right time, is not too long and is only a piece of the puzzle used to determine next steps.