Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, explained in his book how he got a job at a bank and got promoted several times. In fact, he explained that he had no legitimate expertise or skills at any job that he had in the bank.
The only real skill he had was the interviewing/presentation skill— he did the interviews well enough, and that was pretty much it. He presented his CV very well and got several promotions in the bank because he was good at one skill only— interviewing.
Most companies have experienced situations like these where candidates have great CVs and do the interviews well, only to realize that they’re not equipped for the job. This happens because CV screening alone can’t give the employee the entire picture.
So if you’re tired of missing out on great candidates and hiring false positives for open roles, this article’s for you.
We’ll cover why CV screening isn’t enough, why work sample tests are missing, how you can implement it in your workplace, and why the biggest companies like Google and Facebook aren’t looking at college degrees.
First, we’re starting by explaining why CV screening isn’t enough.
Why CV screening isn’t enough
CV screening was always a flawed process that had many weaknesses.
30 years ago, you would only get a handful of applications for an open position. So hiring managers had all the time in the world to study every single CV they received meticulously. There was no wide-scale Internet at the time, so remote working or sending your CV via email was not an option.
The candidates had to hard-copy their results and either send them via fax or post office. Candidates had to make quite a lot of effort to apply for a job.
Today, hiring managers receive dozens of applications per open position. So it’s impossible to give as much attention to every CV if you get swamped by them. No wonder the average CV gets 6-8 seconds of attention only if there are so many of them per one open position.
Many candidates use the “shotgun” approach, where they simultaneously apply for hundreds of open roles. They send their CVs everywhere, hoping that they land an interview.
So hiring managers are overwhelmed because of the large number of applications. Many of them are from unqualified candidates, and they spend only seconds on each CV. Hiring managers aren’t evaluating the fundamental skills of the candidates but their CV writing skills. And instead of hiring skilled candidates, they end up hiring…well, Scott Adams.
This is why the entire CV screening process alone can’t fulfill modern hiring needs. But don’t despair—there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s in the form of work sample tests.
The validity of work sample tests— Hire like Google.
What researchers discovered is that there’s a poor correlation between education and intelligence on one side and competence on the other side. People used to believe that the more educated and intelligent a person is, the better they will perform at a job.
Market leaders like Google and IBM noticed this quite quickly and stopped requiring a college degree in their hiring process.
So if you can’t use education or intelligence as a means to evaluate your candidates, what can you use? Online assessments. They are online tests that provide the employer the opportunity to see how skilled their candidates are in a specific field.
Online assessments and specific tests provide a better way of assessing the candidates’ skills regarding the work they’ll be doing.
However, not all online assessments are made equal. Skill assessments should represent the correct simulation for a future job the candidate would be asked to do. Unfortunately, many online job simulations fail to deliver that.
What we’re talking about are work sample tests. Work sample tests require candidates to do a small task that would mirror the task they would be doing if they were hired.
With work sample tests, you will provide specific-tailored tests to your candidates. These tests will ask the right questions in the right order so that you get the most from your candidate. On top of that, you will see how the candidates would get far in the job; with work sample tests, the candidates will provide samples of their work like they’re already hired.
Hiring a data analyst? Let’s see how they would analyze the data in front of them to create meaningful insights.
Hiring a developer? Let’s see how they would write this code.
Hiring an email marketer? Let’s see how they would write an email sample.
Google doesn’t look at your college degree when hiring programmers, but they give you a test in the specific programming language you’re applying for. If you can solve the test, that’s great. If not, better luck next time.
Work sample tests evaluate only those skills the candidates will use daily at work. If you’re applying for a marketing role, the company will test your marketing skills. If you’re applying for a software developer role, the company will test your programming skills.
However, those are not the only benefits of using work sample tests in your hiring process.
3 reasons why you should combine CV screening with work sample tests
There are multiple benefits to using online assessments in your hiring process. We’ll cover the three that provide the most significant return on investments:
- They don’t discriminate on any basis. With work sample tests, you won’t have to worry about bias. The candidates will receive the test, they will do them, and you will get the results. There won’t be a way for bias to meddle in the process, discriminating against anyone based on race, ethnicity, geographical location, appearance, gender, age, etc.
- They are a scalable solution. CV screening needs quite some help when it comes to assessing dozens of applications. With work sample tests, you won’t have that problem. No matter the number of candidates, the hiring manager will still spend roughly the same amount of time in the process. It’s easy to send 50 more tests to your candidates, but it’s not easy to read, review, and analyze 50 more resumes.
- They provide a fantastic candidate experience. From a candidate’s perspective, there’s nothing worse than spending hours on your application, sending it, and not receiving any feedback from the company. You have no idea if you did something wrong, why you weren’t invited for an interview, or if anyone saw your application. It’s simply crushing.
However, with online assessments, you will bypass that problem. If they score well, they will be invited for an interview. If not, they won’t be invited. The candidates will have clarity over how the process works, and they will know that it’s in their hands (and skills) to get invited for an interview.
Keep up with the industry leaders.
The hiring process is changing, and it’s changing fast. Industry leaders already adapted to it, and it’s up to you to keep up. To provide the necessary help to your CV screening process by starting to use online assessments.