Hiring in today’s market is more competitive than it ever was. To find the right fit, recruiters have been using resumes for decades. However, the resume screening process is slow, biased, and outdated. When hiring managers use this method, they often mis-hire candidates, and that’s something most companies can’t afford. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the cost of a mis-hire is approximately 30% of the employee’s annual salary.
The alternative? Job simulations.
Studies have shown that job simulations or work sample tests are the most valid and reliable predictors of future job performance. These methods have gained popularity because they provide realistic and objective evaluations of candidates’ skills and abilities. On top of that, they allow employers to observe the candidates do the job before they get the job.
What are work sample tests?
Work sample tests are skill assessments where candidates must perform tasks similar to those they would do in the actual role. Recruiters can use work sample tests to evaluate a wide range of skills, such as:
- technical skills
- soft skills
- cognitive abilities
- problem-solving skills
- attention to detail
- and more
Backed up by the science
Predictive validity: The power of performance
The main strength of work sample tests is their high predictive validity. Predictive validity refers to how well a test can predict a candidate’s future job performance
The higher the predictive validity, the better the indicator or how likely a candidate will fare in a job role.
Work sample tests allow candidates to demonstrate their abilities directly in a realistic job-related scenario. This authenticity makes them a better and more valid predictor of job performance compared to other screening methods.
According to the Harvard Business Review, “Work sample tests that mimic the kinds of tasks the candidate will be doing are the best indicators of future job performance…”
With a skill assessment, the employer is assessing the quality of a candidate’s work versus unconsciously judging them based on appearance, gender, age, and even personality
The high predictive validity of work sample tests is also supported by academic research, as seen in the image below (based on Schmidt & Hunter, 1998):
Face validity: The value of relevance
There’s another massive advantage to work sample tests— high face validity and reliability. It refers to the degree to which a test appears to measure what it’s intended to measure.
For example, if you’re giving your candidate a test that measures problem-solving skills, you want to ensure that the test will actually measure problem-solving.
For candidates, a test with high face validity feels more relevant and fair because it directly relates to the job they’re applying for.
Since work sample tests are designed to replicate tasks from the target job, candidates can immediately see the connection between the test and the job role. This increases their motivation to perform well, reduces the chances of them feeling unfairly assessed, and provides an overall better candidate experience. In a world where employer branding and reputation are essential, providing a positive experience to all candidates (even those who do not get the job) cannot be overstated.
Objectivity: A Level Playing Field
Unconscious bias is one of the key issues when it comes to traditional screening methods. CVs and interviews are notorious for unconscious bias. Because no matter how prepared the hiring manager is for bias, they will still fall victim to it. You want to ensure that your hiring process is bulletproof against biases in gender, personal appearance, educational background, past experience, etc.
Work sample tests reduce the risk of bias by focusing on task performance and using standardized scoring systems. They provide all candidates with an equal chance to demonstrate their skills – even if social, economic, and personal circumstances have led to a candidate acquiring these skills in a non-traditional way or being denied the opportunity to showcase them in the past.
How can Canditech’s work sample tests help you make better (and faster) hiring decisions?
The evolution of the job market demands the evolution of hiring practices. You can’t use yesterday’s hiring practices if you want today’s top talent.
Work sample tests offer a powerful and efficient solution for screening job candidates. With their strong predictive validity, high face validity, and objectivity, these assessments ensure hiring decisions are based on relevant skills and abilities rather than subjective factors and biases.
Canditech’s assessment software offers a uniquely modern, highly engaging, and valid testing platform. We provide realistic evaluations and an award-winning candidate experience. With Canditech, you can easily build a work-sample test for any role in your organization: from R&D and Data Analysis to Sales and Customer Service… and everything in between.
You can also choose from our rich library of ready-to-use tests, built by industry experts, and get even better assessment results by combining work sample tests with supplementary tools such as cognitive tests and personality assessments.
So the next time you have a position to fill, don’t take candidates’ word on how well they can do the job – use Canditech to see for yourselves.