Types of assessments used for recruiting, selection and promotion

Assessments are wonderful tools that allow organizations and managers to identify the correct candidate for a job, designation, or promotion. While no assessment under the sun can accurately describe a person's fitment to a job, a number of them together can create a clearer picture. When using an assessment for recruiting, selection, and promotion process, it is important that the instrument:

  1. Is assessing the competencies, behaviors, and capabilities, required for the role.
  2. Has been tested to ensure that it is valid and reliable
  3. Has a body of evidence to support its claims to be valid and reliable

In this article, we are going to describe, in alphabetical order, some of the assessments that are useful for recruitment, selection, and promotion.

  • Abstract Reasoning: This assessment measures an individual's problem-solving skills and their ability to recognize patterns and visual cognition. Questions are usually presented as a series of multiple-choice questions that must be answered in a limited time. 
  • Accuracy: Along with speed, the accuracy of deliverable is an important indicator of a role that requires precision. The assessment might challenge an individual to perform several tasks within a stipulated timeframe with a certain level of accuracy. This test might also determine if a person can multitask under pressure with reasonable accuracy.
  • Computer Literacy: Nowadays, most jobs require the use of a computer and applications to increase efficiency, communicate rapidly, and stay organized. This assessment tries to identify basic computing knowledge of the individual, their comfort level using a computer, knowledge of web browsers, office suites, etc.
  • Functional Skills: These assessments that measure the level of competency for specific industry skills.
  • Keyboard Skills: This assessment often goes hand in hand with the computer literacy test. It ascertains an individual's typing speed, comfort level, precision, and accuracy. If the job requires crunching high volumes of data, this assessment becomes more relevant.
  • Language - Reading Comprehension: This assessment tests a candidate's ability to deduce information from a written piece, for example, using their reading and logical reasoning skills. The stimulus might present a written scenario, and the individual then answers questions to determine their understanding of the passage. Answers to the questions are often not found directly in the piece. Rather, they have to de deduced from the write-up, which tests the comprehension level.
  • Language - Verbal Dexterity: Strong verbal communication skills are often a prerequisite for many roles these days. This assessment checks a person's comfort level in using their language, their ability to communicate clearly, and their choice of phrases and words.
  • Language – Written English: Most roles nowadays require clear communications skills. Using English, whether the individual is in an English speaking country or not, often becomes an important criterion for success in the role. English skills might test for punctuation usage, application of correct grammar, word usage, the ability to differentiate between homonyms, grasp of basic salutations, and so on.
  • Numeracy Skills (Basic): Arithmetic skills are part and parcel of many jobs; hence, this remains one of the core assessments covered in most job selection processes. The test involves puzzles, questions, and patterns that involve quick mental arithmetic skills. Often the questions are posed in a timed manner where a person has to solve the puzzles quickly.
  • Numeracy Skills (Advanced): This assessment is used for positions that require handling more complex mathematical data. The assessment might require finding a solution from reading tables of data, bars, and charts. This advanced assessment usually allows slightly more time per question and the use of calculators.
  • Personality Traits: This assessment identifies the "fit" with an organization or team based on a candidates core values, motivations, temperament, aspirations, preference and other personality traits of an individual to the role or an organization. Just as you can have good feet and a good pair of shoes, it doesn't guarantee a fit.  When introducing this form of assessment, it is helpful to explain that there are no right or wrong personalities and that the assessment will help both sides understand the fit. A meaningful and helpful report provided to the candidate, whether they get the job or not, will promote goodwill. 
  • Retention:  This is a simple assessment that determines an individual's ability to retain information, data, and skills. Versions of this test may work as a memory game. The person looks at several images, layouts, graphics, and information one after the other. Then quizzed on the given information in random order.
  • Spatial Awareness: This assessment is often used as a selection criterion for roles involving managing and maintaining machines, design, engineering, and architectural skills. The test might require a person to visualize 2D and 3D objects in space and their spatial attributes. For example, the candidate might need to identify how an object would look like once it is turned 180 degrees in space.
  • Speed Assessment: These tests are designed to assess a person's speed in performing the tasks a role entails. Exercises could be presented via a hands-on assessment or via simulating scenarios to measure the speed to complete the task.

Assessment results do not provide a complete picture of a person but can provide valuable evidence to assess a candidate's capabilities and suitability for a role. Assessments, used in conjunction with interviews, can reduce the impact of bias and help everyone focus on the behaviors and skills required for the position.

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