Dear Clients,

September usually signals the beginning of Fall, but it is still close to 100 degrees in Texas with no end in sight. I could not even escape it while in North Carolina this week for a golf trip. Just brutal. Speaking of which, I hope everyone on the East Coast is staying safe from the hurricane!

My “emergency blog” last month made this month’s blog a no brainer: Skills Testing vs Behavioral Assessments. As a reminder, eSkill will be releasing a behavioral assessment product coupled with our vast library of skill questions. My first few blogs covered both subjects, but now we are going to compare the products. Which one is right for you? Is one better than the other? What about using both?

Let’s talk to an industry expert to learn what to consider, spark some conversations and provide you with ideas you did not think of while evaluating your hiring process. I will cover a different industry each time so we have a variety of perspectives. For starters, we are going to start with the Kelly Painter, a talent acquisition expert.

Q1. What is the goal clients should focus on when implementing Skills Testing?

[Kelly P] The three main things to focus on are 1)Reducing turnover in the first 180 days, 2) Improving time to productivity and, 3) Improving retention during training.

Q2. What is the goal when implementing Behavioral Assessments?

[Kelly P] Behavioral assessments measure behaviors related to on-the-job performance—how candidates will get their work done to deliver results. Assessments also identify the potential for an individual to perform in the role over the long term and how well their behavioral traits fit in the work environment and company culture. 

Q3. If clients only want to use one test during the hiring process, what factors should they consider when choosing?

[Kelly P] What problem are they trying to fix?  If they are not trying to fix or improve anything, then why add a test to the process? Only when you identify the problem–not the symptom, the actual problem, can you determine the best solution.  For example, a company explained they had a “turnover” problem. I asked when the turnover was occurring and whether it was concentrated in a single department.  It turns out that employees were leaving during the initial training because of the amount of content delivered each day and they were not able to keep up with the work.  So our solution had a two-step approach:  1) Test for the ability to learn new information quickly and apply it in a work situation. 2) Review the training to identify a possible change in the approach to extend the training. 

Q4. Does using a “two-pronged approach” with a skills test and behavioral assessment generate better results?

[Kelly P] As previously noted, your focus should be on candidate experience.  Measure the things that matter to support the recruitment and onboarding of candidate who have the best opportunity to be successful.

Q5. Since readers will note that we have the same last name, how do you like having your son (i.e., golden child) working for you?

[Kelly P] Having your children work with you is an amazing experience. Sharing 15 years of work experience and allowing them to grow in a forgiving environment prepares them for future opportunities. 

Ethan Painter

I have been a Client Services Manager at eSkill since 2017 and I am involved with multiple industries. I was born in California, raised in Waco, and attended the University of Houston where I received my Bachelors in Finance with a minor in Risk Management. There is nothing more gratifying in this job than helping my clients mold their hiring process to work for them. In my spare time, you can find me on the golf course trying to regain my old form from the glory days in high school.

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