To say we are in a tight labor market is an understatement. In January, the U.S. created a robust 225,000 new jobs, a marked acceleration from last fall and summer. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, edged up only slightly to 3.6 percent from a 50-year low of 3.5 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The ultra-tight talent market has put more pressure on employers to fill open positions and retain skilled staff. To ease this pressure, top-performing companies use employment tests to streamline the hiring process and optimize training and employee development opportunities.

Finding the Right Talent in a Tight Labor Market, Fast

Throughout the hiring process, companies aim to gather as much relevant information about applicants as possible. The challenge is that traditional methods of vetting applicants, like resumes and interviews, are poor predictors of success on-the-job.

In contrast, properly developed job-specific employment tests are a reliable and objective means of evaluating candidates. The 2018 Global Assessment Trends Report found 90 percent of employers who use pre-employment assessments, use job-specific assessments, while the use of general assessments has declined significantly since 2014. This finding is not surprising. Selecting candidates with job-specific skills improves quality of hire, which in turn increases productivity and profitability while reducing turnover rates and recruiting costs.

Employment tests administered at the top of the hiring funnel offer the most time-saving value. Requiring job seekers to take tests early in the selection process weeds out “resume spammers” who complete online applications with minimal effort or thought. Candidates who complete employment tests are, at the very least, serious enough about the job to invest their time in taking the test.

eSkill’s user-friendly software allows hiring teams to set minimum cutoff scores for each test. Setting a cutoff score automatically creates a shortlist of applicants to select for additional testing, one-way video or voice interviews, or in-person interviews. This reduces the time spent on the screening process drastically as well as the overall time spent recruiting talent.

Accelerated Onboarding

The onboarding process is critical to getting a new hire started on the right foot. Comprehensive employment tests measure applicants’ current level of technical skills, industry- and job-specific knowledge, and soft skills. This information enables companies to provide training during the onboarding process that only covers the skills and knowledge an individual is lacking.

Targeted training saves companies time and the cost of unnecessarily long onboarding, and increases the likelihood new hires will succeed in their new role. Research by Glassdoor found that companies with a thorough onboarding process improve new hire productivity by over 70 percent and retention by 82 percent. Effective training at the start of new employees’ tenure not only helps new hires ramp faster, but it also improves engagement and motivation resulting in a decrease in employee churn.

Prepare for a Rapid Shift of In-Demand Skill Sets

With the world of work changing at an exponential rate, companies are faced with a rapid shift of in-demand skill sets. In fact, according to the Association for Talent Development, 83 percent of the majority of talent acquisition professionals indicated their organization is suffering from skill gaps. In this tight labor market, employers are not leaving the success of talent development programs to chance. Top organizations are implementing robust training and development programs to keep pace.

Developing targeted training to address a shortage of specific hard-to-find skills is the key to remaining competitive in today’s labor market. Employment testing is now also used for employee development to help meet business outcomes because it provides data that can be used to create a real-time snapshot of a company’s internal talent supply for application of personalized training.

More and more companies have begun to realize mitigating the impact of skill gaps starts with tracking skills in an unbiased, scientific way. According to the 2018 Global Assessment Trends Report, 79 percent of respondents reported they use, or plan to use, assessments in the future for workforce development, and 62 percent said they use assessments to measure the value of development programs. Viewing the workforce as flexible and investing in continued talent development initiatives prepares organizations to remain competitive as they navigate changing business trends and technological advancements.

eSkill’s extensive library of skills tests and behavioral assessments make employment testing efficient and effective. With a nearly 20-year record of perfect Equal Employment Opportunity Commission compliance, eSkill is an industry leader in legally defensible employment tests.

eSkill’s customizable employment tests provide companies with data-driven insights that streamline the recruitment and selection process and inform training decisions, resulting in increased employee engagement and productivity, and a lower turnover rate. Furthermore, employment tests are a reliable method of conducting an internal talent supply analysis, which enables companies to identify skill gaps and retain valuable employees through targeted training programs.

Interested in Employment Tests for Hiring and Training?

Learn more about the benefits of using eSkill’s employment tests to find qualified candidates quickly.

Request a demo today.

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