Recruitment Trend 02 2022

Virtually every employer has encountered significant hiring struggles over the last few years, including city and county governments. While there is no single cause for these hiring woes, skills testing appears to be a viable solution.

Cities and counties throughout the nation are using employment assessment tests to hire better staff. Carefully designed assessments are far more effective than traditional screening processes such as interviews and resume reviews. Are you curious about how skills testing improves the hiring process? If so, then keep reading. 

What Is an Employment Assessment Test?

Before we outline the benefits of pre-employment testing, let’s discuss what these screening tools are. There is a common misconception that pre-employment assessments are simple pass/fail tests that measure a candidate’s knowledge on a very specific subject. While some skills tests are designed for this purpose, there are several other types of assessments.

In light of this fact, it is better to apply a broader definition to skills tests. Indeed, the global job search platform describes skills tests as a “centralized method to acquire and document information.”

Your team can use these assessments to gauge candidates’ hard and soft skills or gain insights into their behavior. The versatility of skills tests makes them appealing to municipal governments.

Skills tests are widely recognized as a better way to hire. CEOs, former state Supreme Court Justices, and representatives of BLS have all discussed the benefits of pre-employment testing. These tools can take the guesswork out of screening by providing hiring teams with quantifiable information regarding each candidate’s abilities and knowledge.

What Does Pre-Employment Testing Measure?

Skills tests measure soft skills, hard skills, or both. Hard skills can best be described as job-specific abilities. For instance, government entities often use skills tests such as:

  • Firefighter Knowledge
  • General Policing Knowledge
  • Public Works
  • Local Government
  • Computer Skills
  • Listening Skills
  • Negotiation Skills

Each of these assessments contains questions of various formats and covers several topics.

In addition to these types of employment assessment tests, employers often incorporate screening tools that measure a candidate’s soft skills. These skills tests will cover more generalized topics such as Attention to Detail or Email Etiquette.

Skills testing is not the only tool municipal governments use to improve hiring. They are also deploying behavioral assessments with great success. These assessments can reveal how a candidate works, communicates, and thinks. They can provide insight into what motivates a prospective employee so that the hiring organization can determine whether they are a good fit with the company culture.

By combining behavioral assessments with employment assessment testing, your team can capture a full understanding of each candidate’s unique capacity. With this knowledge, you can refine your hiring process to locate “diamond in the rough” candidates who might have been overlooked as part of a regular “resume and cover letter” search.

How Skills Testing Improves the Municipal Hiring Process

Now that you know what skills testing entails, let’s examine how these tools improve hiring in municipal organizations. There are tremendous benefits to screening prospective employees with employment assessment tests.

  • Predict Performance: One benefit is that pre-employment testing is an excellent way to predict the performance of new staff members. If a candidate demonstrates unfavorable personality traits, such as a lack of motivation or an unwillingness to work as part of a team, then they will likely underperform once hired. This poor hire can negatively affect the organization and the staff assigned to work with the new employee.
  • Avoid Legal Challenges: The hiring practices of government entities are under extreme scrutiny, which brings us to our next point. Skills tests can help city and county governments avoid serious legal challenges or allegations of unfair hiring practices. Pre-employment tests can be used as a standardized hiring tool. They allow hiring teams to evaluate all candidates using identical criteria and standards. If a disgruntled applicant brings forth allegations of impropriety, the human resources department can use the test results as exculpatory evidence. They can justify every hiring decision by presenting quantifiable testing data.
  • Determine Cultural Fit: Employment assessment tests are also valuable for determining cultural fit for government agencies. They can develop a thorough understanding of all applicants’ characteristics and intellectual abilities. This approach will allow them to carefully select each team member and develop strong chemistry across every department within the organization.
  • Reduce Hiring Costs: Skills testing allows county and city governments to reduce hiring costs. They can more rapidly screen candidates and narrow their list down to the most qualified individuals. Once they have identified top candidates, they can schedule interviews and fill vacant positions.

Skills testing will lead to better hiring decisions and prevent costly mistakes in the long run. This strategy will further reduce the cost of hiring and lead to significant savings.

Pre-Employment Testing Solutions from eSkill

If you are looking for quality skills testing solutions to improve how you screen and hire candidates, eSkill can help. Request a demo to learn more about our government pre-employment testing solutions.

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