The private sector is leading the way in workforce recruitment, while the public sector has been left in the dust for some time. Private sector organizations are automating tedious tasks and actively recruiting talent. The private sector continues to evolve, while the public sector, for the most part, has not. Most Government agencies are still using decades-old workforce policies, including making hiring decisions based on work history, rather than capability.

The key to recruiting top Government workers is implementing the administration of skills tests during the hiring process. Doing so, not only reduces the chances for bias, but it also creates a hiring system that is far more efficient, both in the time needed to make hiring decisions and the probability that the new-hire will be a good fit for the particular job.

According to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), research indicates that Government agencies often use assessment tools that are not the best predictors of future performance, such as resumes, questionnaires, essays, and education level. For the public sector to catch up to the recruiting efforts of the private sector, Government recruiters must begin leveraging valid and reliable pre-hire skills tests and data-driven matches.

Without quantitative data to match potential employees to open positions, there is room for hiring decisions to be bias and an increased risk of mis-hires. According to a 2017 study by Aberdeen, the use of pre-employment assessments have a positive impact on time to hire, hiring manager satisfaction, employee retention, performance, and engagement. Skills testing is critical to the hiring process of top Government workers.

Make Merit-Based Hiring Decisions

After conducting extensive research related to Federal recruitment and hiring, MSPB has recommended that “recruitment, assessment, management of the hiring process, and making merit-based hiring decisions are all areas that need attention.” MSPB has recommended that Government agencies begin with improving the pre-employment assessments administered to potential hires. When chosen correctly, assessment tests provide quantitative data that enables hiring managers to make unbiased merit-based decisions.

Government agencies must have the ability to accurately assess applicants’ ability to perform on the job to make data-driven hiring decisions. The skills test must determine the necessary hard skills, as well as the soft skills needed to succeed in a particular role. eSkill can combine job-based tests, skill-based tests, and behavior assessments to create

Assessing Aptitude

Not only is it important to assess candidates’ specific job-related skill sets, but it is also equally, if not more important to assess candidates’ aptitude, their ability to learn new skills and information and think critically. According to research by Google, GPA, education, and interviews don’t correlate with whether or not an employee is successful on the job. Laszlo Bock, the Vice-President of Google’s People Operations, explains, “Academic environments are artificial environments. People who succeed there are finely trained; they’re conditioned to succeed in that environment.  You want people who like to figure out stuff where there is no obvious answer.”

As the world continues to change rapidly, so does the way most businesses operate. Most jobs today require continuous learning, and it makes sense to invest in pre-hire skills tests to find individuals willing and capable of changing and adapting. This is especially true when it comes to technology and software: it might pay off in the short-term to hire someone who knows a software application used by the Government agency you are hiring for, but when they switch to a different system next year, you want that employee to have the ability to learn and adapt quickly.

Ensure Tests are Reliable and Valid

When conducting skills testing during the hiring process, it is critical to ensure the assessments do not violate the federal, state, or local Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laws, including Title VII. Pre-hire skills tests must be both reliable and valid to be compliant. For a test to be reliable, an individual should score about the same every time the individual takes the test. For a test to be valid, the test must measure the specific competencies it is supposed to measure and be able to predict future job success or performance.

Test reliability and test validation should be proven before the test is implemented in the hiring process. eSkill has more than 5,000 assessments that are both reliable and valid. eSkill provides a defensible platform, with a 15-year record of EEOC compliance. To date, eSkill has not faced any legal challenges due to the administration of pre-employment assessments.

Pre-employment skills testing makes the recruitment and screening process less subjective and less time-consuming. Utilizing eSkill’s wide variety of pre-hire skill tests allows you to streamline the hiring process and effectively recruit top Government workers.

Interested in Skills Tests for Recruiting Top Government Workers?

Learn more about the benefits of using eSkill’s Government pre-hire skills tests to find qualified candidates quickly.

Request a demo today.

Adina Miron

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