Minimising the risk in recruitment with skills testing

Whether you’ve been in the recruitment industry for years or you are a relative newcomer, it’s right to be suspicious. We’ve all had our fingers burned. That candidate whose skills look great on paper yet it turned out their CV was a work of complete fiction. Or they came across brilliantly at interview but don’t have the skills your client needs. Screening and skills testing ensures you are ticking the compliance box but it’s not just for show.

H&S near-miss


In conversation with a temp recruiter recently, a serious incident came onto our radar with regards to skills testing. The company regularly places candidates with their client and one was involved in an accident on site. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries but it was enough to be investigated. Questions were raised around the temp worker and their ability to understand instructions.


Was this individual’s literacy and comprehension up to standard? The recruitment company was able to prove this by sharing results of a literacy and aptitude test showing a more than adequate score. Plus, they shared comparable results for other temps that had been provided to the client which were the same or lower, and these individuals had not been involved in accidents or near misses.


A collective outward breath from everyone involved. No matter how much we moan about admin and audit trails, they come into their own in situations like this.

Marketing mix-up


On the perm side, another recruiter confessed to getting their fingers burned when recruiting a Marketing Exec role. The candidate came across well in interviews, had the right experience on paper but it quickly transpired they had poor literacy, no experience with PowerPoint and weren’t so hot using Excel. These are fundamental skills for a marketing role.


Naturally, the client was less than impressed and the candidate didn’t work out. If the recruiter had screened and skills tested their candidate, they would have been better informed and able to put forward only the best candidates.


Seasoned recruiters can sniff out a whopper of a lie pretty easily, they’ve been around long enough to know when things don’t add up. However, even the most innocent seeming candidates can be prone to exaggerating if it gets them a step closer to the job they’ve been coveting.


Hours saved on interviews using skills testing


Wherever you use skills testing or screening in your process, it can save hours in wasted interview time. You draw up a shortlist of candidates from your CRM but how do you whittle this down? Say you have a dozen candidates, screening them for ability sifts the have’s from the have not’s.

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