How to pick the right tech assessment tool

Regardless of what industry you’re in, the threat of disruption is just around the corner. The only way to stay ahead of the curve is to win the race to innovate by producing products and services that keep your customers happy and open doors to new markets. The key to winning the innovation game is your people. A talented team will give your business the best chance of surviving in the new world order, and finding them starts with your hiring practices.

Recruitment is an expensive and time-consuming process. According to Bersin by Deloitte, technology has a cost per hire of $4,325. 85% of candidates drop out during the recruitment process and only 3% of developer candidates are actually hired. This means a lot of your resources are being spent evaluating candidates that don’t have the right skills or aren’t the best fit for your business. (Read: 7 ways recruiters can increase the offer to joining ratio & avoid drop off)

Even after you have someone on board, the cost of a bad hiring decision just compounds. While it’s difficult to calculate the true cost of recruiting a bad hire, Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, says that bad hiring practices have cost Zappos over $100 million over its lifetime. So it’s not a mistake that your business can afford to make.

Recruiting tech talent requires special skills

Recruiting technical talent is particularly challenging. The Harris Allied Tech Hiring and Retention Survey 2017 found that 50% of executives were most concerned about finding and hiring the right technical talent. Thankfully, recruitment assessment tools can alleviate these concerns by improving how you find, assess, and filter candidates. It also saves precious resources so your managers can spend their time assessing the right candidates.

The best tech assessment tools will help you hire people with the right skills, who perform well and are more likely to fit into your organization. By getting it right the first time, you can reduce turnover and improve your talent predictions.

There are several tech assessment tools in the market and they all make different promises. That’s why it’s important to follow a process that will ensure you select the tool that’s right for your business.

There are 4 steps that will help you pick the right tech assessment tool for your business.

Step 1: Define your business objectives

Before you can decide what features you need, it’s important to understand what you want to achieve from using the tool. Your talent is your most important resource, so how you recruit them is an important part of your overall business strategy.

Perhaps your primary objective is to improve the efficiency of your recruitment process, or your business may be more concerned about hiring people with the highest technical capabilities.

Who you are recruiting will also impact your objectives. Are you assessing individuals for senior management positions or looking at recruiting a large pool of junior developers?

The first step is to look at your overall business objectives. Find out what the hiring managers or business units want to achieve, and importantly, what KPIs they will be assessed on. These KPIs will form the baseline for assessing the performance of the software that you choose.

Step 2: Determine what features you need

Once you know what your objectives are you can start looking at how to achieve them. In this step list what features you need the tech assessment tool to include.

While it’s tempting to write a long laundry list, it’s a good idea to prioritise the features you need. Referring back to your objectives will help you highlight which features are essential to achieving your goals and what things are perhaps just nice-to-have.  

Some questions to ask yourself as you identify the features that you require include:

  • Will candidates be in one location or will they be working remotely?
  • How will you determine if remote candidates have taken the test themselves?
  • Are candidates similar or will they need to be segmented and tested differently based on their cohort and/or potential role?
  • Do you need to customize your screening and selection criteria for different roles, locations or other segmentation criteria?
  • How many coding languages do you need to test candidates in?
  • Do you want to create your own questions or access a library of existing questions?
  • How quickly do you need the results?
  • Do you just need the results, or would your hiring managers like to understand the candidates’ thought process, logic, time and memory efficiency, and code quality?
  • Does the assessment criteria need to be objective and consistent across all candidates?
  • Should the results be benchmarked? If so, against what criteria?
  • Who needs to access the results and provide feedback on them?
  • Do you need to filter candidates based on their performance and profile?
  • What reports do your stakeholders and you require?
  • How secure is your information and your candidate’s data?
  • Does the tool integrate with your existing HR systems and recruiting tools?
  • How easy is it to use?
  • What training will your managers need to use the tools? How long will it take to train them?
  • How easy will the reports be for managers to understand?
  • Is it available on an application or the cloud?
  • Will remote candidates need access to WiFi?
  • Are there any other minimum technological requirements?

Step 3: Trial the tech assessment tool

There is no point investing in a tech assessment tool if it isn’t easy to use or doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. While most software companies will be able to show you a demonstration of how their product works, the best way to see if a product really does what you need it to is to trial it.

A trial is will give you the opportunity to try out the features and see if it really is easy to use and determine if it produces the results and reports that you need. It also gives you the opportunity to let your stakeholders and other potential users assess the tool. Perhaps some of your stakeholders are doubtful of the benefits of a tech assessment tool - a trial gives them the opportunity to see what it can do for themselves.

Step 4: Validate the software

Once you have trialled the software you may be happy with its functionality, but you may not know whether it will be effective in helping you achieve your goals. That’s why it’s a good idea to seek out information that will help you validate the software.

One of the best ways to validate performance is with hard data. So ask the vendor for data points from existing customers that demonstrate how the software performed against the KPIs that you identified in Step 1.

For example, recruitment efficiency was important to Intel Security. By using HackerEarth Recruit they found that out of all the candidates they interviewed 25% were suitable, compared to 5% previously. This reduced their recruitment time and saved them resources.

Another good way to validate software is to speak to some of the vendor’s customers. If their website has testimonials, those will help you identify what their customers value in the product. Alternatively, ask the vendor to recommend some. If they’re confident with their product, then most vendors wouldn’t hesitate to suggest some customers that you can talk to.

Once you’ve validated the software, you will have a clear idea of which tech assessment tool is best for your business. Then it’s a matter of speaking to the vendor about implementation and the terms of the license.

By following a defined process, you can rest assured that you will make the best decision for your business and be well on your way to finding and hiring the best talent.

 

About the Author

Arpit Mishra
Avid book reading advocate. Hardcore travel nerd. Technology freak. Subscribe to more updates and new blogs for upcoming articles.
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