Using skills tests to reduce the cost of a bad hire


The cost of a bad hire is significant.  It’s been estimated that an error in the recruitment of a new employee can cost 2.5 times the total annual compensation of the new employee.  Some would argue that is a conservative estimate – recruitment fees, impact on other staff, opportunity cost and so on all add up.  It’s against this backdrop that hiring managers are increasingly turning to online skills testing.

These assessments are used in a wide variety of hiring scenarios.  Looking to hire an accountant?  Consider their ability to use Sage 50.  Looking for administrative staff?  Literacy skills tests might be important.  Hospitality staff?  Awareness of health and safety rules can be validated.

These are all examples of “hard skills” that companies have long seen the need to evaluate candidates against.  However, recruiters also need to consider the soft skills of a potential hire.  Soft skills are not intrinsic to the ability to do a specific job, but are more general in nature.  For example, the ability to reason.  Again, this is something that can be tested.

The other type of testing that hiring managers increasingly turn to is psychometric testing.  While other types of skills might be used to identify the “best” candidate, psychometric tests are different.  A psychometric tests is used to understand the personality of a potential candidate which, in turn, can be used to see how well he or she might “fit” in the team culture.  There’s no point hiring the world’s best accountant if no one can interact with her!

Skills testing is increasingly used by companies of all sizes, and costs reflect that.  Available on demand, or under contract, online skills testing services can cost as little as £1 per candidate (with each candidate being able to take multiple tests within that single fee.

Online skills testing is a key part of the hiring process, and should be used to help protect against bad hires!