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More than Ever Skills Tests Play a Critical Role in Ensuring Success

Valuable technical, language, and administrative skills are crucial for every business as they navigate an ever-changing and increasingly digital world.

These are trying times for businesses. In today’s rapidly changing landscape, SHL is here to help. While we have always led the industry by providing the most predictive and state-of-the-art assessments to help you hire the best talent, we continue to provide leadership through our investment in an unmatched portfolio of skills assessments. With our recent acquisition of Aspiring Minds, the company that pioneered the use of AI for talent selection, we have added hundreds of new skills tests, including IT, language, clerical and administrative and functional skills to ensure we have exactly what you need to select the best from your candidate pool.

Technology Skills

Successful companies now need to move with extraordinary speed and to interact with a wider range of technologies and embrace the power of artificial intelligence. If this fact was not already obvious, the effect of COVID-19 on organizations in every industry has certainly opened our eyes to the vast digital landscape. Everything is being done online from conferencing to sales to education and telemedicine.

Indeed, technology is becoming the backbone of the economy and skilled tech workers are in high demand. Selecting the best tech workers is one key to remaining competitive. Legacy methods of selecting tech workers are time and labor-intensive, inefficient and not always effective.

SHL’s automated coding simulations in 40+ programming languages with pre-defined tests, large, validated question banks, and the flexibility to author your own questions are an effective and efficient first start to evaluate your candidates. In addition, we have tests for hundreds of technical skills across legacy and emerging technologies.

Finally, you can complete the assessment process using a live coding interviewing platform with an interactive and collaborative programming environment, video streaming, chat, and whiteboard to reach this critically important tech talent anytime, anywhere.

Legacy methods of selecting tech workers are time and labor-intensive, inefficient and not always effective.

Language Skills

Language skills are also becoming even more critical as the geographic dispersion of our workforce becomes the norm. English, the fastest-spreading language in human history, is spoken at a useful level by some 1.75 billion people worldwide and is now the global language of business. More and more multinational companies are mandating English as the common corporate language including Airbus, Daimler-Chrysler, Nokia, Renault, Samsung, SAP, and Microsoft in Beijing, to name a few.

In addition, many businesses are choosing to outsource processes, as new and innovative services are increasingly available in today’s fast-paced, highly competitive business climate. In 2019, the global outsourcing market amounted to 92.5 billion U.S. dollars. Employees need to interact with stakeholders across the globe, expansion into newer geographies demand proficiency in different language(s), and the quality of interaction directly impacts the customer satisfaction scores (CSAT).

From a recruitment perspective, language-centric hiring is difficult because assessing language skills in candidates involves looking at all technical aspects of the language including grammar, syntax, phonemes, etc. Manual evaluation of these skills is very time consuming and requires expertise not typically found in recruiters or hiring managers. SHL is here to lead you through this challenge with our state-of-the-art technology-based English language assessment sites.

SHL’s new language assessment addition is an intuitive online spoken English proficiency test that uses AI and advanced voice recognition to score pronunciation, fluency, active listening, grammar, vocabulary, and spoken language comprehension. It is complemented by a written English test that uses natural language processing (NLP) and AI to provide scores and feedback on content quality, email etiquette, grammar, and typographical errors. Evaluating language proficiency with technically robust assessments like these can significantly improve your company’s recruitment efficiency and allow you to remain competitive.

Administrative Skills

While administrative skills are certainly important in administrative roles like office managers and receptionists, they are also very helpful skills in nearly any job – and they always will be. Administrative skills are important because they keep business processes running smoothly. Any successful, efficient organization needs both administrative professionals and individual contributors who have strong skills in this area.

Although technology will substitute or supplant some functions that workers in clerical and administrative support occupations perform, other administrative skills will become increasingly more important as the landscape of work evolves. These skills include writing business correspondence and reports, developing and maintaining electronic filing systems, managing projects, conducting research, creating and maintaining databases, scheduling for managers and executives, maintaining calendar systems for individuals and departments, maintaining inventories, working with vendors, responding to inquiries of all types, creating spreadsheets, planning and coordinating meetings and more.

To ensure that your business processes are efficient and effective, ensure that these important administrative skills are assessed when evaluating your candidates for employment. SHL’s engaging and newly enhanced suite of skills tests can help you to sort out those candidates who have what it takes to keep your business running smoothly.

To ensure that your business processes are efficient and effective, ensure that administrative skills are assessed when evaluating your candidates for employment.

Readiness vs Potential

In today’s landscape, consider the organizational lifespan of your employees — Consider the qualities of readiness versus potential for additional responsibility. Readiness is focused on the near-term – tomorrow, next week, next month. Potential, however, is future-focused, usually several years ahead, and can even span an individual’s entire career.

Decisions to promote employees are typically based on performance evaluations and supervisor’s ratings of who may have the potential to successfully lead others. Unfortunately, this method mistakenly equates high performance with high potential. Rather than basing these critical decisions on an individual’s readiness, identifying high potential employees should be based on science and analytics.

A review of scientific research on predictors of job performance to the qualities in highest demand for the 21st-century workforce, published in the Harvard Business Review (Chamorro-Premuzic, Adler & Kaiser, 2017) identified three general markers of high potential – cognitive ability, emotional intelligence, and drive. All these critical predictors can be accurately assessed through psychometric tests such as Verify Interactive and the Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ).

What the world will look like post the lockdown is uncertain. One thing that is certain however, is that successful organizations will need to regroup, redouble their efforts, and become ready for the new world we will find ourselves in.

Identifying the critical technology, language and administrative skills needed to drive your business forward as well as the candidates with these valuable skills will be a key to success.

Contact us to learn more about how SHL can help you grow your candidate pool with the best talent, and hire them in less time!

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Fred M. Rafilson

Dr. Rafilson, Chief I/O Psychologist at Aspiring Minds, has developed and implemented assessment processes for hundreds of companies and federal, state, and county/municipal agencies. He led the research and development as well as the marketing efforts for several employment-test publishing and human resources consulting companies and as authored and published over 30 employment exams that assess cognitive abilities and personality traits. He also served as an expert for employment litigation cases and worked closely with agencies under DOJ consent decrees. Dr. Rafilson has a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and has led personnel selection consulting projects for 30+ years.

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