When hiring new employees or managing existing ones, when you ask yourself "do they have what it takes?", what are you hoping to find?
A culture fit? It's beneficial. Applicable job experience / education? Absolutely. A great personality? Perhaps, but some aspects of a job can’t rely on disposition alone. What about the right skills? Skills aren’t just the words filling the last section of a resume in hopes of meeting an algorithm.
A combination (or lack of) skills can make or break an employee's success in a position.
Remember when you got your driver’s license? Imagine taking the driving test without having mastered a few basic driving skills. Being unable to park your car upon returning to the DMV would not only have been an embarrassment, but a waste of everyone’s time.
Despite their inevitable existence, you don’t like bad drivers on the road, right? Similarly, why would you want employees that aren’t up to par? Assessing both prospective and current employee skills reaps many benefits. Why utilize skills testing?
- As a means of weeding out candidates / choosing between candidates for a position
- Whittle down your candidate list seamlessly with a skills assessment. This not only finds you the ideal match, but will save you so much time on reading resumes and holding phone screens.
- To identify training needs within your organization
- Perhaps you've implemented new processes and not everyone is up to speed, or maybe a team is underperforming and some remedial training is needed.
- As a roadmap toward obtaining a promotion
- Will learning new skills enable an employee for team lead status, a new job role or a promotion?
- To encourage friendly competition
- After a skills assessment, take the skills that need to be acquired/improved upon and host an internal competition for eLearning course completion for a small incentive.
- To ensure high performance
- more efficient production, faster ticket resolution, etc.
- As a means of compliance management
- think about the skills required to be certified in XYZ for your organization
- To encourage and ensure safety
- back to the driving analogy, if your organization has safety related procedures, do you want someone running the show by just winging it?
Don't just go off of the job description alone, but really get into the details of what boxes need to be checked. An organized process now will prevent a headache later. Make your list, assess your employees and measure your results.
And if you didn't master the basic skills, then stay off the road. 😉