Do you think requiring a skills assessment test impedes your organization's ability to attract talent?

1.3k views8 Comments

President and National Managing Principal in Software, 501 - 1,000 employees
We do have a couple assessment practices like our penetration testing, which some call ethical hacking. We have a team of people that break into systems, and they’re authorized to do so of course. But to apply for that job, they have to go through a capture the flag exercise. We have a simulated environment for them to try to break into. The problem that we've had is that some candidates don't want to do it. They want to spend a minimal amount of time applying before they get their job offer.

It's easy to say, "Well, they weren't really interested in the job in the first place if they didn't want to go through that exercise." But at the same time, it's such a competitive market. There are other companies that are hiring them sight unseen, so to speak.
2 2 Replies
Director of IT in Software, 201 - 500 employees

This is a great practice but I see this being successful only in two instances. You either pay candidates way above the industry average so they are highly motivated to go to all the interview hops or your company reputation is so great that they want to absolutely work for you and will do everything necessary.

President and National Managing Principal in Software, 501 - 1,000 employees

Fair - I think the third category would be (and what our team asserts) that there are is a segment of habitual learners that build these kind of test environments on their own to hone their skills and thus appreciate the challenge.  Anecdotally, I'll tell you this team has the lowest turnover in the entire professional services practice.

Director SASE Customer & Partner Success in Software, 10,001+ employees
We are switching to a performance-based hiring practice where hiring managers need to come up with a way to assess their candidate. I don't have any engineers or technical support folks on my team; they’re customer engagement managers and route-to-market folks. So I'm being told that I need to come up with something like a mini project—something that doesn't take more than three or four hours of investment for that person—to bring to the table. It puts a lot more work on the hiring manager to figure out what a fair assessment of that person's future capabilities would be.

I'm sure we'll find people who will say, "You know what, I don't want to do that." But from my experience, I went through eight interviews because I really wanted the job. I told my husband, "I don't know if this will work out or not, but I'm going to keep at it. Hopefully, I'll be the last man standing." I want candidates that have that same desire to work for us. If not, maybe they're not a good fit for our company's culture.
2 3 Replies
Senior Director, Defense Programs in Software, 5,001 - 10,000 employees

That’s interesting. Do you 1099 them a flat rate on the work or do you pay them hourly?

Director SASE Customer & Partner Success in Software, 10,001+ employees

You don’t pay them at all, this is part of the interview process.

Senior Director, Defense Programs in Software, 5,001 - 10,000 employees

You’re giving someone several hours of work to do. If you don’t hire them, you should ask for an invoice.

Otherwise, respect their time better.

VP of IT in Media, 10,001+ employees
No, candidates should be able to stand behind their purported skills, however selecting solely on assessments is narrow minded and promotes a scenario where the assessment is the end goal, reducing emphasis on other skills and overall effectiveness.

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