As everyone knows, this is a fast-moving, competitive IT market. There is a shortage of IT talent, and IT candidates are changing jobs more frequently because companies are getting more aggressive in attracting top talent. (Learn more about the tempo of hiring and how to stay on top of the game in one of my previous posts.)
Although there is a shortage and the job tempo is moving quickly, it doesn’t mean companies should cut corners in adding new IT talent.
I believe many IT candidates are hired because of their communications skills and culture fit. It is equally important to know a candidate’s technical background so you can make the best hiring decision. We have started using IBM Kenexa’s Prove-it! testing tools, and have found our clients appreciate the additional technical detail about candidates.
It’s important to know the level of Java, .Net or SQL skill a candidate has when comparing one candidate to another. We test candidates on hundreds of different versions of software, databases and networking skills. That information, combined with notes about why the candidate is thinking about a job change, and what the candidate hopes to accomplish in the future, help companies make the right decision.
Making the wrong IT hiring decision is costly. IT candidate’s compensation is skyrocketing, but the cost of hiring, training and then losing a candidate for any reason is even more costly. Screening resumes and conducting interviews are helpful, but technical tests can help companies select brilliant candidates.
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Technical tests like Prove-It! can be completed by candidates online in 30-45 minutes, so they do not slow the hiring process. We even have candidates asking to take tests so they can better market their skills.
Technical tests are especially helpful for small- to medium-sized companies. HR groups in these companies are smaller, yet they receive more and more resumes from their advertising efforts. Every hiring decision is tied more closely to profitability, and technical tests can cut the time spent interviewing and lead to hiring better employees.
The best way to determine if an IT candidate is a fit for a company will always be in person interviews, but technical tests can help make clearer hiring decisions.