5 talent assessment tips for effective recruiting for your business - The UpStream

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5 talent assessment tips for effective recruiting for your business

posted Friday Oct 27, 2023 by Noel Arcallana

Businesses with talent density tend to attract and retain the best employees. The more talent your business has, the more opportunities you create for innovation and creativity, which in turn, contributes to growing your business.

However, before you can attract the right talent, you need an assessment method to help you determine which candidate or employee will fit well into what role. Here are some assessment tips for effective recruiting.

Ask for work samples

Asking candidates to provide work samples is an excellent way to determine their suitability for a role. For example, if you need an SEO expert, ask candidates to conduct a simple keyword-related online search for a topic. You can also ask someone applying for a software developer position to create a short piece of code. It's even better if they can do so in your presence. This way, you can assess their methodology and processes while they work. Of course, this option might not always work, as some tasks might need more than one sitting to complete. For more intensive tasks, you can ask a candidate to provide an already-created sample. For example, someone applying for a video editing position can provide an already-edited video as a work sample. But make sure that work samples are not too demanding, as candidates may think you're making them work for free.

Create job simulations

Think of a job simulation as an on-the-spot assessment of a candidate's talent and skill set. A classic example is asking someone applying for a sales position to sell you something on the spot. That is an excellent way to evaluate their ability to think on their feet while assessing their sales skills. You can also ask a customer representative agent to handle a disgruntled customer over the phone, so feel free to consider this. A job simulation creates a real-life situation for the candidate to handle in line with what job hurdles you expect them to face when given the nod.

Conduct a talent and interest test

As mentioned, it's not enough to recruit talent; you need to match the right skills to the right tasks. This is why a talent test is important when assessing a candidate's suitability for your business. This form of assessment covers several areas - cognitive ability, personality, skills, motivation level, versatility, job aptitude, and interests. You don't want to limit your assessment to just one area of a candidate's skill set. Instead, create a comprehensive system to help you understand the scope of a candidate's strengths. Various types of tests are available to use, depending on what you're looking for. For example, you can learn more about candidates' interests and how they fit in your business by showing them how and where to take the Strong Interest Inventory test.

Arrange a job trial

Consider a job trial as an extended form of creating job simulations. Here, instead of the candidate taking on a task during the interview, you allow them to 'work' in their roles for a day or two. This tried-and-tested option works best if you're trying to assess several areas of a candidate's suitability for the position, so keep this in mind. Such trials also allow you to judge how best a person fits into your existing team. You can arrange a job trial for almost any task, but it's more suitable for hands-on activities like operating a machine or working as a supervisor.

This assessment option has its limitations, though. It can take a few hours from your hiring team's working day as they have to closely monitor candidates to evaluate them. Some job trials can even put off potential candidates and must be considered when using this option.

Update your interview style

"Where do you see yourself in the next few years?" "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" "How would you describe yourself?" These are some of the most common interview questions. However, these only ferret out generic answers without letting you know important things about the candidate. Most candidates already practice textbook answers to such questions before attending interviews. Update your interview style by asking more unconventional questions suited to the position in question. Your questions should give you some insight into the candidate's thought process and reasoning. Also, structure your interviews to get the most from them. You aim to access each candidate's qualifications, experiences, skills, and talent relevant to the role.


In conclusion, recruiting the best talents that are a right fit for your growing business doesn't have to have the same tired language and traditional requirements. There is a lot of room for creative hiring methods. What is your best practice? What recruiting and skills assessment techniques, conventional or otherwise, worked for you? Let us know in the comments section.


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