What are skills tests?
Assessments which assess hard skills, a specific ability, or job knowledge. Other psychometrics typically assess softer skills.
Our skills tests intro
These range from assessing a general skill to a very specific skill.
Some other key skill assessment characteristics include the following:
– ask a variety of questions in different formats to see how candidates perform on-the-job tasks.
– include questions that are capable of being answered by someone already doing the job.
– are tailored to relate to the responsibilities of an open position.
– often include immersive experiences, like coding challenges or job simulations.- mimic how a candidate performs when faced with a real-life scenario.
Popular skills test formats
Excel skill tests
coding skill tests
typing skill tests
task-related, e.g. “Create a Powerpoint Slide that has a video embedded in the presentation”.
What are the main types of skill test?
- Hard skills are similar to school assessments and educational qualifications. These are specific capabilities to perform a particular job; practical skills that can be learned through study and practice and therefore depend on training and work experience. Sometimes they are simply referred to as ability, under the label of “specific abilities” to differentiate from general mental ability (“g”)
- specific abilities are similar to psychometric aptitude tests, such as numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning.
- job knowledge skills tests are based on customised testing. In other words, bespoke assessment for the specific role. The skills test assessment process is similar to that of Situational Judgement Test design, and work sample designs.
How do skill tests differ from other psychometrics?
Other psychometrics tend to focus on soft skills and such psychometrics are generic – not job-specific.
These can also be called:
– transversal skills
– 21st century skills
How well do hard skills predict job performance?
- Hard skills can be learned much more easily than soft skills.
- The Validity of hard skills assessments depend on job-similarity. The higher the similarity between the hard skills test and the role, then the higher the validity of those hard skills assessments.
- Job knowledge has a high correlation with job performance. However, job knowledge depends on work experience and intelligence.
What’s the incremental validity of skills tests?
So, do hard skills provide incremental predictive validity to job performance after controlling for g? Answering this requires differentiating between the different types of skills tests outlined above: hard skills assessments, specific abilities tests and job knowledge tests.
For instance, Schmidt and Hunter in their famous meta-analyses (recently replicated with modern data by Salgado and Moscoso), regarded work samples (which assess job-knowledge) as the stronger predictor of job performance. Contrarily, Ree et al., 1994 showed that specific abilities do not add predictive validity beyond g with respect to job performance – although that hypothesis has been strongly contested, a lot is about what is your criterion variable and how you measure it.
Different types of job-knowledge assessments?
The different types of job-knowledge assessment can be classified into a category of fidelity, i.e. how close they are with respect to the characteristics of the role.