The art of accurate assessment

May 05 2014, 21:19 IST
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SummaryUsing the right test to identify the right candidate can help companies reduce the time and money spent on training them post-recruitment

A Nasscom-McKinsey report states that only about 20% of Indian graduates are employable today, posing a grave challenge for companies and graduates to find the right fit. Even though the remaining 80% might hold the relevant degree and qualifications, they are still not considered well enough for recruitment. Why? What exactly is lacking in the majority of our graduates that makes them unfit for the jobs they aspire for? Seeking answers to this question has led the HR industry, corporates and the graduate community to rethink the entire eligibility and employment process.

Until a few years ago, candidates had to go through an assessment process, testing only their knowledge to rate them suitable or unsuitable for a particular job. But, today, the dynamics of the business world are changing and job roles are taking on a global significance. So, job aspirants need to be equipped with more than just an educational degree. They have to possess the right skills and competencies required to fit into the changing landscape. Corporates increasingly seek candidates with soft skills related to team building, communication and analytical abilities, relationship management, business development and problem solving. In such a challenging and competitive environment, the need for skill-based assessment is scaling up. Using customised assessment programmes to determine the skill-based employability of potential recruits is gaining prominence in the hiring process across sectors.

The assessment of knowledge versus skill is similar to the case of practical versus theoretical examination. Theoretical exams test the amount of information a student has, but practical exams determine whether the student knows what skills to apply, and where and how to apply them in practical situations. In some cases, skill-based assessments are sophisticated enough to evaluate the analytical thought process of a candidate in approaching the solution to a particular problem. For example, the business case study simulator can assess case analysis and decision-making skills in a candidate, which culminate as an overall measure of business acumen.

Job aspirants need to be prepared for the changing landscape of hiring assessments. They should take up practice tests where their knowledge is put to use. For programming-based roles, one needs to be more hands-on in solving problems. Concepts and their application should form an integral part of the preparation regime. There are plenty of practice tools available online.

There are few assessment companies that provide skill assessment modules that test a candidates ability to apply the knowledge that

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