5 Ways To Efficiently Assess Your Potential Employees


24 Nov, 2022

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Finding the right candidates for one’s company is like searching for a pin in a pile of hay. The more you search, the more difficult it gets. And when it comes to hiring for a demanding role like that of an executive, stakes get higher. Your search narrows down to selective people that you have to assess based on their expertise, soft skills, instructiveness and more.

But no one can judge a person within a few minutes of interviewing. An applicant might seem to possess everything you desire in an employee, but sometimes things don’t work out the way you expected. Qualities like willingness to keep up with responsibilities, cordial behavior and great problem-solving skills would be what you are looking for in an employee.

It is also possible that some applicants possess the caliber of undertaking the role, but don’t have the requisite knowledge. That doesn’t mean you have to end up dismissing them. You may want to plan training on the job to fill their knowledge or skill gaps.

Like employees, corporations too must adapt quickly to a changing environment. To ensure a smooth transition, your HR or the talent acquisition team should understand exactly what skills the company’s employees already have and what competencies they lack.

Here are a few methods for assessing employee skills and competencies as an HR manager or business owner.

1. Test their knowledge & skills

This is a very classic and efficient approach to measuring technical and theoretical knowledge. These may include case studies and asking the candidates for devising the most practical solution. But as the situations in the case studies are made up, you cannot tell if they would be competent in real-life situations too.

Use this method to gain a fair understanding of the candidate’s ability to answer, their confidence, and how they articulate the solution. This gives you an insight into their soft skills and personality traits.

2. Use the self-assessment technique

You can give your workers a questionnaire which they should fill up by themselves. On the one hand, it indicates not just their ability, but also their self-perception. It puts them in a position to critically analyze their talents along with their flaws.

On the other hand, you might not gain from such a subjective point of view in any way: if their opinion is too optimistic or too pessimistic. Thus, this strategy should be used in tandem with some other, more objective one.

3. Explore their social media profile

You are no stalker and trying to glean from a candidate’s social media profiles isn’t one of your pastimes. It’s a part of the job and it’s interesting how useful information you can find from their social profiles. If you notice a candidate who is active and honest on social media, you can assess their communication skills and attitude toward others. It would also indicate whether they can be a part of your workforce management.

But the challenge here is that not everyone uses social media. Some people don’t post as frequently as others. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t fit in with the culture of your company. Remember this when you see someone who doesn’t have a bad reputation on social media but isn’t particularly impressive either.

4. Look beyond the interview room

Your applicants are prepared to behave in a certain way when they are being interviewed. Most of the time, their body language, responses & behaviour are thought-out or rehearsed. This doesn’t reveal their personality traits. Try to find out how they will interact with others outside of the interview setting. If you’re interviewing multiple applicants on the same day and they’re all waiting in the same room, send out a person to monitor how they interact with one another. If you observe that they are really different, it suggests that the candidate put on a spectacular show.

The disadvantage of this strategy is that it is not always feasible. You can’t observe how applicants perform in a waiting area if you’re interviewing them through Skype, for example. In such situations, utilize social media to assess how they organically interact with others.

5. Read between the lines

If you are a recruiter, you must think from a psychologist’s point of view. Everything matters – their body language, choice of words, their reactions, etc. Pose questions that will allow you to scratch beneath the surface. “How do you generally spend your weekends?” If they say they attend online classes, it shows they are learning. If they say they go to the spa frequently, it suggests they put self-care on priority. Cover all bases so you don’t only focus on job-specific talents.

Even the most trivial things like a handshake, eye contact and voice regulation play a part in determining their competency. You cannot learn how to hire the best applicants in a single day. It’s a procedure. Even the best talent acquisition services make mistakes from time to time. However, being more conscious of the entire process and depending on the proper approaches is extremely beneficial.

6. Ask the trickiest question you can

“What things would you like to improve if you were the CEO of this company?”

Sometimes, the most baffling questions give you an insight into the candidate’s soft talents. First and foremost, you notice how effectively they manage difficult circumstances. They must think rapidly and explain their views as clearly as possible. Furthermore, the response demonstrates how well they researched your organisation. If they know enough about your present initiatives, it implies they have done their study and have a genuine desire to work with you.

This technique has only one disadvantage. It ends up confusing the majority of the candidates. Only a few can provide excellent responses. Even if they do not perform as per your expectations, they can still be a part of your team. So don’t rely solely on this approach of evaluation, especially when the role is not of a much challenging nature. It would be irrelevant in that case.

Final Thoughts

It is up to each organisation to determine which strategy is best for them. Normally, a handful of these would make an excellent set. Depending on the ability you want to test and the circumstances (time, money, etc.), you can use one of the approaches listed above or improve your current strategy of hiring. If you think some candidates are real gems but they could still learn, training on the job would be the right move.