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The Global M blog

Assessing Candidates’ Tech Skills: WHY it’s challenging and HOW to do it best?

by | Nov 6, 2023 | HR & Talent Acquisition

Assessing candidates’ technical skills can be difficult due to various reasons, including the rapid evolution of technology and the need for precise evaluation. As many companies keep actively hiring it is important for recruitment teams to understand why it is one of the most challenging aspects of the hiring process and what is the most effective way to assess candidate tech skills. 

Let’s start with WHY’S!

Rapid Technological Advancements

The tech industry experiences rapid changes and advancements in programming languages, frameworks, tools, and methodologies. Assessing candidates for their knowledge of the latest technologies can be challenging, as the skill requirements for tech positions constantly evolve.

Skill Shortages

Many tech positions have a high demand for specific skills, resulting in skill shortages in certain areas. Recruiters often struggle to find candidates with the exact skill set required for a job, making assessment even more critical.

Credential Inflation

The proliferation of online courses and certifications has made it challenging to determine the true proficiency of candidates. Many candidates hold various certificates, but not all certifications are of equal quality or relevance to the job.

Diversity of Tech Roles

The tech industry encompasses a wide range of roles, from software developers to data scientists, UX designers, and more. Each role may require different skill sets, and assessing candidates for these diverse roles can be complex.

Overcoming Bias

Unconscious bias can affect the assessment of candidates’ technical skills. Recruiters and hiring managers may have biases related to gender, race, or other factors that can influence their evaluation of candidates.

Effective Assessment Methods

Identifying the most effective assessment methods that accurately reflect a candidate’s capabilities is a constant challenge. Traditional methods like resumes and interviews may not provide a complete picture of a candidate’s technical skills.

HOW to assess candidates’ tech skills

Given the challenges in assessing candidates’ tech skills, it’s important to use a combination of methods to ensure a thorough evaluation. Here are some of the best ways for recruiters and companies to assess candidates’ tech skills effectively.

Tailored Technical Interviews

  • Customize interviews to match job requirements with structured questions and coding challenges.
  • Ensure alignment with the specific skills needed for the role.

Practical Challenges and Simulations

  • Incorporate real-world challenges, coding assessments, and work simulations.
  • Assess a candidate’s ability to apply technical skills in practical scenarios.

Soft Skills and Behavioral Assessment

  • Include behavioral interviews to evaluate communication, teamwork, and problem-solving abilities.
  • Balance technical proficiency with interpersonal skills.

Portfolio and Project Evaluation

  • Encourage candidates to showcase portfolios, personal projects, or open-source contributions.
  • Assess the quality and relevance of their technical achievements.

Continuous Learning and Adaptability

  • Recognize candidates’ commitment to ongoing learning and adaptability to industry changes.
  • Evaluate their growth mindset and willingness to acquire new skills.

Diversity and Inclusion Practices

  • Mitigate bias through structured interviews and diverse interview panels.
  • Promote diversity and inclusion in tech hiring for a more inclusive and innovative workplace.

In conclusion, assessing candidates’ technical skills in the dynamic tech landscape is a multifaceted challenge. Recruiters and companies should tailor interviews, incorporate practical assessments, evaluate soft skills, review portfolios, emphasize continuous learning, and promote diversity. These approaches form a comprehensive strategy for effective tech talent assessment, leading to better hires and successful teams.