Young Job Seekers View Tough Skills Tests Favorably

BY Kathy Crosett
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Last week, we posted anecdotal evidence about Gen Z job applicants and how they prefer an informal interview structure when they’re determining which company they want to work for. That evidence may be true to some extent, but young job seekers also favor tough skills tests. They like to strut their stuff. New research shows that applicants make judgments about future employers based on the robustness of their hiring process.

Tough Skills Tests

Glassdoor has published findings on research it conducted during the past two years. The job-​review company was particularly interested in learning about candidates’ reactions to the interview process at hiring companies.

When younger candidates, those ages 25 to 34, are searching for a professional or managerial job, they are thinking about the long-​term future. In today’s economic environment, they can afford to be picky. Young job seekers want to sign on with a company that will develop their skills and allow them to take their career to the next level. How do they know if this development will happen at a specific company?

Applicants base their decision partly on what they encounter during the hiring process. Specifically, “having candidates complete skills tests as part of the vetting process raised acceptance rates by 2.5 percentage points. In contrast, taking a personality quiz as part of an interview lowered acceptance rates by 2.3 percentage points,” says Kathryn Dill in a Wall Street Journal article that analyzed the Glassdoor study.

Like many managers, you want to be sure you’re extending offers to the right candidates. And that means you’ll ask applicants to take a sales assessment test. Be upfront about what you’re looking for and how you will use the data. The explanation might put your organization in a more favorable light.

Rejection Rates

As a hiring manager, you should know that the overall rejection rate is about 17.3% for each job offer. If you’re trying to hire a manager or an executive, you can expect a nearly 20% rejection rate. Every interaction a candidate has with your organization can influence the decision they make with respect to accepting your job offer.

That means you should abstain from asking ‘far-​out’ interview questions. Candidates expect to be asked about how they might have failed in the past or how long it took them to close a difficult sale. They don’t expect to be asked how many days the sun was shining last year. Research shows this kind of questioning could lead to a candidate deciding they don’t want to work for you.

Keep in mind that our Voice of the Sales Rep survey indicates that 26% of sales professionals say their organization would be more successful if co-​workers were more proficient at their jobs. You can get ahead of this issue by using rigorous assessment tests to show you are hiring the right people. Remember to describe your ongoing training and coaching programs during the interviews to increase the chances of getting a positive response to the offers you make.