During a recruitment process, companies use several innovative approaches to evaluate candidates’ profiles, including the skills test.

This approach involves giving candidates specific exams to assess their skills and ability to solve real problems. It is considered better than CV analysis because it provides a clearer picture of the applicant’s abilities.

But in practice, which of these approaches is best for determining a job-seeker’s background and skills during recruitment? This article answers the question by studying the skills test and CV analysis.

Presentation of the Different Approaches

To better appreciate the relevance of each recruitment approach, it would be helpful to first look at their definition and how they work.

The Implementation of the Skills Test

A skills test is an exam that assesses a candidate’s soft skills and practical skills during recruitment. This tool helps recruiters determine the candidate’s abilities and suitability for the position.

The skills test is usually conducted by the recruiter themselves based on an assessment that is identical for all candidates. This feature ensures the approach’s impartiality and allows the employer to see beyond the positive points listed by the applicant on their CV.

The use of this recruitment method is justified by its many advantages. On one hand, the skills test offers each candidate the opportunity to stand out and show that they have the necessary skills for the desired position.

On the other hand, it is a good way to prevent the consequences of a bad hire. For example, through the skills test, issues of suitability for the position, the environment, and the work pace are easily addressed and resolved. This allows HR managers to reduce the company’s turnover.

CV Analysis

Analysing a candidate’s CV involves noting, through their education and professional experiences, certain points that allow their skills to be assessed. For better recruitment processes, the criteria must be the same for all applicants.

As with the skills test, most recruiters look for highlighted experience and the presence of soft skills compatible with the position to be filled.

They also try, based on the duration of each position listed on the CV, to determine the candidate’s career path.

CV analysis can also cover criteria such as clarity, form, attention to detail, presentation, and the presence of transferable skills (understanding English, mastering specific software, etc.).

These indicators provide information about the applicant’s personality, skills, way of thinking, and potential for the job.

The Advantages and Limitations of the Skills Test

Many companies have adopted skills assessments because they use this approach to address the limitations of other evaluation tests. To better understand their choice, one must look at the advantages and disadvantages of this method.

The Advantages of the Skills Test

As mentioned, evaluating skills during recruitment offers many benefits. It allows:

  • Objective selection of candidates;
  • Filtering the number of people to interview;
  • Increasing employee retention rates;
  • Revealing the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses;
  • Identifying potential gaps to be filled after hiring;
  • Optimising skill development after hiring;
  • Improving the company’s recruitment KPIs.

The Limitations of the Skills Test

However, the use of the skills test has some limitations. Examining the results obtained by companies, the following shortcomings came to light:

  • Evaluating each soft skill relevant for the role can extend the length of the interview process;
  • The skill’s matrix is often incomplete: it is based only on visible skills, which doesn’t take into consideration additional skills acquired through the candidate’s experiences;
  • Scores categorise the candidate: giving a grade to test personality and abilities puts the applicant in a box created from biased cognitive aspects.

The Advantages and Limitations of CV Analysis

The reason CV analysis has been a part of our recruitment processes for so long is because of its undeniable advantages. However, over time, Recruitment managers have found the relevance of the CV to be reduced, thanks to the discovery of its limitations.

The Advantages of the CV

CV analysis allows for quick collection of information about the candidate’s professional experience, qualifications and skills, career history, and transferable skills.

Unlike the skills test, CV analysis provides all this information in a relatively short time. Recruiters therefore deploy fewer resources to screen applications and organise interviews.

Furthermore, while personality traits may not be evident on the CV, it is still possible to use tricks to determine some characteristics of the candidate and the suitability of their skills with the job requirements.

For example, the presentation of the CV and the transparency in conveying information indicate the applicant’s thoroughness and seriousness.

The Limitations of the CV

The first limitation of using the CV lies in the fact that there are several types of curriculum vitae. For example, when faced with a type of CV that does not highlight skills, the recruiter may misjudge the candidate who, far from being incompetent, may have simply opted to not include skills.

On the other hand, unconscious biases are possible, leading to discriminatory or unfair choices. Also, only superficial information is found on the CV.

It becomes difficult for the recruiter to understand the context in which the applicant developed the skills they wish to showcase. That is why some experts believe that CV analysis is not a reliable sourcing tool.

Finally, there are, of course, concerns about exaggerated abilities or education. It cannot be denied that some candidates do include skills they don’t possess, or cite non-existent references.

Faced with these difficulties, recruitment 2.0, including evaluations such as the skills test, proves to be a better alternative. It involves giving direct tests to the candidate to assess the accuracy of their CV content and evaluate their abilities.

Skills Test or CV: Which is the Best Approach?

Recruitment is a strategic management task. It has many implications for an organisation because it impacts productivity, the work environment, reputation, talent management, and many other aspects.

Today, global companies must choose the best approach to optimise their recruitment processes. However, given the advantages and limitations of the skills test and CV, it is clear that neither approach is superior to the other.

Recruiters should choose the method that best fits their recruitment strategy. To do this, they must define objectives, KPIs, and recruitment criteria.

Furthermore, it is recommended to use both approaches in tandem for greater effectiveness and to mitigate the limitations of CV analysis through the advantages of the skills test.