by Michelle Yungblut - Chief Knowledge Officer
Training School to Help Gauge Strengths, Weaknesses and Training Roadmap for Employees
Hiring is tough! Not only is it hard to find qualified candidates, it’s even harder to know if your top candidates are truly as great as they seem. Every time I have an open position to fill, I compare it with gambling.
It’s always a dicey venture because there are so many unknowns when all you have to assess the person is a resume, interview(s), and a couple of referrals. There are a lot of tips and tricks to help you conduct a better search and interview — but even with information, hiring is challenging because potential candidates usually just tell you what you want to hear.
It’s not until they have been with you for a week or two that you realize what type of employee they are going to be. Did the charming personality you saw in
the interview go out the window when they were faced with their first difficult customer? When they deleted 100 rows of Excel data did you realize their ‘advanced’ level of MS Excel skills was more like ‘non-existent’? Did their ‘excellent communication skills’ only exist if they were updating their social media sites?
Many larger companies use pre-hire assessment tests to help vet candidates. The tests can provide more insight into the candidate’s personality (ie: DISC), work habits (ie: Culture Index), communication style (Criteria), and skill set. As a hiring manager, I have used some of these personality tests and they were great, but what I quickly realized is, I needed to vet their computer skills more than their personality.
With the vast amounts of data that the training department works with, we need our employees to be tech savvy so that they can use our databases to their fullest extent.
We don’t have time to extensively train our new hires, so it is important that they come to us with a minimum skill level. Therefore, we are now on the hunt for a comprehensive technology skills assessment that will help us know what depth of knowledge candidates have regarding desktop software and databases.
In talking to our members about their hiring pains, we quickly realized that they too have a need to better assess their candidate’s technical skills. These skills tests are not necessarily needed to prevent hiring someone, but to guide the manager on what skills the person is bringing to the company, and/or what areas the company may need to put training resources behind.
ESA’s National Training School has helped companies train their new employees for over 30 years. This equates to more than 70,000 technicians being rained and tested. Because of this vast experience, we have access to over 600 technical exam questions across 6 different disciplines (intrusion, fire, video, access control, sales and networking).
We have now compiled these test questions into 30-minute online assessments tests that installation technician candidates can take to gauge their knowledge of basic math, customer service, electrical fundamentals, job safety, and life safety devices. We can also pull questions that are weighted more
towards fire, intrusion, networking, access, or video systems.
At the completion of tests, managers will receive an outcome report that will weigh the test takers in each area as beginner, intermediate or advanced. These reports will provide the manager with the areas of strengths and weaknesses so that they are prepared to assign the employee training or tasks that match their skill level.
The assessments can also be helpful to the new hires, as it can give them insight into the skills they will need for the job — plus, they will get a better idea of what their training roadmap should look like. To learn more about ESA’s new pre-hire exams stay subscribed to ESA Integrator, our weekly e-newsletter, here we will announce the early 2019 launch: ESAweb.org/subscribe