TALENT IN SCOTLAND Blog
Measuring Eligibility of a Job Candidate
28 Sep 2016
In previous blogs we discussed why assessments should focus on factors related to success for specific jobs and not include irrelevant factors.
In addition, you should consider if the assessment or assessments cover all the important factors that relate to specific job success.If all the important factors are not included and formulated, there will be significant gaps that reduce the accuracy and usefulness of the assessment.
For example, if a person’s typing speed or writing skills are important for a job and you fail to measure them, you will have a significant gap that prevents you from accurately predicting job success.
There are two types of factors that need to be assessed: eligibility and suitability.
Eligibility relates to the individual’s previous experience, educational qualifications and various skills or abilities necessary to perform in the job. Suitability relates to behavioral issues such as preferences, tendencies, attitudes and behavioral competencies necessary to perform well in the job.Both are very important for nearly every job.
Eligibility tends to be somewhat more important for technical jobs and suitability tends to be somewhat more important for jobs that require more people skills such as customer service or sales.
Many organisations assess eligibility factors by setting minimum requirements. This only helps to eliminate the people who don’t meet the requirements, but it does nothing to determine which of the applicants are BEST qualified. By quantifying each candidate’s level of eligibility you can identify the candidates who are most eligible.
For some jobs you also may wish to use specific tests related to eligibility.
For example, you may wish to determine the person’s language ability, numerical reasoning, typing speed or software skills. Such assessments should usually take place later in the recruitment process because they are more expensive to administer and often more time-consuming to complete. However, if the assessment is fairly short and not very costly to administer, then it can be given earlier in the process.
Keep in mind that it is better to avoid eligibility testing or eligibility factors that can reasonably be learned from training. For example, if you need someone to use a specific software package that only takes a short time to learn, it is better not to use that as an eligibility factor or eligibility test.
To assess eligibility, first determine what the eligibility factors are:
- What education is required?
- What previous experience is required?
- What skills are required that are not assured by education or experience?
Make a list of all the core factors. Avoid long lists of small details. Five to ten factors are usually best.
Then weight each factor according to how important it is in relation to the other factors. Review each factor and analyze what it means when the applicant has different levels of that factor.
What is the ideal level of each factor? What is the minimum level of each factor for which candidates should be rejected even if they are perfect in each of the other factors? For each level of each factor that is less than ideal, indicate the number of points you would subtract from one hundred.In doing this exercise before showing the other stakeholders (recommended to avoid lengthy discussions) you will find that there are many things that were previously either vague or not considered in your selection process. After discussion, these things can become clarified and you will have real alignment with the other stakeholders, as well as an effective means of evaluating eligibility.
Software is readily available to make the process of weighting and scoring eligibility factors easy. You can even automate your recruitment process by asking an online targeted question for each factor. The online questionnaire can score the result and you can immediately see the eligibility score. This also provides an extra advantage of being able to quickly identify the best talent.