How To Test Skills

While you are likely aware of the growing manufacturing skills gap and shortage of qualified workers, you may not realize just how severe the problem has become. According to The Manufacturing Institute, the U.S. could experience roughly 2.1 million unfilled manufacturing jobs by 2030.

Naturally, this manufacturing skills shortage will hurt individual companies and the US economy. Cumulatively, these unfilled positions are expected to translate to as much as $1 trillion in lost revenue. Overcoming this long-term worker shortage issue will require a concerted effort from independent companies and government agencies.

However, there are steps that you can implement immediately to fill gaps within your organization. The answer lies in the use of skills tests. You can use these assessments during the hiring phase. They will help you to identify candidates with top manufacturing skills. The skills test can also be implemented in your existing training and development protocols so that you can effectively upskill existing staff.

We have compiled a list of some of the best assessments for the manufacturing industry with that in mind.

Assembly Skills

The Assembly Skills assessment is one of the most basic skills tests for the manufacturing sector. This 20-question skills test consists of simple select style questions only. The purpose of the assessment is to measure a candidate’s ability to efficiently identify and assemble parts needed to complete a unit.

Test takers will be exposed to drawings of 30 different unassembled objects during the assessment. When filling an assembly or production line position, you should consider administering this assessment. This skills test can also gauge an individual’s spatial aptitude, a vital skill for manufacturing staff.

By incorporating this assessment into your hiring practices, you can rapidly identify quality candidates. This integration will allow your HR department to hire more efficiently and avoid selecting unqualified individuals.

Mechanical Aptitude

Whereas the Assembly Skills assessment addresses the basics of production, the Mechanical Aptitude skills test covers more complex principles. During the examination, candidates will face questions about deflections, dynamics, buckling of compressed columns, structural analysis, and more. This assessment includes a total of 40 simple select, multiple select, and true/false style questions.

The Mechanical Aptitude test is an excellent way of identifying which candidates possess top manufacturing skills. In addition, this assessment can measure the skills of existing employees either pre or post-training.

For instance, let’s say that you need to fill two vacancies, and the staff members must possess a high level of mechanical aptitude. You can send several existing employees to training courses designed to teach them the requisite skills.

After completing the assigned training, you can require them to take the Mechanical Aptitude assessment. This skills test will reveal which individuals benefited from the training and which did not. Once you understand the effect of sponsored education on individual development, you can better decide which staff members are ready for internal promotion. 

English Comprehension

There are several different English comprehension assessments available to you as well. Skills tests such as the English Language or English Proofreading assessment can help determine which applicants can effectively communicate with and comprehend English.

You should primarily use English comprehension style assessments during the pre-employment phase. Candidates who score well on these evaluations will more easily communicate with other staff members. Communication is an essential skill in the manufacturing industry as even a small piece of misinformation can result in costly issues during the product assembly process.

Behavioral Assessments

When attempting to close the manufacturing skills gap, you must incorporate behavioral assessments into your hiring practices. Instead of measuring a candidate’s hard skills, these assessments gauge their behavioral attributes. A few examples of behavioral characteristics include work ethic and integrity.

Behavioral assessments will help you determine which candidates best fit your company culture. These assessments are also a great differentiator when selecting the better of two similarly qualified candidates. If two applications have nearly identical skills assessment scores and job experience, you can use the behavioral assessment results to make your final hiring decision.

Why Incorporate Skills Tests Into Your Hiring Process

Skills tests can not only help you overcome the manufacturing skills shortage, but they also have several other benefits. These assessments can decrease the cost of hiring, allow your HR department to fill vacancies faster, and reduce turnover.

Assessments are also a great way of guiding your training efforts. You can administer skills assessments to various departments within your organization. When a weakness or skills gap is identified, you can tailor future training courses to address this area of need.

This strategy will make your entire workforce more productive, thereby increasing profitability for your organization.

Request a demo to learn how you can beat the manufacturing skills shortage and fill all your positions with top-quality candidates.

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