You probably already know that solid communication is essential for collaboration, teamwork, carrying out projects, and delegating tasks. But what if we told you that poor communication might be costing your company nearly $10,000 per employee, per year?
Mitel, McKinsey, CMSWire, and several other organizations have closely studied the correlation between communication skills and increased productivity/revenue, and the connection is clear; healthy communication among your workforce will drive productivity, revenue, morale, and other necessary business outcomes.
Below is everything you need to know about using a communication skills assessment to test candidates' communication capabilities.
What Is a Communication Skills Assessment
A communication skills assessment is a pre-hire test that evaluates the range of communication skills necessary for many of the roles you’re trying to fill. The four major types of communication include speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Communication skills are obviously required for any entering a communications role, but they’re also important for individuals working in marketing, advertising, copywriting, human resources, customer service, sales, leadership, broadcasting, and many other positions.
How to use communication skills assessments
Communication skills are not all that difficult to assess.
With 360 reference checks, you’ll be able to compare how candidates rate their own communication skills with their previous employees and team leaders. If you conduct your reference check early on in the hiring process (something we recommend at Crosschq), you’ll also be able to see for yourself how well their communication skills hold up during your interview.
Timed writing and reading assessments are readily available, providing you with key insights into specific communication types that you can hone in on in your evaluation.
Why you should use a communication skills assessment
Communication skills are essential for a plethora of roles. If you want to improve relationships between your team members, clients, and customers, you need employees who can communicate effectively.
Top firms and organizations have found the following correlations between communication skills and business outcomes:
- Better collaboration and communication with social technologies can improve productivity by 20 to 25%, according to a McKinsey study.
- CMSWire found that organizations with better communication strategies were nearly four times as likely to outperform their competitors.
- According to a Salesforce survey, 86% of executives named ineffective collaboration and communication as a leading cause of business failures.
What to Test for in Your Communication Skills Assessments
Communication involves a variety of different skills, so it’s important to either narrow down your most important communication skills or provide a holistic assessment that encompasses the scope of the position.
Here are a few of the most important things to test for in your communication skills assessment:
- Conversational skills
- Reading and writing skills
- Proofreading and editing
- Empathy and listening skills
- Conflict resolution
- Multi tasking
- Communication technology skills
- Tone of voice
- Ability to ask questions
- Clarity and cohesion in spoken and written communications
- Interpersonal skills
Communication Skills Assessment Example Template Questions
You can use the following templates to test reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. And if you’re concerned about verbal communication skills, consider amping up your in-person (or video) interview with the questions in the section below.
Email copy template
Set your candidate up with a scenario for email marketing. Say, for example, you’re hiring for an email marketing role to grow admissions for your professional training programs. Create an assessment out of your direct employment needs.
Here’s what the task might look:
We’re reaching out to companies to help improve their sales and marketing approaches. Create an email that introduces our newest training program. The program includes a series of webinars that employees can complete at their own pace, three 2-hour live webinars, and five one-on-one coaching sessions per candidate that signs up. Your goal is to excite your reader, introduce the program, and demonstrate how their employees will be able to achieve outcomes from taking our seminar. Here’s a short video with more details on the training program.
- Subject line
- Preview text
- Body (250 words)
Short Answer Responses
- What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve overcome with a team member? How did you resolve it?
- Describe a milestone or accomplishment you’re proud of. What steps did you take to achieve the task?
- Where do you want to be in 5 years in your professional career?
- What strategies do you employ to identify with your target customer?
- How do you stay on top of trends in communication technologies?
Final Thoughts: Communication Skills Assessment
Candidates with better communication skills will work better together, increase productivity, manage conflicts better, and improve your teams’ morale.
With Crosschq, you can leverage powerful competency analytics to make connections between communication skills, assessment scores, and quality of hire. Benefit from 360 digital reference checks that allow you to compare self-assessments with other tests and use our performance insights to constantly improve your ability to evaluate candidates.
Make smarter hiring decisions and sign up for the Crosschq demo today.
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