New year, new assessment types!
There are more and more organizations embracing skills-based hiring. And one of the most established steps in the modern hiring process is the homework task, also known as a:
- Take-home project
- Case study
- Async challenge
- Trial project
…and a dozen other names! But while the names vary, this step’s purpose remains the same – to verify candidates have the skills to excel in the role.
So here’s everything you need to know about Toggl Hire Homework Assessments!
What is a Toggl Hire Homework Assessment?
Homework Assessment is a new assessment type designed to help hiring managers evaluate candidates’ true ability to solve job-specific assignments. It’s ideal for testing shortlisted candidates’ hands-on skills required in the day-to-day work and can help with predicting future job performance. Just what the doctor ordered!
Homework Tasks combine nicely with other assessment types, such as Skills Tests and Video Intros, but can also work as a stand-alone assessment.
🧡 Small print you’ll love
Users on all plans will have access to Homework Assessments. Free and Basic plan users will have access to standard homework assessments, while Premium and Business plan users will have full access to all homework assessment templates.
Let’s explore this new assessment type in more detail 🤓
The benefits of making Homework Tasks part of your recruiting process
Hiring high performers is incredibly hard.
No one step in the recruitment process can predict a candidate’s future job performance – but all of the different data points aggregated together can provide valuable insight.
Adding a homework assignment to the hiring process allows hiring teams to achieve exactly that – verify the skills and expertise discussed throughout the process.
#1 – Raise the quality of your hires with proof of competence
The biggest benefit of putting candidates’ skills into a work-related context is the ability to get immediate proof of competence.
The uncomfortable truth is that candidates who do great in interviews won’t necessarily turn out to be great performers. Which is a bit of a problem for companies that want to make every hire count.
Using interviews as the main method for assessing candidates’ hard skills is risky, to say the least. But with homework assignments, hiring managers can get a glimpse into how candidates think, solve problems, follow instructions, explain their ideas, and reason logically.
If you want to add bar-raisers to your team, then you must raise the quality bar for your hiring process. And now it’s as easy to do as it is to advise 😬
#2 – See how candidates apply their skills in a work context
You can’t judge someone’s cooking skills by listening to them describe a recipe, can you? In a similar vein, when evaluating candidates’ technical abilities seeing is believing.
A 2-hour homework assignment enables hiring teams to connect the dots between a candidate talking about past achievements and a candidate demonstrating how they tackle work projects.
Practical assessments level the playing field for all candidates. Those who struggle to “sell themselves” during the interview process can still impress the hiring team and move forward in the process.
#3 – Design assignments that match the exact job requirements
For roles that rely heavily on company-specific processes and systems, a generic assessment won’t cut it. If you’re hiring for a highly specialized role, we recommend going for a custom assignment.
Tailoring a take-home task to job specifics has more predictive value and helps to ensure new hires possess essential skills.
It also works both ways. By picking up a task that’s closer to their future day-to-day responsibilities, candidates get to try before they buy.
Finding the right skills match can work magic on your employee turnover rates!
4 tips for getting the most out of Homework Tasks
Sold on the idea of homework assignments? Let’s review a few smart tips & tricks to maximize the value you can get!
#1 – Combine with other test types
To experience the true power of skills-based hiring, design your entire hiring pipeline in Toggl Hire.
Set up a Skills Test, Video Intro, and Homework Task as stages in the hiring pipeline and use test results to make better-informed hiring decisions. Simply drag & drop candidates to move them along to the next stage. Or invite candidates to a specific assessment for a fast-tracked experience!
#2 – Use expert-designed tasks to save time and effort
Don’t have the time to create in-depth homework assignments? Use our library of 450+ expert-created tasks for various skills.
From coding to marketing to finance – creating a take-home task is as simple as picking a skill to test.
Better still, every question comes with a tip from the Subject Matter Expert who created the question on how to evaluate candidates’ answers. This way, you can ensure everyone on the hiring team is using the same evaluation criteria when shortlisting candidates.
#3 – Vary up question difficulty and weight
Our Homework Tasks support 3 questions. This means you can choose up to 3 smart questions from the library, create 3 of your own questions, or mix and match smart and custom questions in one assessment.
In all cases, you can assign a point value to each question. The question(s) that test core skills should carry more weight, while the rest is more of a supporting act.
Say you’re hiring a Senior Engineer. You might want to give them a system design task that will carry 5 points and two related tasks that will carry 2 points each. If the candidate fails to solve the most important task, the rest doesn’t matter.
What truly matters is mapping your job requirements correctly and setting up the evaluation criteria in advance – and we’ll help you do the rest!
#4 – Design a custom homework assignment
Every organization has its own approach to hiring. Different recruitment strategies require different processes, and the breadth and depth of skill sets teams need to assess is truly vast. That’s why we made customization really easy.
When the best homework task for the role is one that you design in-house, go Custom Test.
Select Homework test type and click on Custom Test to start designing your assessment. Create questions using images, code snippets, rich text editing, links, and other options.
You can also add notes on how to evaluate the question that the rest of the hiring team will see when answers start pouring in.
Best practices and key takeaways
And finally, here are a few thoughts on how to deploy Homework Tasks in the most effective way.
What should be tested with homework assignments?
- Focus on testing deeper knowledge of a specific issue. If it’s a follow-up task to a skills test or an interview, let the candidate know so that they understand the context better.
- Ask for practical solutions to a specific problem. Steer clear from hypothetical questions –they won’t help you select the best person for the job.
- Test how well candidates can explain their ideas in writing.
- Ensure you’re using take-home tasks as a way to reduce the number of interviews. This way, you can speed up your time to a hiring decision and keep candidates engaged in the process.
What are the best practices when designing homework assignments?
- Know exactly what skills and competencies are important for the role – focus on must-have skills, not the nice-to-haves.
- Provide very clear instructions on what the expected results are.
- Be mindful of the time and effort required to complete the task.
- Consider compensating candidates for their time if the assignment takes longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
Not a Toggl Hire user yet? Take Homeworks for a spin – sign up for your free account!
Juste loves investigating through writing. A copywriter by trade, she spent the last ten years in startups, telling stories and building marketing teams. She works at Toggl Hire and writes about how businesses can recruit really great people.