LinkedIn Skill Assessments: Are They Worth It?

Recently, LinkedIn Skill Assessments feature was launched. We would like to share some main benefits and dangers it can bring, as well as some concerns about it. 

 

First things first, we have to admit that this idea is far from new and was implemented by various platforms. We believe that the most distinct example would be Upwork’s Skill Tests, as were most widely used by freelancers to showcase their skills. Both Upwork and LinkedIn have the same goal – to make the hiring process as convenient as possible. That is why it would be reasonable for us to compare these two. 


The assessment feature is awesome for several reasons: 

  • On the one hand, it allowed freelancers to prove their expertise in a particular field, as well as showcase a wide skillset. 
  • On the other – employers were able to assess candidates in a much more efficient way, as they knew which skills were required to complete a certain job. 


Just like Upwork’s tests, LinkedIn Skill Assessments are only available for completion once in 3 months. That is how platforms make sure that a professional will actually grow expertise without passing the test 10 times in a row. 

 

According to LinkedIn, their tests will have some interesting features:

 

  • There are now only 14 skill assessments available, and all of them are technical (JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, etc.);
  • Each question is timed, which makes it difficult to look up answers whilst taking the skill assessment;
  • A computer-based methodology called adaptive testing is used to recognize your skill level and then adjust the questions you’re asked accordingly;
  • If you score in the 70th percentile or above, you’ll receive a passing score and be awarded a “badge”. Your percentile is determined by comparing your score against a curated benchmark.
  • If you have a documented disability, you can turn on the accessibility mode for the Skill Assessments feature. Once it’s turned ON, you’ll be given extra time to complete each question on the assessment. 
  • Companies can now add Desired Skills, so all applicants have to pass it in order to submit an application.

 

Here’s an example of a question with multiple-choice answers for some of the available assessments.

 

Sample for BASH:

  • Question (intermediate level): Review the code below. Why does user2 only have read-only permissions on file.txt?

  • Answer 1: user1 has set an ACL mask that limits, but does not change, the effective permissions of user2.
  • Answer 2: user2 has read, write, and execute permissions on file.txt.
  • Answer 3: The standard permissions for user2 have been limited to read-only using chmod.
  • Answer 4: user2 gets access from the file’s group permissions, which are set to read-only.


Overall, this feature can be a huge time-saver for both employers and candidates, except for one small detail:



UPWORK HAS COMPLETELY REMOVED SKILL TESTS! This decision was implemented earlier this month.



Here are some arguments UpWork published:

– Skill tests are not really important when making a hiring decision.

Tests quickly become outdated or irrelevant.

– It is easy to manipulate and cheat on tests because a lot of answers can be found online.   



We would like to pay special attention to the third argument because we believe it is the most dangerous one. Pretty much every amateur was able to create fresh UpWork profile, fill it up, then google test answers and voila – he had a 5-star profile showing how skilled he was.

A lot of our team members have their UpWork profiles for several years. We always paid special attention to passing relevant tests.

However, we are not disappointed by the fact these tests were shut down. We can showcase our experience using our Portfolio, Client reviews, as well as a professional level of communication with clients.

There are now only technical LinkedIn Skill Assessments, but we believe that more is yet to come.

 

At this point, we have only one question to LinkedInHelp: How are you going to fight cheating? 

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