Domain Based Assessment: The Future of Recruitment
Published on December 7th, 2022
The primary aim of any business is exponential growth. Every entrepreneur’s dream is to build a sustaining, scalable and soaring business that has a dream team to keep the business running and to ensure growth in leaps and bounds.
In order to fast track this growth, it’s important to hire people who are seasoned in their field, have a firm understanding of your target market and carry considerable domain expertise. These people are assets to your organization, as they can start contributing from day one.
There is a compelling argument in the human resources industry to hire for attitude and train later. This holds true to hire beginners in the field. For experienced professionals, however, you cannot place your entire hiring decision on personality alone. They need to start contributing to the team and delivering results at the shortest possible time, owing to the criticality and cost factor of their role.
In these cases, it is essential to assess both personality and domain expertise to ascertain suitability to your organization. In this article, we shall explore the different facets of domain expertise and the importance of domain based assessment.
Typical Screening Stages in Recruitment
Usually, companies irrespective of their size, have a set of screening techniques to pick the best fit for their company from a pool of interested applicants. These range from an initial screening call by the recruitment team, a deeper domain expertise test by the hiring/immediate manager, another plausible level of test by skip level managers, management/HR round of interviews and then the verdict is given.
Progressive organizations that prioritize culture and personality fit, conduct personality/psychometric evaluations to determine the personality type of shortlisted candidates and pick the ones with the most desirable combination of attributes.
In these rounds of screening, a particular level needs to be given its due importance in order to ensure a sound hiring decision that fetches results within the shortest time. Domain-based assessment is imperative to ascertain the competence of the candidate and their suitability to the business.
What is Domain Expertise?
Domain-based assessment is based on assessing the domain expertise of the candidates, which can mean the working of the specific industry they are involved in, or their core function/department. Either way, domain assessments study how much the candidates know about their own function (micro view) and how their industry operates (macro view).
Domain expertise can be assessed by taking into account a variety of elements:
- Knowledge of function and industry
- Domain specific, technical and cross functional skills required for the domain
- Relevant experience
- Proven ability to tackle challenges that might arise in the domain
- Familiarity with common concepts, nuances and acronyms frequently used
- Industry trends
What Domains Exist in an Organization?
Certain functions are common for any type of business, as they are either required for direction, promotion, production, delivery or support. Let us delve deep into the different domains/functions in an organization and check out the skill, knowledge and aptitude requirements for each function irrespective of the designation, grade or caliber.
- One of the most integral cogs in the organization machine is effective leadership. Hence, assessing their overall and leadership-related skills become inevitable.
- Personal effectiveness skills such as time management, task management, self awareness, emotional intelligence, proactivity, accurate reporting, rapport building etc.
- Team development skills such as coaching, mentoring, giving and receiving feedback, intra-team and inter-team communication, synergy building etc.
- Directional skills such as strategy formation, spearheading initiatives, ensuring participative management, critical decision making, analytical skills etc.
- Business leadership skills such as budget framing, budget adherence, cost centers and cost saving, knowledge of working of industry, change management, research and development, forming and maintaining strategic alliances etc.
- These skills overlap with the yardstick for personality assessment but also reveal a lot about the candidates’ fit to the leadership domain.
The software domain has its own unique set of parameters to test in a candidate. With primary importance given to knowledge of coding language used in your business, other skills need to be checked in the domain based assessment for the software domain are:
- Ability to solve business problems
- Interpret complex business scenarios and come up with an appropriate code/solution
- The IT environment in which the business revolves
- Understanding of the industry
- Ability to think like the end-user
- Basic communication
- Reporting skills
- Sales, Marketing & Customer Support
The customer facing functions are ambassadors of your brand to the known and unknown customers. Hence, they need to be fully equipped with your business and customer understanding, privy to the customers’ challenges and level of understanding of your business offering.
Other skills to be assessed in a domain based assessment for a sales role are:
Sales potential determined by responsiveness, persistence, creativity, landing and expanding capability and ability to upsell and cross sell.
Interpersonal skills such as persuasive speaking, negotiation and ability to forge meaningful alliances.
Familiarity with customer behavior, sales cycle in the industry, workflows and important sales concepts
In a marketing role, certain common parameters remain, yet there are a few specific areas to focus on in a domain based assessment for a marketing role:
- Critical market know-how
- Planning and executing campaigns
- Entire spectrum of digital marketing
- Customer understanding
- Market trends, advertising knacks
- Business process understanding, networking, negotiation and collaboration
For a customer support role, all of the above domain based skills are essential and the most important skills to look for are, problem solving, analytical thinking and communication.
Operations domain expertise lies in skillful planning and executing business transactions seamlessly, so that there are no bottlenecks. Competencies to look for in a domain based assessment for operations are:
- Planning, purchasing, distribution of resources
- Technical and cross functional skills
- Capacity planning, product or service design
- Quality control
- Cost cutting techniques
- Process Improvement efforts
- Accounting & Finance
For a critical function like accounts and finance, domain based assessment carries utmost importance. The candidate has to have excellent eye for detail, strong grasp of core concepts and hands-on experience/knowledge of the following:
- Financial accounting, analysis
- Cash flow management, budgeting, financial statements
- Risk management
- Stakeholder liaising
- Ability to interpret, process and convey accurate financial information
As people who manage the most important asset of any organization as the culture core of the company, HR needs to have a strong foundation and domain expertise along with firm business understanding in order to truly make a difference in the company. Some important parameters of domain expertise of HR are:
- People skills, multi tasking, collaboration, networking
- Eye to detail, sound knowledge of labor laws
- Strong business acumen and business partnering
- Talent trends, best practices in HR across industries and in competitors
- Career paths and succession planning in the industry
- Compensation revisions, administration, workforce and performance management
How Do Different Industries Value Domain Based Hiring?
Although most industries have the above mentioned common domains and may follow their domain based assessment, there are certain unique traits that define the industry as a whole and they are must-haves in the domain based assessment pertaining to the industry.
This industry is primarily customer oriented, hence domain expertise is measured in terms of:
- Product understanding
- Problem solving
- Strong people skills
- Basics of merchandising, CRM and computer skills
- Collaborative working
- POS handling
Domain expertise in the engineering domain is viewed as having:
- Use of relevant technology to single out issues
- Project management, communication and research skills
- Data management and reporting
- Ability to work in high pressure
Akin to the software function’s domain expertise, a few noteworthy additions that are essential for domain based assessment are:
- Basic knowledge of hardware and networking
- Basics of technical writing
- Database management
- Analytical skills
- Out of the box thinking
- Strong logic application in real life
For any manufacturing related role, certain non-negotiables are necessary to ensure smooth functioning and to prevent siloed functioning. Those vitals for manufacturing domain based assessment are:
- Attention to detail, critical thinking, communication
- Knowledge of computer aided technology
- Coachability, interdependence of systems
- Lean production methods, cost saving techniques
- Basic maintenance and repair of own equipments
- Inherent quality checks
- Bollar Collar Roles - Contrary to the white collar jobs, the blue collars in manufacturing work most of their time on machines, in the gemba (production/shop floor). Nevertheless, there are crucial aspects to test with respect to their domain expertise, such as:
- Product and functional knowledge
- Ability to handle adverse conditions w.r.t their job
- How their process affects the bigger picture
- Manual dexterity
- Principles and logic behind working methodologies
- Service Based
For any service based industry, irrespective of their size, it is important to check the following criteria during the domain based assessment:
- Effective communication
- Basic project management skills
- Liaising with key stakeholders
- Deep understanding of service offering and its nuances
- Basic communication
- Market research and presentation skills
- Relationship building with internal and external stakeholders
- Ability to work in high pressure environments.
Why is Domain-Based Assessment Important?
Having seen expectations in each domain and industry on their candidates, it becomes important to know why domain based assessments have to be conducted as part of the hiring process. If incorporated into the recruitment stages of your company, domain based assessments can fetch the following benefits:
For the Business
Your business can benefit immensely by hiring people who know their role, are already equipped with the domain expertise to take on challenges. They prove to be worthy additions to the human capital of your company and turn out to be high quality hires.
- Reduced Training Cost
Owing to their experience and sound domain expertise, you won’t have to train them extensively. A comprehensive induction and a brief orientation should get them started in your company. Take care to offer a stellar hiring and onboarding experience for your candidates and they will start delivering results in the shortest time.
Since they are seasoned already, they know the tricks of the trade, have developed working methodologies for effective meeting of deadlines and completion of tasks. With a little orientation on the best practices followed in your company, they will hit the ground running in no time and will increase efficiency at work.
- Return on Investment
Such candidates with domain expertise are often in demand in the market and hence come with a big ask, in terms of compensation. Since their training and acclimatization period is minimum, they begin performing immediately and you can witness return on your investment in them right away.
- Internal Learning & Development Initiatives
The domain based assessments used to screen candidates can also be deployed to gauge the level of competence possessed by existing talent in your company. The insights you get from this assessment will come in handy to organize training and development initiatives.
In this day and age with industries burgeoning with new opportunities and competitors everyday, seeing immediate results is a huge win for your business. Domain based assessments bring you close to go-getters who help you get results in the shortest time.
For the Candidates
Domain assessment-based hiring is advantageous to the candidates as well, since it sets expectations in the candidate stage and empowers them when they are hired as employees of your company.
- Work Autonomy
Employees with domain expertise can function on their own without any hand holding or dedicated mentoring. They possess the knowledge, skills and aptitude to do their job well and are quite familiar with the impact of their performance on the business.
They keep a tab on their key performance metrics, constantly revisit their techniques and ensure effective and productive working.
- Aspiration - Expectation Alignment
Domain expertise comes with dedication to the field and special efforts to enhance knowledge, skills and experience in the domain, naturally reflecting the interest of the candidate towards the domain. When these candidates are hired as employees to the very same domain, you make a perfect match of aspiration and business requirement, thus solidifying their commitment to your company.
This increases retention and level of engagement of the employee with your company.
How to Choose the Right Domain Assessment for Your Company
Having seen the benefits and features of domain assessment, the logical next step is to incorporate the same in your business and witness the phenomenal benefits first hand. However, before you embark on searching for the best domain based assessment provider in the country, you need to make sure of a few important aspects. After all, there are critical criteria to find the best in the domain, isn’t there?
Your domain based assessment needs to be accommodative of your complete skill inventory, housing all important departments their behavioral, cross functional skills and domain expertise. Hire Quotient offers you complete customisation to incorporate any level of sophisticated assessment parameters for screening your candidates.
Matches With Any Business Model.
Your domain based assessment needs to be structured in such a way that it resonates with your business model and has all important criteria concerning your business process, regardless of your business size. In Hire Quotient’s assessments, you can create specialized stages/steps of domain based assessments to gather specific insights about your candidates’ domain expertise.
Merely testing your applicants won’t do the trick, gathering proper actionable insights on your candidates is far more important to make the right hiring decision. You need to be armed with just the right data to do the same. Hire Quotient’s domain based assessment lets you customize the metrics you use to measure candidates’ performance and offers flexibility in customizing the presentation of results in any format suitable for you to make hiring decisions.
Value for Money
Since you can also use your domain based assessment to a wider audience (your existing workforce) for learning and succession planning initiatives, it’s essential to choose Hire Quotient’s domain based assessment since it fits your budget, serves your purpose and helps you make the best hiring decision in no time.
Hand picking new entrants to your business’ bloodstream is a big investment and you need to be careful in who you hire. While the right people can bring amazing results for your company, the wrong choice can become stale pretty quickly and hamper the productivity of the team.
Hence, partnering with a domain based assessment provider like Hire Quotient who deploys cutting edge technology to get actionable and science backed insights for a quicker and better hiring will benefit your business tremendously. When paired with personality tests and job simulation, you are sure to pick a promising candidate who can do wonders for your company.
Thomas M. A.
A literature-lover by design and qualification, Thomas loves exploring different aspects of software and writing about the same.
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