How to Assess Technical Skills of an Employee


When hiring for multiple technical positions, it is very complicated to remember each person’s particular skills, and how well they compare against the other people competing for the same position.

Recently, I’ve come up with a system to assess those skills in a somewhat objective manner.

We ask each person to rank where they fit on a scale from 0 to 3:

0 – interns: people looking to make career changes, with very little experience (i.e. “I want to be a mobile developer”).
1 – intermediate: someone who can use the tools (i.e. Xcode) and can demonstrate a previous project; this person would need to be on a team or have a mentor.
2 – advanced: someone who is knowledgeable in this area and could additionally lead a project.
3 – expert: someone who could architect and manage multiple projects as well as mentor people in the advanced category.

Most people fall into the 1 or 2 category, and after talking about previous experience, we can usually quickly figure out where they belong. It’s “somewhat” objective, as they have input on where they feel they belong, and the interviewer is able to assess where they fall.

Each skill-set can be rated independently. For example, I would say that I’m a 3 for iOS, a 2 on Information Architecture, and a 1 when it comes to graphic design (although I’m a solid 2 as a production artist).

We’ve implemented this system across the board, which has made it very easy to understand the make-up of a project team. Each team-member has an innate understanding of their companions’ skill-sets, and it makes it easier to assess who can handle new tasks or challenges as they come up.

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