The geographic spread of its offices and diversity of its job roles has led Southern Housing Group to use online skills testing as part of its recruitment activities.
As one of the largest providers of rented accommodation in south-east England, Southern Housing Group owns and manages 24,000 properties and houses 45,000 tenants in London, Kent, Surrey, Berkshire, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and employs more than 900 people.
Mark Gillman, HR recruitment business partner, Southern Housing Group, said, “The nature of our business, our wide geographical coverage and relationships with 69 local authorities means that we have a large number of outlying offices and a diverse range of job roles. Ensuring continuity in these circumstances was a challenge.”
The group decided to use an online skills testing service to address this and following a recommendation from one of its recruitment consultancies, it selected a series of test suites from Skillsarena. These included assessment modules for desktop applications, clerical skills, general aptitude, numeracy, literacy, grammar and spelling, as well as suites designed to test a call centre agent’s skills.
Mark Gillman said, “Skillsarena’s online testing was ideal. The assessment modules are straightforward to use and can be used remotely. That means all recruitment staff can use them, and we get an instant picture of a candidate’s ability and aptitude. All applicants take tests of the same standard, so whether they’re in Islington or Ashford we know they are being assessed against the same benchmarks.”
Using Skillsarena, Southern Housing Group also created its own tests tailored to specific roles, such as relating a caretaker’s literacy questions to tasks on their job sheets, or numeracy questions to calculate how many tiles are needed for a new splashback.
Online skills testing has been used throughout the organisation for all levels of recruitment, including the most senior positions and has been well received. Mark Gillman said, “We are very pleased as the online testing process has resulted in the successful recruitment of higher quality staff.”