Skills testing and its importance in recruitment

Candidate assessment tests are a key part of the job hiring process. Recruiters have taken to skills testing applicants who meet the basic criteria set by recruiting companies. This helps them filter candidates and put forward only those who have a good command over the skills required in the advertised job.

Skills testing software vendors offer online skills assessment tests. It is also easy to send the test to a single candidate or a group of applicants at once. The tests are timed, taking between 5 to 60 minutes, and so candidates can take the test from anywhere. All they need is a computer device and a good internet or broadband connection.

Results derived from these assessments help advise employers to make good hiring decisions. Different professional skill tests are available for various job roles in the market. Thus, recruitment agencies are increasingly leaning towards skills testing.

Literacyandnumeracy tests – These skills assessment tests are the most popular among recruitment agencies for screening candidates. The ability to read, write and spell along with performing basic calculations and understanding different math concepts are considered fundamental in most job roles.

Candidates applying for entry and mid-level roles are often asked to test for these skills. These online assessments test for different ability levels – Basic, Intermediate and Advanced. So, the difficulty of the tests corresponds with the skill level required for the role.  

Psychometric test – Employers want to be assured that new employees fit well into the existing company culture. To that effect, they often try to assess candidates for cultural fit during face-to-face interviews. However, interviews are not an effective way to measure aptitude or evaluate personality. It is far too easy for candidates to say what they believe employers want to hear as opposed to actually speaking their minds.

These tests evaluate various key personality areas such as confidence, critical thinking skills, ability to lead, and solve problems. It is a self-assessment tool where candidates are provided with situational questions associated with the job. Then candidates have to answer questions, each containing a series of statements, ranking them accordingly on a scale of 1 to 5 or how strongly they agree or disagree with each statement.

MS Office tests – Administrative jobs involve the capacity to work Microsoft Office tools. Hence, candidates for most office-based roles need to prove how skilfully they can work with Excel, Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

Depending on the complexity of the role, candidates will be given the appropriate level of assessment to evaluate their MS Office tools skills. Most service providers will be able to provide different Office versions so employers can decide which edition, from MS Office 2010 to 2019, is the right one for candidates.

Data entry and typing tests – Applicants for clerical roles are expected to be efficient in data entry and typing. It is only after candidates take these tests that recruiters and employers can perceive their exact ability levels. These applicants should not only be capable of data entry and typing but are expected to be quick and accurate.

The typing speed tests help recruiters gauge the candidate’s keyword strokes per minute and the precision of their work. Speed and accuracy are equally important as one without the other spells inefficiency.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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