How to Conduct a Skill Assessment (With Examples)

When developing, promoting, or hiring new employees in your company, interviews, and resumes give you only one side of the picture. The candidate’s experience, education, and letter references all have information about what the person has done and knows. The best way, however, is to understand one’s level of proficiency and abilities. You can only do so through a skills assessment.


What is Skill Assessment Test?

In simple terms, a skill assessment test refers to an evaluation of a candidate’s ability to perform specific skills or a set of them. In most cases, it is an evaluation of the skills specific to a role or task. The assessment aims to capture an individual’s level of proficiency for every skill, making it possible to know which candidates are ideal for the position.

Skills assessments can be conducted either in person or online. They may take the form of a test, simulation, observation, or questionnaire. Furthermore, there is a need to conduct objective, standardized reviews so that the outcome of the assessment can be compared reliably. Today, a good number of companies use skills management systems like WebMentor to create custom online skills assessment tests. This is based on the type of job in question. After the assessment, results are readily available.

Types of Skills Assessment Tests

Listed below are types of skills assessment tests:

  • Technical Skill Test
  • Soft Skill Test
  • Hard Skill Test
  • Personality test
  • Cognitive Skill Tests
  • Combination approach

Examples of Hard Skills

When you do a hard skills assessment, you try to expose the crucial skills of a candidate. These are the skills that are needed for a candidate to be successful in their role. Discussed below are examples of hard skills.

  • Typing speed: This is another classic example of hard skills. To assess this skill, however, you will need to use physical methods. Get the candidates to type a few paragraphs and find out who is the fastest. This is important because some roles require these skills.
  • Any know-how in a foreign language: Specific jobs are requiring an employee to know a foreign language. For example, those in the hospitality industry need to know at least one foreign language because their roles involve dealing with tourists.
  • Educational qualifications: In most cases, candidates with the highest academic qualification stand a better chance of getting the job. In your skill assessment test, you can ask the candidate to specify their education level and the certification they have. This will help you identify the most qualified job candidate.

Examples of Soft Skills

  • Communication skills: This is a soft skill that is crucial for any employee. Communication skills can make or break your success. Therefore, in your skills assessment, ask this question, and sort out candidates with prolific communication skills.
  • Adaptability: This is another crucial soft skills assessment question that you should ask. Almost every job description needs an employee to be adaptable to new situations. Ensure that the candidates are versatile and flexible if hired.
  • Reading skills: This is crucial. Almost everything can read, but how good can they comprehend the content. Ensure that your candidates have good reading skills by subjecting them to a test.

Common Reasons for Using Assessment Tests

Employers often use this type of assessment to weigh the skills and abilities of both job applicants and their employees. It is a test used to gauge whether employees or applicants have the skills needed to carry out various duties assigned to them. Even though skill assessment tests can be used on both employees and job applicants, they are primarily applied during the hiring process. Companies depend on these assessments to determine job applicants’ qualifications and eliminate those that don’t meet the criteria. They use it to assess job candidates that will be called for the interview.

Other reasons:

  • Enhanced objectivity, equability, and legal position of an organization.
  • Reduces cases of wrong hiring, consequently eliminating negative costs.
  • Assessment tests streamline hiring processes, give better results, and, more importantly, enhance employee performance.
  • They increase employee retention rate and satisfaction.

How to Write a Skill Assessment

Discussed below are the steps to writing a skill assessment.

Come up with relevant questions:

Be careful to ask the correct questions. Stick to the topic and be careful not to ask wayward questions. For example, if the assessment tests the candidate’s writing skills, only ask questions about that topic.

Figure out what to test:

What skills do you want to test? This forms the basis of your skill assessment. For example, if you’re going to test the candidate’s writing skills, ask questions that will expose their strengths or weakness.

Ensure that the assessment is easy to understand: 

The flow of your assessment matters. Don’t use complex sentence structures that can confuse the readers. It would help if you kept your assessment simple but yet so detailed.

Don’t stick to one question format:

Using the same question format throughout the assessment makes it dull. Be dynamic, use various forms and sentence structures to frame your questions. By doing so, you expose the skills and abilities of applicants.

Don’t let it be too long:

A satisfactory skills assessment shouldn’t be too long nor too short. Make the length precise enough to meet all the requirements. Avoid long assessment questions because they can alter their objective. Also, you need to keep in mind how the employees will interpret the questions. You should be clear enough for anyone to understand your question.

Free Skill Assessment Templates & Examples

Are you having challenges creating a skill assessment test? We have designed easy-to-use skill assessment test templates that are available for download.




















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