Why employers should be using skills tests when recruiting

Because of the low unemployment rate, employers and recruiters get large amounts of CVs when they post a vacancy. As we know by now, a CV doesn’t always give an accurate representation of a candidate’s skills, abilities, and knowledge. Many job seekers’ education doesn’t directly relate to their current position or the jobs they are searching for.

Therefore, skills tests are extremely beneficial, not only for the employer and recruiter but also for the job seeker.

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The importance of skills tests for employers | Job Mail
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What are skills tests?

According to businessdictionary.com, a skills test is the “evaluation of an employee’s competencies in performing an activity or job function”.

Skills tests are designed to ask a variety of questions in different ways to determine how candidates perform on-the-job tasks. When you create your skills test, it should include questions that your current employees can answer, as well as the candidates applying for the position. The questions should also be tailored to the vacant position and the responsibilities of that position.

Skills tests cover task-related abilities, such as sales, copywriting, coding, etc.

Other talent assessment tests include:

  • Psychometric tests
  • Personality tests
  • General mental ability assessments
  • Integrity assessments
  • Job knowledge tests
  • Situational judgment tests

Benefits of skills tests

  • They are more objective than interviews
  • You can use it to make the recruitment process go faster
  • You increase your chances of hiring the right candidate for the job
  • It removes human bias and focusses on the skills of the candidate
  • It can be tailored to each vacancy
  • You can use it to differentiate between similar candidates
  • Helps you to minimise the legal risks associated with recruiting
  • It improves the candidate’s experience and attracts more quality candidates
  • It can enhance your employer brand

How to create a strong skills test

A skills test works best when it’s crafted for a specific role. In a skills test, you need to combine a wide range of questions to get a comprehensive view of how the candidate will perform in different scenarios.

Keep the test short. A good skills test should take 10 – 25 minutes to finish, but it will depend on the job type and the amount of information needed.

Include open-ended questions in your skills tests. This will allow candidates to demonstrate greater understanding and will allow you to assess their analytical and soft skills. Remember to keep a good balance between open and closed questions.

Test your skills test before you use it on candidates. You can send it to your colleagues or your employees to complete and assess the feedback.


Employers, recruiters, and candidates all want skills tests, but it has to be job-specific, industry-related, and crafted in a way that provides quality feedback on the candidates. There is a wide range of skills tests you can use to give you the information you need.

Skills tests still have to be used in conjunction with CVs, cover letters, and interviews to give you the most comprehensive overview of a candidate.

High Skill Level | Job Mail
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Also read: Why continuous learning in the workplace is important

Why employers should be using skills tests when recruiting
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Why employers should be using skills tests when recruiting
Skills tests are designed to ask questions in different ways to determine how candidates perform tasks so you can make better recruiting decisions.
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Job Mail
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