Computer skills to test applicants for
As technology becomes more ubiquitous, it’s important to make sure job applicants are able to complete any digital tasks required of them. In addition to soft skills like interpersonal communication and leadership, employees must have the minimum hard skills required for a position. Often, these include the ability to use specific hardware and software.
Decide what you need
Before posting a job listing, make sure to review the full list of requirements for a job and see if there are any complementary technology skills needed. For example, if one of the things an employee will need to do is evaluate data, make sure you know what computer program they will use to gather and interpret the information. Do they need to use spreadsheet or have the ability to sort through a database?
Every computer program you anticipate an employee using within the first month of being hired should be listed in the description, if not, you may end up with applicants applying who are not equipped for the role.
Basic computer competency
No matter what a person will do within a job, there are some basic computer skills most people need: typing, computer literacy and Windows operation.
If someone will need to write content quickly or transcribe information digitally, you may want to test applicants’ typing speed. The average person can type 40 words per minute with 92 percent accuracy, according to Ratatype. Any candidate who will be responsible for mass amounts of data entry should exceed that.
In addition to typing, there are some basic components to computer literacy that almost all jobs require. These include things like opening folders, moving files and using email. A basic computer skills test should be able to confirm an individual’s ability to complete standard functions.
Microsoft Word and Excel
According to a study by BurningGlass Technologies, 82 percent of middle-skill jobs required basic digital competency, including using programs like Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word.
Word is one of the most common word processing programs. These types of systems are used to type, format and print documents. Chances are, if you’ve ever used a computer, you’ve used a word processor.
For roles that will require employees to submit written reports or create documents for internal and external use, you may want to test for advanced ability like inserting tables and graphics.
While a table can be used in a regular document to display data, complex data crunching or data tracking typically takes place in a spreadsheet program, like Microsoft Excel. Everything from tracking a basic budget to building in-depth financial models can be done using this type of software.
Before testing for knowledge of spreadsheets, make sure to get a good understanding of how exactly an employee would use one in their job. For example, you may only need to verify a person’s ability to enter and review information. If the position requires the creation of presentations, putting together graphs and charts may be more important. Data-oriented positions might require a person to have deep knowledge of functions and formulas that can be used to calculate numbers within a spreadsheet.
While the computer skills for most entry and mid-level jobs can be tested for using the options above, there are other options as well. Employers can assess candidates on the ability to navigate Windows operating system and use Microsoft Outlook or PowerPoint.
Depending on the role you’re hiring for, different tests may be more or less important – explore EmployTest’s offer to learn more about pre-employment computer skills testing.