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Top 6 Basic Computer Skills Employees Need to Succeed

01/16/2024
Top 6 Basic Computer Skills Employees Need To Succeed
Reading Time: 4 minutes

How Do You Test Basic Computer Skills?

To test basic computer skills, use a basic computer skills test covering operating system navigation, word processing with programs like Microsoft Word, data entry and calculations in Excel sheets, slideshow creation using PowerPoint, email and calendar tools, internet browsing, and search abilities.

Even among the digital native generation, many job applicants lack fundamental computer skills. This can lead to preventable errors and inefficiencies on the job. With technology driving most modern workplaces, computer literacy is essential for employee productivity.

Spend enough time reviewing resumes, and you’ll find the struggle is real – despite being raised with computers and smartphones, basic skills like creating a spreadsheet or slideshow often fall short. Employers can’t assume these abilities anymore.

Let’s explore the importance of basic computer skills in the workplace and how they can help your employees succeed.

Why Are Computer Skills Important for Employees?

Nearly every role these days requires at least some level of tech-savviness to properly execute duties.

Those comfortable with common computer programs and online tools can create professional documents, analyze data, research topics, and stay connected with colleagues near and far – all leading to higher productivity and better results.

Conversely, employees struggling with basic tech abilities often find themselves bogged down. Simple tasks like formatting reports, building spreadsheets, or even just sending emails become arduous chores that drain time and energy from more vital responsibilities.

Beyond just daily inefficiencies, lack of digital skills can inhibit a workforce’s ability to adapt as new software and technologies emerge over time. Companies employing the digitally illiterate ultimately lack the agility to innovate and grow with the times.

Top 6 Basic Computer Skills Every Employee Must Have

Let’s take a closer look at the six basic computer skills every employee must have to succeed in today’s job market. 

1. Cybersecurity Awareness

Cybersecurity awareness is a basic employment computer skill

 According to Rubiq, if your company lacks cybersecurity skills, you may be exposed to phishing attacks, weak password security, and outdated software risks.

Hiring candidates with cybersecurity awareness helps employers reduce the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks.

Cybersecurity awareness can also help employees protect themselves from identity theft and fraud, and it can also help them keep their company’s data and systems secure. 

2. Email Etiquette 

In today’s workplace, email is the go-to tool for communication. Email helps employees communicate quickly, clearly, and professionally, which builds better relationships with colleagues and customers.

Mastering email etiquette, such as using proper greetings, maintaining appropriate tone, and avoiding spelling or grammatical errors can also help build trust and credibility, which are essential for success in any workplace. 

3. Effective Internet Research Skills

Thanks to the internet, information is just one click away. It’s important to have good research skills to get the right information and stay up-to-date with the latest trends, like AI and competitor activities.

Knowing how to use search tools efficiently, evaluate the credibility of online sources, and navigate through different websites is crucial for any employee to be successful in their job.

4. Microsoft Office 

With over 1.2 billion users worldwide, Microsoft Office remains an essential tool for success in today’s workplace. 

Microsoft Office is a collection of productivity tools that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Strong foundational skills in these programs lead to faster task completion, better data management, and more effective collaboration with coworkers. This results in increased productivity and cost savings for your company.

Using a pre-employment test to assess Microsoft Office skills can help you identify potential employees who will bring productivity and efficiency to your workforce, leading to better hiring decisions.

5. Basic IT Troubleshooting 

Computer issues are common in both remote and in-office work environments. Having basic IT troubleshooting and problem-solving skills helps employees avoid downtime, saving both time and money for the company.

In addition, if small technology issues are addressed by oneself, it relieves the burden of other co-workers and IT staff.

6. Typing and Data Entry 

Typing quickly and accurately is one of the popular basic requirements for most jobs. Mistakes in typing or data entry can lead to costly errors and negatively impact the company’s reputation. 

Good typing and data entry skills are necessary for efficient and accurate work. With the rise of remote work, employees without these skills may struggle to communicate and deliver work virtually, leading to more mistakes and delays.

Basic Computer Skills test

How a Basic Computer Skills Test Can Help You Make Smarter Hiring Decisions

Resumes can only tell you so much about a candidate’s computer skills, which is why it’s critical to verify their proficiencies before making a hiring decision.

That’s where a basic computer skills test can be really helpful. These tests are designed to quantify a candidate’s strengths and limitations, giving you valuable insights into their abilities and helping you make smarter hiring decisions.

Using a basic computer skills test early in your hiring process can also save your company time and resources. Why spend time on in-person interviews if a candidate flunks Software 101? A basic computer skills test helps you quickly weed out those who don’t meet minimum requirements.

Since 2006, EmployTest has helped more than 6,000 public and private organizations administer pre-employment assessment tests.  Not sure where to start?

Check out our FAQ or contact our customer care department. Our expert team can help you choose the right test(s) to measure the specific skills or competencies you’re looking for in that next hire.

Try a free sample basic computer skills test today!