According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, over 400,000 administrative and clerical workers are employed by school systems throughout the nation. Without these dedicated employees, elementary and secondary schools could not operate efficiently.
A talented administrative employee can be a valuable asset to your educational institution. Conversely, hiring the wrong candidate can negatively impact staff morale, lead to serious data entry errors, and cost your school thousands in wasted resources.
With so much riding on who you hire to fill vacant clerical and administrative positions, it is vital that you properly screen candidates. While many different screening tools are available, few are as effective as basic clerical skills tests and other pre-employment assessments.
Basic Clerical Skills Test
The Office Assistant skills assessment is one of the best ways to screen clerical assistants. This test covers MS office, office filing procedures, time management, written English communication, and business communication. Once an applicant has completed an assessment, your hiring team can review their cumulative score and topic-by-topic performance.
While the Office Assistant skills test is a great evaluation tool, you should still consider performing additional screening measures to gain a complete view of an applicant’s abilities. Administering other skills tests or a behavioral assessment can aid your efforts to identify top talent and select the most qualified candidate for a given position.
Microsoft Office Skills Test
Indeed identified basic computer skills as vital for clerical and administrative professionals. The majority of clerical and administrative tasks are performed using a computer. That is why we recommend administering a Microsoft Office skills test to prospective employees.
No matter which iteration of Microsoft Office your organization uses, a complementary skills test is available to assess a candidate’s proficiency with the software. The Microsoft Office skills test covers topics such as Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word. There are also separate skills assessments for each application as well as an assessment for MS Office 365.
We recommend selecting the most relevant assessments for the position you want to fill. For instance, if a clerical assistant will work almost exclusively in Word and send Outlook emails, these would be the most appropriate skills assessments for screening purposes.
General Typing Skills Test
Clerical and administrative staff assigned data entry work must quickly and efficiently enter text into word processing software. We suggest administering a general typing skills test to determine whether an applicant possesses these skills.
The most basic typing skills assessment requires the applicant to retype a prewritten paragraph within a given amount of time. They must complete the task as quickly as possible while simultaneously avoiding typographical errors. Applicants who perform poorly on this skills test are probably not suitable for a clerical position at your educational institution.
There are also longer typing skills tests available. One such assessment has ten different questions. Once again, this assessment requires applicants to retype provided information within a given amount of time. Many employers prefer the longer written skills test as it provides the applicant multiple opportunities to demonstrate their typing skills.
Excel Skills Test
The Excel spreadsheet software has become a cornerstone of modern business operations. This easy-to-use program is great for managing workbooks and working with large amounts of data. However, not all of your applicants will be comfortable using this application, which is why you should incorporate an Excel skills test into your hiring process.
The basic Excel skills test covers simple functions such as creating and saving workbooks, editing charts, formatting, and implementing custom functions or formulas. The assessments measure a candidate’s ability to perform more complex tasks. The advanced skills tests will ask the candidate detailed questions, which will allow them to prove their application knowledge.
Behavioral assessments are an innovative hiring tool that can provide actionable information about a candidate’s core personality traits. You can learn how a person works, communicates, and thinks by administering a behavioral assessment. A behavioral assessment can also help your hiring team predict how well a person will perform in a clerical or administrative position.
The major benefit of behavioral assessments is that you can use them to weed out candidates with significant personality concerns. Even a single bad hire can create friction in the workplace, which will damage the morale of existing staff. That is why you must make every effort to identify and hire candidates that are the right fit for your company culture.
Online Administrative and Clerical Skills Testing Solutions
If you are ready to streamline hiring practices, identify top talent, and reduce the cost of screening prospective employees, eSkill can help. We offer innovative skills testing and behavioral assessment solutions for various industries, including the education field.
Request a demo to learn how basic clerical skills tests such as typing skills tests, and Microsoft Office skills tests such as Excel assessments help you recruit the best administrative assistants and support staff.