For years, highly respected publications such as Forbes have encouraged business leaders to invest in pre-hire testing solutions. This comes as no surprise since utilizing skills testing for pre-employment screening offers many benefits.
However, some business owners and stakeholders are hesitant to adopt skills testing because they do not know what these screening tools include. To shed some light on these invaluable hiring tools, we have created this guide to one of the most commonly used skills tests, generally referred to as a Microsoft skills assessment.
Just about every business operating in the United States uses Microsoft Word in some capacity. In light of this fact, employers must assess applicants’ proficiency with this hugely popular word processing application.
If you have been wondering what a Microsoft Word skills test includes or contemplating adding these skills tests to your screening process, this guide is for you.
What Is a Microsoft Word Skills Test?
Unlike other applicant screening tools, skills tests focus on gauging an individual’s learned skills and abilities. Generally speaking, skills tests can measure “soft skills” like empathy or communication or “hard skills” such as proficiency with Microsoft Word.
Skills tests are an excellent way to evaluate and screen candidates because they provide hiring teams with access to measurable data regarding an individual’s abilities. When leveraging traditional screening practices, hiring teams must develop conclusions about applicants’ skills based on their education and past work experience.
Unfortunately, someone can have years of experience using a program like Microsoft Word and still only possess a rudimentary understanding of its capabilities.
Microsoft Word skills tests remedy this issue by determining the depth and breadth of an individual’s knowledge. There are multiple variations of the Microsoft Word skills test.
The most basic option covers broad topics and is suitable for screening applicants who will only use Word in a limited capacity. Conversely, the advanced skills test covers more technical subjects and is suitable when filling a position that requires frequent usage of the application.
What Does a Microsoft Skills Assessment Include?
The exact scope of topics covered by a Microsoft skills assessment will depend on which option you use to screen employees. For instance, the MS Office 2019 Word skills test includes 40 questions of various types. This skills test contains multiple-choice, select all that apply, and true/false style questions.
The general MS Office 2019 Word skills test covers key topics such as document formatting, inserting objects, managing documents, new features added in Word 2019, proofreading features, setting up documents for printing, and working with references.
In addition to the standard 2019 Word skills test, eSkill also offers an MS Office 2019 Word Simulator. This test includes 20 simulation questions and measures the applicant’s working knowledge of the platform. During the skills test, the applicant will need to perform various tasks, such as customizing a document, modifying document layouts, formatting, inserting operations, and navigating the taskbar.
While either skills test will provide valuable insights regarding an individual’s proficiency with Microsoft Word, they are most effective when used together.
Why Use Microsoft Word Skills Tests?
Have you ever hired a candidate who claimed to possess substantial experience with Microsoft Word or other Microsoft Office products, only to find that their knowledge was lacking? Would you like to take the guesswork out of the screening and hiring of candidates? Do you want to support your hiring decisions with documentable data regarding each candidates’ skills and abilities?
If so, you should consider incorporating Microsoft Word skills tests into your hiring practices. These skills tests provide your team with actionable information that they can use to guide hiring decisions. In addition, utilizing skills tests can reduce the risk of bad hires, expedite the screening process, and minimize turnover.
While Microsoft Word skills tests can be invaluable during the hiring process, your team can also use them to revolutionize your training practices. By administering skills tests, you can determine which staff members are proficient with Microsoft Word and identify those who are not. From there, you can create customized training protocols designed to address the unique needs of each team member.
After training administration, you can perform a second round of skills testing to measure the improvement of each employee. This approach allows you to verify the efficacy of your training efforts and assess employee growth. By deploying skills tests as part of your hiring and training processes, you can cut wasted time and expenses.
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