Aptitude Tests For Federal, State & Local Government Jobs

The Statistics Speak for Themselves

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About 12% of all jobs that offer opportunities for advancement require MS Office proficiency, and that will increase to 20% in the future. (IDC)

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for firefighters will increase 8% per year from 2020 to 2030 and there will be around 27,000 openings each year.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of administrative managers is projected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026.

Top Skills & Abilities to Look For in Government Employees

Use eSkill’s aptitude tests for government jobs to assess employees’ knowledge of subjects from workplace safety to legal terminology.


Administrative and clerical skills such as typing, data entry, bookkeeping, customer service, and contract management


Ability to work effectively with managers, elected officials, constituents, and communities

Specialized Skills

Firefighters, emergency medical techs, 911 operators, maintenance workers, and other specialized skill sets.

Government Job Skills Tests You Should Use

Standard Job-Based Tests: Choose from hundreds of standard tests for popular jobs such as Financial Analyst, Firefighter, Office Manager, Emergency Responder, Maintenance Manager, and more.

Standard Subject-Based Tests: Choose from over 600 single-subject tests that assess depth of proficiency in subjects such as Microsoft Office Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

Customize From Over 600 Modular Subjects: Generate a multi-subject test in seconds by handpicking questions from your favorite computer and non-computer topics in the eSkill Test Library.

Simulations: Determine if candidates can do a job by asking them to complete realistic simulations such as Multitasking, Chat, Word and Excel. We can also create custom simulations on request.

Situational Judgement Tests (SJT): Assess candidates’ Job Fit for a position and determine whether they will succeed in your corporate culture using Customer Service, Sales, Remote Leadership and Change Management SJTs.

Upload Your Own Content: Use eSkill Author to create customized skills tests using your own job-specific content and questions that cover a variety of subjects.

Federal, State & Local Government Clients

Michael Spreng


City of Cleveland

“Seamless and easy; great support. Ability to assemble own tests. Ease of sending test notices and score reporting. great communication with eskills staff members.”

Kim Woolman

HR Specialist

County of St. Clair

“Simulation and large variety of questions and subject matter. Our experience has bee very positive. We are utilizing it more and more every year.”

Caroline Pierce

Employment Coordinator

City of Edmond

“It’s easy to utilize, customize; real time results, consistency of the grading/testing for the applicants. It has been a great tool for us to utilize because we have so many diverse divisions with different admin duties – we can customize the test for their needs when looking at applicants for their vacancies.”

Lawrence Davidson

Finance manager

Parks Canada

“The wide variety of topical questions made creating an initial assessment tool easy”

Why Choose eSkill Government Employment Assessments?

  • Select from more than 800 standard tests, or easily customize the assessment experience with thousands of topics relevant to your specific job or requirements.
  • eSkill will help you create custom assessments for your niche positions.
  • The U.S. Navy, Canadian Government, State of Colorado, State of Mississippi, Harris County, City of Philadelphia, City of Chicago, and hundreds of other agencies use eSkill’s Government skills assessments. Learn why.
  • Team Scoring allows hiring managers and review panels to anonymously grade completed writing or interactive exams.
  • eSkill will help your organization hire better-qualified team members faster with defensible compliance.
  • Use data analytics reporting, content validation, item analysis along with adverse impact studies to ensure exams are valid and legally defensible.
  • Integrations with NeoGov, Workday and Taleo streamline the exam deployment and results hosting process.

Looking for More?

Learn about specific solutions designed for your needs, read client success stories and review integration options.

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Why eSkill

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Aptitude Tests for Government Jobs: Ensuring the Right Fit for Public Service Roles

According to the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), around 68% of private-sector employers use job aptitude tests in hiring. Adoption in government agencies has been slower, but not anymore.

Hiring in federal government HR strategies changed in 2020 because an executive order required agencies to prioritize measurable skills over education and experience. This trickled down into state and local governments and effected a change in what were thought to be the best HR strategies for government hiring.

As a result, HR teams in state, federal, and local government agencies use government career assessment aptitude tests such as computer skills assessment tests to recruit high-quality candidates and expedite hiring. This is a large increase because, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), state, federal, and local government agencies employ over 21 million people.

What Are Work Aptitude Tests?

Work aptitude tests assess applicants’ skills, abilities, and development needs during hiring and screening. They also provide detailed insights into current staff capabilities and help you identify employees who are ready to be promoted or could be with more training. These are some ways they help you manage talent effectively:

  • Measure Required Skill Levels and Proficiency: When you’re recruiting applicants for specialized jobs such as technical, financial, or administrative roles, you look for different skill sets. For example, you might test typing skills for government jobs.
  • Evaluate Cognitive Abilities: Many jobs require excellent critical thinking, problem-solving, quantitative reasoning, and communication skills. Cognitive aptitude tests give you an easy way to evaluate these skills when screening candidates.
  • Identify Good Leaders and Managers: Effective leaders and managers often have excellent strategic planning, coaching, and change management abilities, which are paramount for many middle and upper management jobs.
  • Assess Soft Skills: Job tests measure hard skills—abilities needed to do a job. However, soft skills like collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence are just as important for many jobs across your organization.
  • Identify Star Performers Who Are Ready for Advancement: By using job aptitude tests, you can align talent with optimal roles now and provide top employees with the training they will need to fill future roles.
  • Design Training and Employee Development Programs: Employees have different strengths and weaknesses. Work aptitude tests provide the information you need to create training and development plans that match each employee’s development needs and career aspirations.

Government career assessment aptitude tests enable you to make hiring, job placement, and promotion decisions using concrete data instead of relying on intuition. This leads to better, more objective hiring decisions, efficient workforce optimization, and higher productivity.

Common Types of Job Aptitude Tests

HR teams use assessment testing to evaluate job candidates’ skills and competencies. They also use them internally to pinpoint development needs, improve job fit, identify high-potential employees, and develop personalized training programs. Common types of government career assessment aptitude tests include:

  • Skills Tests: Skills tests measure job-related abilities and technical proficiency in specialty areas like software programming, financial analysis, and machinery operations. Some are pre-prepared and must be used as-is. Leading assessment solutions, like the eSkill Talent Assessment PlatformTM, allow you to customize skills tests to match your job roles.
  • Behavioral Assessments: Over 74% of HR leaders say they have hired an employee who ended up being a bad fit for a job or their company culture. This is why many organizations use behavioral assessments as well as skills tests. Behavioral assessments provide insight into employees’ behavioral traits, attitudes, values, and work styles to help you determine if they are a good fit for the job and company culture.
  • Cognitive Assessments: Cognitive assessments evaluate attributes such as critical thinking, communication, decision-making, and analytical reasoning. Many HR teams and business leaders feel cognitive assessments are essential when assessing candidates for middle- and senior-management positions.
  • Simulations: Simulations present candidates with tasks they will be required to complete if hired. For example, an applicant for a computer programming job might be asked to write code; applicants for a technical writing position may be asked to write a few paragraphs about the company’s products and services, and customer service representative candidates might be asked to role-play a phone, email, or chat conversation with a customer.
  • Situational Judgment Tests: Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs) present candidates with job-related scenarios and problems and ask them to choose the best and most appropriate solution from a given set of options. SJTs are an excellent tool for measuring critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills and evaluating candidates’ ability to handle real work situations.

HR Areas of Specialization in Government Recruiting,

Leading assessment solutions offer clients access to a library that contains hundreds of job- and subject-based skills tests.

Some are general assessments that measure attention to detail, spatial reasoning skills, and other traits. Others focus on abilities that are required for specific jobs. For example, the Firefighter Skills Test assesses applicants’ knowledge of firefighting techniques and safety procedures. The Public Works Skill Test covers street maintenance, water and sewer systems, and other infrastructure-related topics. Many agencies test typing skills for government jobs to measure applicants’ typing speed and accuracy and general typing and audio transcription abilities.

Following are some examples of government career assessment aptitude tests in the eSkill Assessment Library.

For Management and Financial Roles

  • City Manager
  • Budget Analyst
  • Urban and Regional Planner
  • Contracting Officer

For Field Service Roles:

  • Community Health Worker
  • Police Officer
  • Firefighter
  • Hazardous Materials Specialist

For Administrative Roles:

  • Administrative Officer
  • Compliance Officer
  • 911 Dispatcher
  • Accounting Administrator

For Clerical Roles:

  • Program Assistant
  • Deputy City Clerk
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Data Entry Operator

HR Strategy Examples for Government Job Recruiting

As is true in the private sector, public sector HR leaders have learned that reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates is no longer the best way to recruit and hire top candidates. Since 80% of applicants lie on their resumes, hiring a candidate who looks and sounds perfect could be a big mistake that costs many thousands of dollars.

The following fictional scenario shows why you need government career assessment aptitude tests.

Eliana, as HR Officer for a state public utility, was recruiting a program assistant to work with the utility’s satellite offices statewide. Like many public-sector organizations, her agency recruited candidates by posting jobs, reviewing resumes, and interviewing promising candidates. It did not use job or cognitive aptitude tests.

As the hiring process progressed, Lucas emerged as the top candidate. His test results showed he had fast and accurate typing skills. He had excellent customer service and good verbal and written communication skills. According to his resume, he had experience working with colleagues and managers in remote locations. Mateo, the hiring manager, was impressed and offered Lucas the job.

The managers at the satellite offices received reports every Friday that contained critical information they needed to develop task lists and strategies for the following week. Lucas was responsible for sending the reports by overnight courier on Thursday afternoon.

Eliana and Mateo soon learned that Lucas had poor time management skills and was not good at multitasking. He missed the courier pickup deadline the first week, and the managers received their reports late. He met the deadline the following week but sent the reports to the wrong addresses.

On Friday morning, several managers called the head office in a panic because they had not received their report or had received the report for another location. Luna, the office manager, had to stop working on several critical projects and call each office to find out which ones were missing reports or received the wrong ones. Then she made new copies and sent them priority overnight.

If Eliana’s agency used job aptitude tests, assessment results would have shown that although Lucas appeared to have the right experience, he did not have the organizational, time management, and multi-tasking skills that were critical for the program assistant job.

Agencies That Use Government Career Assessment Aptitude Tests

Companies in virtually every industry implement pre-employment skills testing to streamline hiring, decrease time-to-hire, and reduce turnover. These are some companies that have improved hiring outcomes and simplified recruiting by implementing the eSkill Talent Assessment PlatformTM:

  • Canadian Government: In 2020, the Government of Canada began consolidating the job aptitude testing processes of 118 locations in eight service centers across six provinces. It now plans to map over 65,000 skills tests in the eSkill Assessment Library to the behavioral and technical competencies required for jobs country-wide.
  • World Health Organization: The World Health Organization uses some online government career assessment aptitude tests, but most testing is done on-site. Candidates are given a scenario and set of problems, and they have two hours to think of a plan and write a document that offers a solution. Scenarios are real-life job situations that have either already been addressed or need to be addressed.
  • City of Philadelphia: The City of Philadelphia uses work aptitude tests to test typing skills for government jobs, assessing candidates who apply for non-managerial positions, including general clerical and administrative. Most positions are in Health and Human Services, Public Works, and Public Safety.
  • State of Colorado: The State of Colorado uses job aptitude tests in 11 agencies and four educational institutions statewide, including the Department of Personnel & Administration, Department of Revenue, and Colorado State University, to assess candidates for non-managerial positions.
  • Town of Okotoks: The Town of Okotoks uses government career assessment aptitude tests to pinpoint candidates’ strengths and weaknesses. If a strong applicant has skill gaps, hiring managers can either decide to hire the candidate and work with them to develop the deficient skills or decline to move forward.
  • Vantage: Vantage uses work aptitude tests to identify skills mature jobseekers need to enter or re-enter the workforce. It started by testing typing skills for government jobs and now uses a wide range of skills tests from the eSkill Assessment Library.

How Job Aptitude Tests Improve Hiring Outcomes

According to a McKinsey study, hiring superior talent can increase productivity by up to eight times, and in advanced fields such as information management and software development, high performers are 800% more productive than average performers. Government agencies that use an industry-leading assessment solution like the eSkill Talent Assessment PlatformTM to identify top talent accomplish the following objectives:

  • Get Hiring Right: By using work aptitude tests, agencies can avoid hiring people who cannot do a job. Hiring mistakes are expensive, hurt team morale, and negatively impact productivity. According to the S. Department of Labor, a bad hire can cost thousands of dollars in recruiting expenses, incomplete projects, staff disruption, loss of customer goodwill, and potential litigation costs.
  • Reduce Turnover: According to Gallup, U.S. businesses lose $1 trillion annually due to voluntary turnover, and replacing an employee costs around one-half to two times their annual salary. If employees are comfortable in a new position and feel like they fit in, it increases the likelihood that they will stay with the company instead of exploring other opportunities.
  • Streamline Onboarding: Onboarding is a new hire’s first experience with a company, so it’s important.According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), organizations with an effective onboarding program retain 91% of new hires during their first year of work.
  • Find Star Performers: Job aptitude tests help you identify star employees. You can then consider them for promotions, leadership roles, and other growth opportunities within the organization.
  • Identify Training Needs: Work aptitude tests help you identify skill and knowledge gaps among your staff. You can tailor training initiatives to address these specific gaps. Focused training is more likely to get results than a blanket approach.
  • Mitigate Unconscious Bias: Around 79% of HR leaders agree that subjective bias exists in recruitment and succession planning decisions. By objectively measuring skills and knowledge, government career assessment aptitude tests help you minimize potential bias that could influence hiring decisions.

Get Started with Job Aptitude Testing

When you implement a job aptitude testing solution, you reduce recruiting costs and time-to-hire and take the guesswork out of hiring. Many eSkill clients have reduced hiring costs by 70% and decreased time-to-hire by 60%. Are you ready to learn how using government career assessment aptitude tests can help you improve hiring across your organization? Contact us to request a demo.