Skills Testing


During the planning and preparation phase of your recruitment exercise, when you undertake a position analysis and identify the skills required to do the job, consider whether you will want to use skills testing at some stage of the recruitment process.

Where it’s relevant to the position, we recommend that you carry out skills testing for shortlisted candidates.

Skills testing may include:

  • Typing
  • Spelling
  • Maths
  • Microsoft Word / Excel / PowerPoint


External testing

If a specific skill at a specific level of competency is required, think about how you can test for this and whether external skills testing will be necessary when you are ready to interview shortlisted applicants. External skills testing can save time and money.

For instance, agencies can test applicants for skills and level of competence in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other programmes for a moderate rate in return for a detailed report on applicants’ test performance.

The results provide objective data which can identify whether the applicant is at a beginner, intermediate or advanced level of skill with the software.


Using recruitment firms

If you do not have adequate internal resources to conduct your own skills testing, you can outsource testing to a recruitment firm.

Skills testing one applicant in Word, Excel and PowerPoint costs approximately $180 plus GST. Discounts can apply if you are testing more than one applicant.

Candidates can sit the tests at the recruitment agency’s offices, at your offices, or the candidate’s home. Using a recruitment agency’s offices ensures a controlled environment for testing.

If you determine that external skills testing is required, contact the testing agency to discuss your requirements and flag that you will be scheduling shortlisted applicants for testing.

Flag to applicants during the initial interviews if you will be conducting skills testing and at what stage of the process.