Employees’ skills and competencies are no doubt one of the greatest assets of any organization. These skills are directly linked to its productivity and revenue.

Every organization is constantly involved in the process of having the right people with the right skill sets. Before the hiring team ventures into the vast realm of potential candidates, it is vital to perform a thorough skills assessment to understand the current status of the team and work toward its future requirement.

What Is a Skills Assessment?

Skill assessment is a process in which data is collected to evaluate an individual against set criteria to know about one’s proficiency and capability to perform an assortment of skills.

When to Use It

Skills assessments play a vital role when hiring or promoting employees for new positions in the organization or evaluating the skills of existing employees. They also help decision-makers and hiring managers shortlist worthy candidates for open job positions. In an ever-changing business environment, it is essential to have a workforce that is on their toes and ready to adapt and progress.

Let’s look at two types of skills assessments, pre-employee testing and existing workforce testing.

Benefits of Existing Workforce Testing

There are many benefits of skills assessments for the existing workforce. For example:

  • They provide a clear picture of employees’ skills and expertise, which can help expose skills gaps.
  • A detailed analysis helps training managers create focused training plans that overcome skill gaps within the team or in the overall organization.
  • With the assessment data, training managers and decision-makers can appeal to collaborating partners and bring in new projects.
  • With skills assessment results, decision-makers can allocate the right resources for the right projects.
  • Skills assessments can give you the confidence that everyone in your team is equipped with the essential skills they need to begin new projects.
  • They help employees identify the skills they need to develop their career.
  • They help employees become effective members of high-performing teams.

To begin unlocking these benefits, start by creating a skills matrix to understand the importance of individual skills and also to understand the competencies of existing employees. These factors play a major role in determining an organization’s sustainability.

Thanks to ever-evolving, high-tech advancements, skills assessments have now become reliable, affordable and user-friendly. At the same time, they provide in-depth insights that benefit both employees and the organization, as reflected in Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index report.

Benefits of Pre-employment Testing

Pre-employment tests help training and hiring managers scour through an ocean of applicants and fish for candidates that best suit open positions. These tests could very well include an assessment of the candidate’s cognitive ability, intelligence quotient (IQ), emotional intelligence quotient (EQ), language proficiency, technical skills and soft skills.

Many Fortune 500 companies have adopted a pre-employment assessment and, as a result, have  successfully increased the quality and diversity of their candidate pool. A pre-employment test is an essential part of the hiring process that should not be overlooked.

Pre-employment Tests Save Time

It can take up to 45 days to fill an open position, with the hiring team spending an average of 40 minutes per interview. What’s more? The 2020 Retention report by Work Institute states that 37.9% of candidates quit work less than one year after joining and two-thirds of the employees quit within the first six months. That’s a lot of effort down the drain.

The pre-employment skills assessment restructures the hiring process and boosts the probability of finding the right candidate for the job, thereby saving time.

According to the same report by Work institute, voluntary turnover alone cost the U.S. excess of $630 billion. In addition, turnover directly affects a team’s productivity and, thereby, the organization’s revenue.

Verifying Skills

A study by Criteria Pre-Employment testing found that 46% of resumes contain fabricated information, making them unreliable. Pre-employment tests will not only help you assess the applicant’s basic skills but also reveal whether the skills mentioned in the resume are true and if their actual skill set matches that listed in the job posting.  This enhances performance, efficiency and minimizes the chances of employees leaving the organization.

No Bias

One of the greatest advantages of implementing skills assessment is the removal of bias from the recruitment and evaluation processes. After conducting a skills assessment, the resulting data will be evidence-based and will provide an objective, detailed interpretation of a current or potential employee’s skills.


Organizations are collecting more and more data on employees, from assessing their current skills and capabilities to measuring their ability to learn new ones. With an effective skills assessment in place, companies can excel at recruiting, deploying, developing and retaining employees.

There are a plethora of benefits that can be gained through this data, however not all companies are taking advantage of it. 82% of organizations are using skills assessments in some form, according to the Talent Board’s Candidate Experience Research 2019 report. And these numbers are predicted to grow in the upcoming years. So, decision makers, what’s your next step?

Are you ready to implement skills assessments in your organization?