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Employee Skills Assessment

Believe it or not, nearly 75% of companies admit to having hired the wrong candidate for a role, and each of those bad hires costs those organizations $15,000 on average. 

Having a reliable employee skills assessment test in place can help you avoid bad hires, identify critical skills in candidates, and improve your overall hiring process and quality of hire. In order to benefit from an employee skills assessment, you need to know what to test for, when to test candidates, and how to use your skills assessment results to make smarter hiring decisions.

And that’s why we’re here. Below we’ll cover everything you need to know about employee skills assessments to improve your hiring process and boost your quality of hire

What Is an Employee Skills Assessment 

Employee skills assessments are used to measure and test the suitability, skill level, and fit between a candidate and an open position. Employee skills assessments cover a broad range of skills and capabilities, including hard skills, soft skills, personality style, experience, knowledge, technical skills, social skills, and other important factors relevant to a position.

How to use employee skills assessments

Employee skills assessments are just one part of a multi-pronged hiring approach. Employee assessments should be used in conjunction with reference checks, interviews, data-driven performance indicators, quality of hire analytics, and other pre-hire tools. You can use the following employee skills assessments to assess the efficacy and experience level of candidates: cognitive skills test, EQ test, 360 digital reference check, work sample test, job knowledge test, learning agility assessment, and more. 

Refer to the following steps when implementing your employee skills assessment: 

  1. Define your goal: Define your hiring goals and the position you need to have filled within a period of time. 
  2. Create your model candidate: If you could acquire the perfect candidate for the role, what would they look like? From experience and background to skillset and personality, create your model hire. 
  3. Identify your desired skill set: List and rank the most important skills necessary for the role. Once you’ve identified the most important skills, find the appropriate employee skills assessments that test for those skills and capabilities. 
  4. Continue improving: Crosschq allows you to track new-hire performance and leverage your existing employees’ performance data to create benchmarks about what skills are or aren’t so important. 

Why you should use an employee skills assessment 

Skills assessments aren’t an all-in-one solution to finding you the best hires, but they are one valuable piece of the puzzle. 

When you can leverage data to identify correlations between skill sets and new-hire performance, you’ll be able to proactively identify which skills tend to yield the best hires. With Crosschq, our quality of hire analytics will help you correlate competencies, candidate skills, education, and prior work experience to predict the likelihood of new hires becoming high-impact team members. 

Here are some other findings from an SHRM study of nearly 1,700 hiring professionals. 

  • 56 percent of employers use pre hire employee skills assessments to test the knowledge, skills, and abilities of applicants. 
  • 78 percent of HR professionals have seen an improvement in quality of hire after using skills assessments.
  • 23 percent of HR professionals have seen an increase in diversity since they started using skills tests.
  • Candidates who don’t meet the minimum years of experience but have high employee skill assessment scores make it onto the list of final candidates about 33 percent of the time. 
  • 10 percent of organizations that currently do not use skills tests plan to use them in the next five years. 

What to Test for in Your Employee Skills Assessment

You should test for what is relevant to your role. Siloed and highly technical roles will require a greater emphasis on hard skills, and managerial or team-oriented positions will require more soft skills and communication capabilities. 

Here are some common tests you can leverage: 

  • Hard skills tests
  • Soft skills tests
  • Interviews
  • Personality tests
  • EQ tests
  • Cognitive skills tests
  • Work sample tests
  • Learning agility tests
  • Culture compatibility tests

Employee Skills Assessment Example Template Questions

You can test for a variety of skills with the following test template structures. 

Soft skill assessment questions



Strongly agree




Strongly disagree

I think some level of conflict is necessary to achieve results in a team


It’s easy for me to stay calm under pressure


I find it difficult to know how others around me are feeling


I am continuously grateful for the life that I have


I try to see things from others’ perspectives, even if I know they’re wrong



Short Answer Responses

  1. How does scaffolding work from an educational perspective and why is it important? (experience and knowledge)
  2. Where do you see yourself in five years? (culture fit)
  3. Describe one successful project or task you completed at your previous job. How did you contribute to the success of that task? (experience and knowledge)
  4. Describe your management approach. (communication and experience)
  5. Can you provide us with samples of your work? (experience and hard skills)
  6. Describe a difficult moment with a team member and how you overcame it. (soft skills and communication)
  7. What software are you comfortable using? (experience and hard skills)
  8. Why do you want to work at our organization? (cultural fit and preparedness) 

Crosschq allows you to leverage a set of templated questions or create your own custom-made test questions, so you have the convenience and flexibility to create the best employee skills assessments for your needs. 

Final Thoughts: Employee Skills Assessment 

Employee skills assessments are excellent ways to measure suitability and build data for long-term growth. Crosschq’s employee skills assessments and 360 digital reference checks will help you find better candidates in less time, providing you with a more equitable, efficient, and cost-effective way to find quality hires. 

Learn more about how you can leverage employee skills assessments and other important aspects of the hiring process with the Crosschq demo today.

Mark Ko

by Mark Ko

Content Writer

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