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Skills Assessment Test

A 2022 SHRM study of nearly 1,700 HR professionals found that 56 percent of employers use pre-employment assessment tests to evaluate the skills, experience, and knowledge of candidates. 

89 percent of hiring professionals said that skill assessment scores are just as or more important than traditional hiring criteria, and 36 percent said that candidates with high skills test scores are very likely to make it to the list of final candidates, even if they don’t meet the minimum years of experience. 

As skills test become more commonplace in the hiring world, the question isn’t whether or not you should be using them, but how best to leverage skills test to improve your hiring metrics. Read on to learn more about how to implement and optimize skills tests in your hiring process. 

What Is a Skills Assessment Test

Skills assessment tests refer to a broad set of tests designed to evaluate the experiences, knowledge, soft skills, hard skills, personality types, and other essential candidate metrics. At their best, skills tests will give you a better understanding of a candidate’s personality, cultural compatibility, and ability to excel at their role. Some of the most common skills tests include personality tests, cognitive ability tests, interviews, EQ tests, and hard skills tests. 

How to use a skills assessment test

Skill assessment tests should be part of a holistic, well-planned hiring approach. To get the most out of your assessments, you should define the most critical skills and metrics you’re looking for and integrate the most relevant tests into your hiring approach. You can follow the following steps to implement a skills assessment test strategy:

  1. Consider your hiring goals and define criteria for success: What positions are you filling? What are the most essential skills pertaining to that role?
  2. Create your ideal candidate: What would they look like if you had the perfect candidate in mind? What skills would they have? List and rank the ideal skillset a candidate would have for a specific role. 
  3. Identify the best tests that fit your needs: Scower the market, find the most cost-effective skills tests, and implement them into your hiring process.
  4. Study the results: Skills tests are like any other investment, and they should provide you with better candidates over time. A comprehensive hiring solution, like Crosschq, will allow you to track new-hire performance and quality of hire, so you can assess and compare candidates based on their test results. 

Why you should use a skills assessment test

Bad hires can hinder your growth, affect other workers’ morale, and cost your company at least 30 percent of the new hire’s first-year salary. Skills assessments aren’t a hard-and-fast solution to your hiring challenges, but they are an effective tool you can use in a holistic hiring effort. 

Here are some other key SHRM stats to demonstrate the efficacy of skills assessment tests:

  • 78 percent of HR professionals said that their quality of hire has improved after using skills tests.
  • 23 percent of HR professionals have seen an increase in diversity since they started using skills tests.
  • 25 percent of organizations plan to expand their use of assessment tests in the next five years.
  • 10 percent of organizations that don’t use skills tests plan to use them in the next five years. 

What to Test for in Your Skills Assessment

What you test for in your skills assessment tests will depend largely on what position you’re trying to fill. Technical roles will require a greater emphasis on hard skills and technical capabilities, while managerial or sales positions require candidates to have better soft skills.

Here are some common tests you can leverage: 

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

Skills Assessment Test Example Template Questions

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

Emotional intelligence questions



Strongly agree




Strongly disagree

I tend to defend myself when criticized


It’s easy for me to stay calm under pressure


I tend to move on quickly from setbacks


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



Short Answer Responses

  1. What’s your ideal work environment? (culture fit)
  2. What are you looking for in your next job? (culture fit)
  3. How will your previous experiences allow you to excel in this role? (experience and knowledge)
  4. What’s your leadership style and approach? (fit 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. What are some of your biggest achievements and accomplishments? (experience) 

Most skills tests will come with their own integrated scoring system, so you don’t need to worry about calculating scores or assessing their significance. And with Crosschq, you’ll be able to curate your own test or use templated questions in your testing, providing you with flexibility, support, and AI integrations that help you assess smarter than ever. 

Final Thoughts: Skills Assessment Test

Crosschq’s skills and competency software leverages data to learn, expand, and refine our assessment process. Crosschq allows you to connect performance data with skills and competencies to continuously refine your competency framework to changes in the market. 

On top of that, you get access to Crosschq’s 360 reference checks, an IO Psychiologist-backed tool that will reduce unconscious bias and give your candidates greater control of the pre-hire assessment process. 

Sign up for a demo to streamline your hiring process, enable more objective hiring practices, improve your quality of hire, and reduce your time to hire today.

Mark Ko

by Mark Ko

Content Writer

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