Personnel Agencies and Computer Skills

How do Recruitment/Personnel agencies measure a prospective employees computer skills: A lot has been written about recruitment/personal agencies and how they investigate prospective employees.

How do these agencies weed out CV exaggeration, lies and claims. They are adept at finding discrepancies, doing background checks and using additional resources such as social media platforms for screening.

These checks and processes take a lot of time and energy. Not only do they need to conduct an interview online or in person, they have many other checks in place to ensure integrity for all . There is checking past employment, checking references, verifying professional memberships, salary checks and credit checks are just some. They do a sterling job.

This begs the question, how do recruitment/personnel agencies measure the quality of applicants computer skills before hiring them?

Is it based on the higher quality of the candidate while the recruiter focuses on reducing the cost or the speed of the hire?  If the choice is the quality of the applicant as the superior factor there still remains the question of computer skills measured against the job.

Whenever decisions are made based upon a person’s level of computer literacy, it is important that such expertise is accurately assessed.

What are some of the ways these skills can be assessed?

  • Skills and Ability Testing – this method has been around a long time. The scope of the positions that the skills and ability is available constantly changes.  Also, delivery of the tests and methods change. These tests are there to measure the applicants mastery level of specific skill sets critical to success on the job.
  • Competency Profiling – A form of testing that measures an applicants previous display of behaviors that correlate to possessing a certain competency that has been determined to be critical to success on the job. Competency profiling has grown immensely.
  • Skills Assessment Questionnaire – A set of questions per computer subject and for each level by way of tick boxes either online or offline (paper), ie. Yes/No/Don’t Know.
  • Basic online app – Real time application where the applicant is required to complete basic computer skills
  • Pre-screening assessment – may prove valid as an indicator of post hire on-the-job performance for one position however, may not accurately serve as an indicator on another position.

One Size does not fit All

Some organizations develop staffing processes that are rigid and all applicants are forced through the same process and series of broad assessments.

Don’t be fooled by applicant traditional measures of quality as they might be misleading.  See if the current top performers had great computer skills in their past position/s.  Check the number of years experience. In a rapidly changing world, information and technology change rapidly so “experience” in a dated technology might mean little.

Remember – You can’t get a quality hire without quality candidates. There is a large volume of unqualified mixed with the qualified candidates that will cause frustration. Whichever way you look at it, it can either decrease or increase the likelihood of finding the stars among the trash.

Firms utilizing pre-screening assessment tools should determine which tools prove valid for which positions, and only use them where appropriate.

Skills Assessment

Employ a qualified trainer to train or up-skill new employees computer skills to the level required for the job.

Tailoring usage will decrease chances of legal challenge, total program cost and applicant process satisfaction.

In my personal capacity as a computer trainer I witness many employees attending my courses; their level of competence did not match the job requirement.


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