When it comes to filling a job that requires the use of Microsoft Excel, the proficiency of candidates cannot be underestimated. After all, several employers will give priority to those that are able to format cells correctly or create complex formulas due to the advantages it can afford.
Even so, a number of businesses continue to base recruitment decisions on a candidate’s CV credentials and interview performance, despite the fact that this doesn’t prove or prop up their Excel abilities.
For this reason, more and more employers are starting to introduce online Microsoft Excel tests alongside CV screening and face-to-face interviews. This way, you definitely know whether the candidate would be a good fit for the business and have the skills to meet your Excel demands.
Here are some other benefits of online Microsoft Excel tests for business as explained by assessment and recruitment expert Skillsarena.
Eliminating weaker candidates and shortlisting stronger ones
With any job opening, you are likely to get applicants simply trying their luck. But while the sight of an Excel test will quickly thwart timewasters, it can also eliminate weaker candidates and shortlist stronger ones.
To give an example, you may want to put a time limit on the test to see who can deal with the demands of your fast-paced business environment. This can also identify confident candidates that are able to complete the test with time to spare.
You will also benefit from comprehensive reports, which break down ability by level, percentile, and correct answers in order to make better informed decisions about potential employees.
Removing subjectivity and relativity
During a standard interview, the candidate can only tell you about their Excel experience and expertise. In fact, they may even get the job based on their ability to sell themselves rather than their spreadsheet skills. This is because interviews are subjective, often influenced by gut reactions and decisions.
Another thing to bear in mind is relativity. For instance, ask a candidate to rate their Excel proficiency and they will probably give you a fairly high number. But seeing as the majority of us only use around 20 percent or less of an MS application’s full capability, this can’t be true.
The only way to avoid the subjectivity and relativity of Excel ability is by asking the candidate to take a test.
Getting to the crux of understanding and knowledge
With something like Microsoft Excel, it is imperative that users understand the application’s structure. There will be job candidates you come across that know exactly the right function to use for a task, but not have the ability to reference the right inputs to get the desired result.
The same goes for those who confidently assert their knowledge of VLOOKUP. Any adept Excel user knows that this has its limits and is more suited to ad-hoc data retrieval or presentations.
Although you could ask candidates to recall certain functions on the spot or suggest an alternative to VLOOKUP such as MATCH, the only way of really getting to the crux of Excel knowledge and ability is through testing.