Pre-employment skills testing is a critical component in recruitment. Recruiters utilise skills assessment software during the hiring process. But there are several ways to check candidate proficiency.

CV parsing, cover letters, skills assessment tests, interviews – these are the top four and most common ways to evaluate a candidate’s ability and suitability for a role.

Let us discuss each one:

CV parsing

A robust CV is of paramount importance for any job seeker. It carries their education history and professional credentials. Recruiters scan each CV quickly and make judgements based on those swift assessments. It can get tedious and challenging to go through hundreds of candidate resumes for one role which is why agencies invest in good recruitment software platforms that support CV parsing. This way recruiters can get through a large volume of CVs in minutes and only the best ones will be highlighted based on the keywords that are relevant for the role.

Cover letter

Applicants provide supporting statements when they apply for a job. The cover letters are intended to help recruiters and hiring managers understand a candidate’s interest in the role as well as how the candidate feels they are qualified to do well in the job. A well written resume is a good device to understand candidate credentials, but the application is stronger when it is supported by a cover letter. It provides an opportunity for candidates to better explain their interest and suitability for the job.

Skills assessments

Candidate assessment is not complete without technical skills testing. Proactive recruiters optimise their hiring process by using skills testing software to thoroughly assess their candidates. From technical assessments to testing for soft skills, there are hundreds of assessments available.

Most popular ones include literacy skills tests, numeracy skills tests, MS Office skills tests, psychometric skills tests. Easy and quick, online skills testing helps recruiters make better hiring decisions. It is important to ensure that the candidate skills assessment software integrates with each agency’s recruitment CRM systems.


The final frontier for job seekers, interviews are where candidates and recruiters can go through the CV and discuss career history while gauging how the candidate would fit in the role. Recruiters and employers can ask different questions to assess not only technical skills and suitability but also cultural fit and understand the applicant’s attitude. Most jobs have quite a few interviews from initial phone screening to second stage and final stage interviews to evaluate candidates.

Online Skills Testing Software and its Advantages

We have discussed all the different ways recruiters evaluate their applicants. But online skills testing is a must-have for modern recruitment. It is easy for anyone to exaggerate their abilities and qualifications. Recruiters must confirm their candidates’ skillset to avoid making the wrong hire.

Skills testing software is not only easy to use but also an important tool to check candidate proficiency. With pre-employment skills testing recruiters can evaluate candidates at the start of the recruiting process and proceed further only with the best and most-qualified ones.

Candidate skills assessment software is easy to use. Recruiters need only select the required tests and send it off to their applicants. Once candidates are done with it, the test results are automatically delivered to recruiters who can then make decisions accordingly. Online skills testing makes it convenient for recruiters and candidates to send the assessments and complete them from wherever it is convenient for both parties. It saves a lot of time.

Soft Skill Assessment

When recruiting new hires, recruiters are not just looking for technical expertise and experience but also for soft skills. Soft skills refer to the non-technical qualities and attributes that a candidate possesses, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, adaptability, and emotional intelligence. These skills are essential for workplace success and can be difficult to assess through resumes and interviews alone. Therefore, recruiters employ various methods to evaluate a candidate’s soft skills during the recruitment process.

Communication Exercises

Effective communication is a vital soft skill in almost every job. Recruiters may conduct communication exercises, such as role-playing or presentation tasks, to evaluate a candidate’s communication skills. These exercises may involve asking the candidate to present a solution to a problem or to negotiate with a potential client or customer.

Pros: Communication exercises can provide insights into a candidate’s ability to articulate ideas, listen actively, and tailor messages to the audience. They can also simulate real-life workplace scenarios and assess how candidates perform under pressure.

Cons: Communication exercises may be challenging for some candidates who are shy or nervous. Moreover, candidates may prepare for these exercises and provide scripted or rehearsed responses, which may not reflect their actual communication skills.

Teamwork Activities

Teamwork is another important soft skill that recruiters look for in candidates. Teamwork exercises may involve group tasks, team-building activities, or problem-solving challenges that require collaboration among team members.

Pros: Teamwork activities can demonstrate a candidate’s ability to work well with others, build relationships, and contribute to a team’s success. They can also assess a candidate’s leadership potential and conflict resolution skills.

Cons: Teamwork activities may not accurately reflect how candidates work in real-life situations, especially if the exercise is artificial or contrived. Moreover, some candidates may not perform well in a group setting or may be uncomfortable with group tasks.

Emotional Intelligence Tests

Emotional intelligence refers to a candidate’s ability to recognize and manage their emotions and those of others. Recruiters may use emotional intelligence tests, such as the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), to evaluate a candidate’s emotional intelligence.

Pros: Emotional intelligence tests can assess a candidate’s ability to understand emotions, use emotions to guide thinking and behavior, and manage emotions to adapt to changing situations. They can also predict a candidate’s job performance and potential for leadership positions.

Cons: Emotional intelligence tests may not be widely used or recognized, and their validity and reliability may be questioned. They may also be subject to biases and stereotypes, as emotional intelligence may be culturally or socially constructed.


In conclusion, recruiters use different methods to assess a candidate’s skills and suitability for a job. These include CV parsing, cover letters, skills assessments, and interviews. Additionally, recruiters evaluate a candidate’s soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and emotional intelligence, through various exercises and tests. 

Pre-employment skills testing is critical for modern recruitment and is essential to confirm a candidate’s proficiency. Online skills testing is a must-have for recruiters as it is easy to use, saves time, and ensures accurate and objective results. By using a combination of these methods, recruiters can make better hiring decisions and select the most qualified candidates for the job.