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How to Evaluate Computer Skills

by Alejandro Russell, studioD

The Institute for the Future states that modern employers will require employees with not only the ability to use a computer, but with computational thinking skills that involve the transformation of large amounts of data into abstract concepts. HR departments take for granted that applicants will be proficient in Microsoft Word Suite, but will favor those who also have quantitative reasoning and statistical analysis skills. At any rate, evaluating computer skills is an important exercise when interviewing job applicants or upgrading the skills of your current employees. There are several ways to test employees’ computer skills.

Use Assessment Tools

Online assessment tools can help you to ascertain the level of an employee’s computer skills. Such tools test the worker’s ability to fulfill computer-based tasks, such as starting a computer or composing and sending e-mails. By using these assessment tools to evaluate employees’ computer skills, you can standardize the application process so that you can measure each applicant using similar criteria. An example of a computer skills assessment tool is the Computer Literacy Test from Independence University. It helps people to determine their computer skills and identify those that need improvement.

Typing Tests

Online typing tests, such as Learn2Type and Typing Test, allow you to evaluate the typing abilities of the employee as part of his computer skills. It enables you to determine if a candidate’s typing ability satisfies or falls short of the normal typing speed, which is about 40 words per minute. However, the job you are filling may require a higher typing speed. The point of a typing test is to ensure that the prospective employee can type fast without errors. A lot of typing errors would necessitate a lot of time correcting their mistakes.

Programming Aptitude Tests

Aptitude tests that focus on computer programming are appropriate when testing candidates for programming jobs. They test a computer professional's important attributes, such as creativity, time management and teamwork. Such tests also evaluate computer professionals on competencies such as logical, numerical and non-verbal reasoning. Hybrid tests, which are part of computer programming aptitude tools, test workers on their problem solving skills, syntax and pattern recognition.

Graphing Tests

Put your employee or the job applicant through a test to evaluate his knowledge of spreadsheets. You could present him with a spreadsheet and ask him to interpret the information on it. Part of the test could also focus on the worker’s ability to integrate spreadsheets into word processing documents. An employee with exceptional knowledge of spreadsheets can record business sales and expenses efficiently and accurately.

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