How To Use Skills Assessments For Office And Admin Staff Recruitment

How To Use Skills Assessments For Office And Admin Staff Recruitment

Every organization wants to hire skilled and competent employees. Thus, human resource managers are usually extremely careful about who they choose after receiving the job applications. They can’t tell the employee’s skills and abilities through their resume. Therefore, it's fundamental to do a skills assessment when recruiting your staff.


You'd want to know more about the skills assessments for administrative jobs because these are critical segments of an organization. They play a crucial role in managing the staff and influencing an organization's overall performance. Therefore, it’s important to confirm a potential worker's level of proficiency to know whether they’ve mastered a particular skill or if it’s new to them.

You can decide to do a one-on-one skills assessment or do it virtually. Here's how to use skills assessments for office and admin staff recruitment: 


1. Give Questionnaires To Ascertain Organizational Skills 

Whether you're looking for an office manager, office assistant, or executive assistant, the number one expectation that you have of them is that they are organized. Thus, they need to exhibit a high level of office skills. For instance, an office administrator's role is to plan schedules and ensure proper coordination in the customer service department. Moreover, this person can organize meetings and the like.


You can give the applicants a questionnaire, most preferably online, with questions on how they would handle different situations related to administrative roles or duties. For instance, you can ask the applicants to jot down a list of important details that should be included in an email written to invite a potential client for a meeting. Give specifications of font size, style, and line spacing.


Depending on what and how the candidates have written, you can tell whether they are organized or not. They need to have answers like the venue of the meeting, time, and the objectives of the business meeting.


You can also ask yes or no questions like whether the individuals follow an action plan and if they keep their space organized. You’d also want to know if they prioritize tasks based on their importance. Alternatively, you can have multiple-choice questions with options like never, often, always, and sometimes. Allow them to tick the answer that they most prefer.


2. Ask How The Candidate Would Solve A Problem  


Problem-solving is an extremely fundamental skill that you need to consider during the recruitment process. It's crucial in an office setup. For instance, when interviewing the candidates, you can ask them what they would do if two employees in their office weren’t talking to each other because of a misunderstanding.


An ideal office administrator should explain how having proper relations at work is important so that the workflow is consistent. Thus, they would talk to both employees, try to understand them, and help them fix their issues.


On the other hand, if a candidate says that they have learned to mind their business, hence they won't get concerned, that’s a red flag. When solving a problem, you need to identify the issue, come up with solutions, and implement them. This doesn’t only apply to human relations but also to work-related matters like research.


3. Give The Candidates A Computer-Literacy Test 

There are different types of tests to ascertain the skills of a particular potential employee. An example of this is an administration assistant test. An administration assistant needs to ensure that there's proper information flow in the office. Thus, this person plays roles like maintaining files and taking memos. They also send and receive emails from business partners and clients. Therefore, they must have basic computer skills.


Other people who need these skills are a secretary, transcriptionists, and executive assistant. since most times they handle tasks requiring them to use a computer. An office manager for example may be required to prepare an office inventory or write a report. Therefore, people in these positions need basic computer literacy skills like using Microsoft Word, Excel, or Google Sheets. So, how do you ascertain whether the candidates have these skills?


After you've selected the potential candidates during the recruitment process, it’d be best if you called for an interview and specified that the candidates need to come with a laptop. Alternatively, your organization can provide a laptop and connect it to a projector.


An example of how you test the candidates' practical excel skills is by asking them to use formulas to sum some numbers or even ask them to show you what they know. Alternatively, you can opt for an online skills test where you can ask the candidates to prepare PowerPoint slides or key in some data in an excel sheet and send it to you.


For a transcriptionist applicant, you need to check their grammar and listening skills; thus, you'd want to send them audios to transcribe and check how they’ve done it.


4. Interview The Applicant To Confirm Their Personality  

Some job positions like executive sales person require the employee to be outgoing. You can't ascertain that, using the potential candidate's resume. Another example of a position in which personality matters is that of an executive assistant. This individual needs to be influential, highly organized, and attentive to details. As this is a sensitive position, hiring an executive assistant requires a more thorough assessment.


A good tactic to confirm whether an individual pays attention to detail is placing a doormat upside down on the door entrance to where the interview takes place. You can monitor the candidates’ reactions using CCTV cameras. A keen candidate is supposed to turn on the door mat and place it properly before entering the interview room. Failure to do that means that they aren’t attentive, and probably not qualified for the position.


So, in essence, you can tell whether a person is a leader based on how they talk and present themselves and their actions. Thus, it's important that the HR department calls for a physical interview and asks questions to see the interviewees' responses. That way, they can gauge an individual's personality and choose the one with the nature that best suits the job.


5. Confirm The Individual's Communication Skills  

As long as an individual is in any administrative position like an office manager, they need to have excellent communication skills. The reason is that they'll be interacting with many people from different walks of life. Sometimes they'll be required to give advice or warn an individual about a certain bad habit. Thus, they must have proper verbal and non-verbal communication skills.


Therefore, when interviewing the candidate, you can tell some aspects of verbal communication. For instance, you can know whether they are active listeners if they remain silent and maintain eye contact when a question is asked.


Also, their response to the questions can tell you if they were listening attentively. Moreover, you can gauge their confidence, politeness, or friendliness. The only thing you need to do is to ask relevant questions.


If you want to know about their non-verbal communication skills, you can ask them to write about themselves or how they would handle a particular scenario. Afterward, they can submit it virtually for you to check how well they’ve articulated their points.



The office and administration segments are extremely essential in an organization. Some admin job titles include office managers, sales executives, secretary transcriptionists, and office assistants. Such individuals play a key role in coordinating and organizing most activities in the organization. It’d be best if you did proper skills assessments when recruiting new employees.


You can use skills assessments to confirm their personality types and communication skills. You can also give them a computer literacy test to check how good they are. In short, ensure you go for the candidate whose skills match the job description.

Nicholas Mushayi
Super User
This article was written by Nicholas a Super User at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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