How Employment Testing Can Help You Discover the Right Charity Role

5 minute read

Employment testing is by no means a new concept. Established in the early 1900s as a means of assessing intelligence, it has evolved into a clear-cut way of discovering if a candidate is right for a role (and vice versa). And these days, it’s not uncommon to find charities using these tests as part of the hiring process.

But what can employment testing tell recruiters about you? It allows them to dig deep into your capabilities, your aptitudes and your personality to really understand where and how you’ll thrive in an organisation. And in a sector like non-profit, that can help shape the direction of your career, no matter how unconventional, can go in.

Maybe you know you want to work for a charity, but you aren’t quite sure which role matches your skillset. Well then, you’re in luck, because tests like these are the perfect way of understanding if a job is the right fit.

Let’s take a closer look at exactly how employment testing can benefit you during your job hunt.

How Employment Testing Can Help You Discover the Right Charity Role

The different types of employment tests

Employment tests typically fall into one of two areas:

Skills tests, also known as ability tests, are often used by hiring managers as the first stage of recruitment. You may be tested for your:

  • Numerical reasoning skills
  • Verbal reasoning skills
  • Logical reasoning skills


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More often than not, skills tests are tailored to specific positions – i.e. admin or finance – and are used to assess your ability to handle tasks you’ll encounter on the job. This gives recruiters a clear idea of how you’d react in commonplace situations, and whether or not you have the right problem-solving skill set for that particular role.

And as a candidate, this is a great way to understand what a particular job will be like and whether or not you’ll like the work you’d be doing. Don’t forget, these tests are just as much for you as they are for the recruiters, so it’s important to use them to learn what you like and what you don’t.

Psychometric tests, on the other hand, are all about you as an individual. Not every personality type is suited for every job, so this will help you find the careers you’ll thrive in.

While you can provide incorrect answers for the skill tests, this is not the case with psychometric tests or personality profiling. Rather, they aim to provide a good indication of your character, your strengths and weaknesses. Most recruiters across all industries use a mix of the two to get the best outcome from the process.

How Employment Testing Can Help You Discover the Right Charity Role

Employment tests help you get through the first recruitment hurdle

Not all charities use employment testing, but many will provide tests prior to the interview stage to weed out unsuitable people. So if you’re called in for an interview, you’ll know you’re doing pretty well so far.

Of course, some people are just better at interviewing than others. It’s certainly something everyone can improve on. Research conducted by Twin Employment and Training shows that 40% of interviewers would fail someone if they didn’t smile. Around two-thirds of recruiters also rejected people who didn’t make eye contact.

In other words, a lot of decisions around interviews are based on gut and first-impressions. That’s why lots of charities use these tests – it minimises the risk of hiring the wrong person.


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Hiring is a financial commitment, and employment tests prove that charities are making the right investment

According to Growth Business, 19.5% of recruiters lost a minimum of £15,000 on someone who didn’t stick around very long.

If we apply these losses to the charity sector, we can see how employment testing is in fact an investment rather than a cost. Sure, the idea of testing may seem daunting for an eager (and frankly overwhelmed) jobseeker, but that money helps the charity find the best person for each vacancy. And the quality of each employee has a direct impact on that charity’s success.

If you fail and aren’t recruited by a specific charity, it doesn’t mean you won’t be recruited by another one. It just means you weren’t the right person for that role. You can learn a lot from taking the tests – information that might well be of use in future job searches.

How Employment Testing Can Help You Discover the Right Charity Role

Employment tests give hiring managers a deeper understanding of you as a person

Charities recognise the power of identifying key traits in their applicants. They want people with passion and drive; people who will work hard and inspire change. Those are the people who will help bring more money to their cause.

Of course, those traits aren’t always immediately obvious in a CV or cover letter; that’s where personality profiling can help fill those gaps. And charities who are using these tests are benefitting by getting the best results from their recruitment efforts. Finding the right employees means their money is being well spent. And those results don’t merely attract better recruits, they also impress those who fund them—their donors.

If you are about to apply for positions in the charity sector, get ready to take some psychometric and skills tests. Don’t be afraid of them – they may just single you out as the best person for the role. And who knows, you might learn a thing or two about yourself along the way.

What are your thoughts on employment testing in the charity sector? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. Think you’re ready to start applying for roles? Find out what jobs are available in the charity sector today.

Denise Allen

Denise Allen is the Marketing Manager at Skillsarena.

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