In today’s tech-driven world, it’s tough to picture a successful business that functions on the most traditional tools and doesn’t use IT or other associated digital tools that are known to make work easy and error-free. With the world transitioning towards digitization and hybrid working, it is only fair to get onboard employees with the competence, skills, agility, and personality to adapt, learn, and perform under varying situations.

So, if you strive to operate advanced business processes, you’ll need to hire a workforce that knows how to use these tools and software. Microsoft Excel is one such tool that is quite useful for accomplishing everyday chores. Hiring individuals with extensive proficiency, on the other hand, can be daunting, more when you do not possess expertise in the field. First, you must define the strong Excel skills required for their position and how to test these skills in your candidates. An Excel assessment can assist in identifying knowledgeable candidates.

What are Advanced Excel Skills?

Microsoft Excel is the most sought-after spreadsheet tool developed by the company Microsoft. Many firms use this programme to automate daily activities like personnel data administration, financial data management, debit sheet management, data analysis, and more. As a result, this exceptionally user-friendly software is widely used in various sectors, including human resources, sales, marketing, and data analytics, among others. The expertise level can range from beginner to intermediate or advanced Excel skills to operate this tool.

With the use case of MS Excel increasing manifolds, it becomes critical for recruiters to develop an advanced Excel skills checklist to assess and employ candidates for different job requirements in your organization. When doing so, one thing that recruiters must know is: what skills to look for? 

The answer is pretty simple: Skills and competence to work out advanced Excel functions. Advanced Excel skills include processing huge pools of data necessary for business tasks with the efficient use of spreadsheets, tables, graphs, automations, computations, and more. Excel is employed in various means based on the requirement and the responsibilities entailed with specific job types.

The levels of Excel skill competence exists at Three Tiers:


Includes basic keyboard shortcuts that are commonly used, cell references, styling and formatting, etc. 


Includes a little more advancement in the use of functions and formulas like AVERAGE, SUM, SUMPRODUCT, etc.


Includes mastery of formulas, pivots, macros and other features to cater to highly complex tasks.

Some Advanced Excel Skills That Recruiters Should Look Out For

Organizations use Excel to perform a plethora of tasks in a matter of seconds. However, some skills help separate basic Excel users from the experts, empowering you to hire the best among the lot.


INDEX MATCH is nothing but a combination of two functions: INDEX (returns the cell’s value at a given location) and MATCH (returns a cell’s position). 


VLOOKUP, a function that helps you look up a value in a table and retrieve data from a specific column, is a valuable function that allows you to combine multiple sets of information into one.

  • Advanced Conditional Formatting

Advanced Conditional Formatting is nothing but an excellent means to develop spreadsheets by infusing a visual analysis layer with the data sets. 

  • Macros and VBA

Advanced Excel users must know how to apply VBA Macro to list data on all sheets, automate properties and actions in pivot tables, clean up quickly and format data, etc.

  • Pivot Tables and Reporting

A pivot table is another simple yet powerful Excel function used in creating reports of large data sets. It enables you to look at the same data from different perspectives, adding more value to the report.

  • Data Simulations

Simulations include mathematical models that represent various characteristics of a system. While you can use specialized software programs for simulations, someone with advanced Excel skills can use Excel for the same purpose without having to pay for different software and tools.

The Way Forward

To assess candidates on their excel skills, recruiters and hiring managers should: 

  • Evaluate their spreadsheet acumen with the pre-employment screening tests and skill assessments
  • Conduct advanced Excel assessment test to assess skills
  • Compare between screening questions and Excel assessment results to make the final decision

Many professional positions necessitate a variety of advanced Excel skills, and hiring candidates with such expertise is the need of the hour. What if you were told that you do not have to be an Excel whiz to assess and evaluate the applicants as a recruiter? 

Yes, the great news is that tools and skill assessments can make the recruitment process a hassle-free and simple task. With online assessment tools offered by platforms like Discover Assessments, you can identify if a candidate owns the advanced abilities your job role demands. Then, using a combination of screening tests and specialized practical skill assessments like Excel, Powerpoint, or Word assessment tests, and more of the likes, you can make sound hiring decisions and develop an efficient workforce. Moreover, the objective results you will get from these skill assessments can assist you in evaluating each applicant individually and ranking them based on their expertise.

To make the most of your hiring process, contact us now!