Grammar is a critical component of professionalism because it demonstrates that employees can communicate their thoughts in organized, intelligent, and thoughtful ways. Correct grammar usage is also correlated with a wider constellation of abilities and habits including attention to detail, trainability, and communication skills.
Unfortunately, employers are finding it increasingly difficult to find candidates with the grammar skills necessary for the workplace. While the growing prevalence of texting and social media may be responsible for reshaping our standard notions of communication, correct grammar in the workplace is not obsolete. One recent study revealed that 45% of employers planned to increase their employee-training programs to improve employees’ grammar skills. Employers clearly consider grammar to be a business necessity worthy of allocating additional training resources. This is no surprise – grammar mistakes can lead to communication errors that damage workplace efficiency. Even worse, some grammar errors can be embarrassing to an organization if an employee representing the company sends out a grammatically incorrect message to clients or customers.
Using pre-employment grammar tests can help employers ensure that they are hiring employees they can trust to represent the company in a positive way. Administering grammar tests in the hiring process allows companies to avoid having to spend money on grammar training programs after employees have already joined the company. Pre-employment grammar tests are most useful for positions that require a lot of written communication. When assessing basic grammar skills, some employers use the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST), a 20 minute test that determines job readiness and trainability by measuring basic verbal, math, and communication skills. Verbal and math subscores are listed separately. The CBST is useful for a wide variety of entry-level jobs. For example, the CBST is an excellent basic grammar and communication test for administrative assistants, paralegals, and receptionists.
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