How Do Employers Use WorkKeys®?

There are three WorkKeys employer use models. With each ascending approach, the return on investment for an employer improves.


Ask candidates to share their WorkKeys NCRC credential information on their job application or as a part of the interview process.

  • Employers who recommend receiving a WorkKeys NCRC from job candidates can use it as a ‘plus factor’ in hiring decisions. Employers can learn more about the credential and verify it here provided the job candidate has made searchable.
  • The WorkKeys NCRC is a widely used industry credential, eligible for college credit at the Silver and above levels by the American Council on Education, and its use should be consistent with how the employer uses other industry or academic credentials in their employment hiring practices.
  • WorkKeys NCRC provides information on the work readiness skills and competencies an individual possesses.
  • Many high schools, community colleges and workforce organizations offer the three (3) WorkKeys assessments required to earn a WorkKeys NCRC. If the assessments and NCRC are not readily available via these channels, employers can provide the three WorkKeys assessments on-site.

Learn more about skills information shown on the credential.

If employers are concerned about the possibility of

adverse impact

Adverse impact refers to a disparity in selection for hiring or promotion that disadvantages individuals of a particular race, ethnicity or sex.


on a protected group, it would be prudent for the employer to determine the skills and skill levels that it uses in a more formal manner that takes account of the EEOC’s Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. See the discussion of Best model described below.


Learn more about what WorkKeys scores mean, and how you can use scores to determine employee training readiness.

  • Become a WorkKeys test center and offer assessments to all job candidates and current employees.
  • Use resources to gain insights on WorkKeys assessment levels as they relate to various occupations and training readiness. These resources include:
    • WorkKeys Occupational Information. Available at no cost, this information allows employers to understand how WorkKeys NCRC results relate to various occupations.
    • WorkKeys® Estimator®. Available for purchase, the WorkKeys Estimator is a quick, step-by-step tool employers can use to estimate the WorkKeys skill and skill level requirements needed for entry into and effective performance in employer training programs.

WorkKeys Occupational Information provides WorkKeys skill and skill level information for a variety of occupations aggregated across multiple employers and is not specific to a particular job in a particular company. Its purpose is to help employers better understand what WorkKeys skill levels mean relative to common occupations. Because the data is not specific to a particular job, employers should not rely upon this WorkKeys Occupational Information skills level data as a selection criteria in their employment practices.


Use WorkKeys job profile process for a job analysis related to the skills measured by the WorkKeys assessments. Using this approach, employers can be confident they are using their testing dollars wisely by precisely connecting their jobs with the WorkKeys skills and skill levels needed.

  • Employers receive a customized task list and content validation report with WorkKeys skills and levels required for hiring, proficiency, and training needs.
  • Employers using the ACT job profile process have indicated this results in greater reduction in turnover, reduced training costs, and improved productivity and safety outcomes.
  • In any hiring scenario, the use of additional criteria (such as job interviews and work samples) will reduce an employers’ legal exposure.

Find more information about obtaining a job profile here.

WorkKeys® for Better Hiring Decisions

WorkKeys solutions enable employers to make better hiring and promotion decisions using WorkKeys assessments, credentials, and job analysis tools.

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Why Should Employers Use WorkKeys®?

Good hiring decisions are made when employers understand the job candidates skills verified through proven assessments.

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Where Do Employers Obtain WorkKeys®?

Employers can easily obtain WorkKeys solutions directly from ACT.

Here's How