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4 essential software skills for HR business analysts


Are you in the process of hiring an HR business analyst? There is a growing demand for candidates for this role, and there are so many factors that can influence the quality of your hire – one of which is the software skills they have. Because they rely on software to analyze and enhance the quality of their hires, an HR business analyst will need top software skills.

If you end up hiring an HR business analyst who lacks the software skills required for the position – or the wrong software skills for your organization – you might run into a few problems. You’ll find that training sessions will be required to get your HR business analyst up to speed, which costs your organization extra time and more money.

So, to help you avoid this, this blog covers:

  • What HR business analysts do and why data is important in the role

  • Why software skills for HR business analysts are important

  • Which software skills should you be looking for in HR business analyst candidates

  • How you can evaluate the required software skills for business analysts

  • The advantages of skills testing for analyzing HR business analyst’s software skills

What do HR business analysts do and why is data important for this role?

HR business analysts are responsible for analyzing your organization’s HR department data. They gather the data, analyze the information, and finally use the information to manage and streamline how your department attracts candidates while keeping costs low. This is the reason why data is essential for the HR business analyst’s role.

Their position also includes enhancing the quality of the candidates your department attracts and handling issues with staffing in your organization. But their role goes a step further too, as HR business analysts use their comprehensive understanding of staffing and recruitment laws in their role to comply with them when making recruitment department decisions.

HR business analysts also make sure employee productivity is efficient. They achieve this by communicating with employees to discover gaps in their skills. If they find that any skills are missing, it is the HR business analysts’ role to create and provide a report to senior management.

To this end, software skills for HR business analysts are crucial. Not only do they help track employee and company data, but the software skills are used to create reports and feedback to management. They can even help automate tasks.

Why else are software skills for HR business analysts important?

There are various other reasons why software skills are important for HR business analysts. The software that HR business analysts use helps to streamline their work and maintain the quality of their HR data. 

Analyzing employee data requires an understanding of software and systems as well. For example, one type of system HR business analysts should be familiar with is HRIS, or Human Resources Information Systems, which are fundamental to data analysis within the context of your company.

Which software skills should you be looking for in HR business analyst candidates?

We’ve mentioned that HRIS systems or software are critical for the HR business analyst role you’re hiring for. But there is also a selection of essential types of software that your HR business analyst candidates should be familiar with as well. Take a look at the following types of software. Do your candidates have skills with these?

Microsoft Excel

Your HR business analyst will need to use Microsoft Excel throughout the process of gathering and analyzing employee data. For this reason, they need to be competent and confident in using Microsoft Excel and its advanced features.

Not only will they need to analyze the data they store in the Microsoft Excel software, but they will also need to keep employee data organized and draw conclusions and insights from the data they collect. 

Your HR business analyst candidates should also be familiar with the reports feature provided on Microsoft Excel to create reports for stakeholders. Taken together, these skills are fundamental to the success of an HR business analyst candidate.

Power BI

Another software skill you should be looking for in your HR business analysts is their knowledge of Power BI. The software can streamline and make it simpler to distribute data analytics that corresponds to the employee data they have collected.

Software skills in Power BI are vital to the success of your HR business analyst candidates for various reasons. As your candidates will be using the software to prepare data well as interpret tables and statistics, they will need to be familiar with Microsoft Power BI. 


As managing data is at the heart of your HR business analyst’s role, they will need to be confident when using Tableau software. As with Microsoft Excel and Power BI, software skills in Tableau can make a significant difference to how successful your HR business analysts will be in the role.

Skills in Tableau are important. This software is the key to making data-driven hiring and recruitment decisions – which your HR business analyst will be carrying out every day.

Data visualization is also crucial to the HR business analyst role, which is exactly why your candidates should be able to use Tableau confidently. If your HR business analyst can build visualizations for the data they collect via Tableau, they will then make it easier for their recruitment team to understand the data with ease.

Microsoft Windows

Knowledge of Microsoft Windows is highly recommended for HR business analysts. The reports and files created in Microsoft Windows all need to be handled, saved, and accessed via the Microsoft Windows software platform, so your candidates should be familiar with this.

As well as being able to use Windows File Explorer, your candidates should understand the basic functions with ease to store and organize employee data files.

How you can evaluate the required software skills for HR business analysts?

When it comes to evaluating the required skills for your HR business analysts, there’s one key, simple way to do it – use a reliable skill-testing platform to your advantage. The top skill-testing platforms will feature a huge selection of tests, ranging from Microsoft Windows to Microsoft Excel. These tests are beneficial for various reasons, which we will get into later.

Below, we have included the essential skills tests that will make assessing your HR business analyst candidates’ software skills a breeze. All of these tests can be found on the TestGorilla platform and are ideal for making the best hiring decision for your vacancy.

Microsoft Excel (advanced) software skills test

Find out how confident your candidates can use Microsoft Excel at an advanced level by giving them a Microsoft Excel (advanced) software skills test. Use the results to dig deeper into your candidate’s knowledge of producing reports from the data they have gathered and how well they can gain insights from data.

Power BI software skills test

Use the Power BI software skills test to discover how technically skilled your candidates are with this software. Find out if they are competent with data visualization, whether they can distribute data across your organization, and have data preparation aptitudes that will help them be successful within the role.

Tableau software skills test

To get more information on how well your candidates can use Tableau software, you’ll need the Tableau software skills test. This test will help you evaluate how confidently your candidates can manage data, create and perform advanced calculations, build visualizations, and organize data. It’s also ideal for understanding whether your candidates can gain insights from the data they store in the software to make recruitment decisions.

Microsoft Windows software skills test

If you want to accurately assess your candidate’s Microsoft Window software skills, the Microsoft Windows software skills test is what you’ll need. It will help you find out how confidently they can store, access, and move data and files in Windows File Explorer, and whether they can understand the basics of Microsoft Windows.

Key benefits of skills testing for assessing HR business analyst’s software skills

There are three main advantages of using skills tests to assess your HR business analysts’ software skills. The main benefits are:

  1. Testing a vast selection of software skills used in the HR analyst position is easy. All you need to do is select from the extensive range of skills tests on a reliable skill-testing platform and distribute the software skills tests among your candidates.

  2. Reducing your cost-per-hire is no problem. Recruitment costs can add up the longer it takes to make a hiring decision. With a software skills test, you’ll find it simple to instantly filter the HR business analyst candidates who are unqualified for the position. This reduces time-to-hire and, in turn, your company’s cost-per-hire.

  3. Choosing candidates who will perform well in the role is simple as the results will indicate which candidates are software superstars. No longer will you have to rely on personal opinions or ‘gut feelings’ about candidates. Choose the most competent candidates who have the best software skills for the position.

Hire top HR business analysts with the best software skills for the job

It’s vital to learn as much as you can about your candidates and their software skills in the time that you have. But although it might seem challenging, this doesn’t need to be difficult! Software skills tests on reliable skills testing platforms will:

  • Give you more information on your candidates’ software knowledge

  • Help you avoid hiring bias, and

  • Keep your time-to-hire low

They will make your hiring decisions easier. So, explore TestGorilla’s vast range of software skills tests for HR business analysts and make top hiring decisions based on your candidates’ results.

Recommended reading: 43 behavioral interview questions for business analysts (plus answers to look for)


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