TestGorilla LogoTestGorilla Logo

Why is reading comprehension in the workplace so important?


Proficient reading comprehension in the workplace is a crucial skill every employee needs so they can do their job well. It’s vital across practically all industries and sectors, but especially for office jobs.

In essence, reading comprehension includes understanding written communication by identifying the main idea behind a message, analyzing it, recognizing what the author said, and taking action based on that information.

Nowadays, most people chat, email, or message each other in their personal and working lives.

At the workplace, employees will receive tasks from their superiors communicated in writing, either via email or chat. In order for them to perform these tasks well, team members need excellent reading-comprehension skills. 

Employees who understand written instructions and what is required from them without any problems will communicate better with colleagues and perform their duties to a higher standard.

Therefore, as the hiring manager at your organization, it is important to test prospective employees’ reading-comprehension skills during the hiring process.

By using a reading-comprehension test, you will know if your next hire has difficulties following written texts and you can assign training courses to alleviate any future problems.

This article will explore why reading comprehension is essential in the workplace, the roles for which this skill is an absolute must, and how you can assess reading comprehension using TestGorilla’s tests.

Benefits of excellent reading comprehension in the workplace

As mentioned, reading comprehension is a vital skill most employees need to do their jobs to a satisfactory level.

definition of comprehension

Some of the main benefits you can expect from employing people with excellent reading-comprehension skills are: 

1. Receiving and following instructions 

Every day, employees receive written instructions from their superiors. If an employee has a poor understanding of the language they are using, their work process will become tedious and unproductive. 

Therefore, for employers, it is vital to have employees with good reading-comprehension skills so they can follow orders effectively. 

2. Identifying important information 

Having a good understanding of a text will enable employees to locate the most important part of a message and take action based on that information. 

Most of the time, what we try to say can be summarized in a few words or sentences. However, our line of thought doesn’t work like a computer, and when we write something or give instructions to someone, we may end up writing more than necessary. 

An employee with excellent reading comprehension can quickly analyze the structure of a text, perceive existing relationships between sentences, identify the most important information, and summarize the whole thing into concrete actions to be taken. 

3. Working in a team

Most jobs require some form of collaboration between employees or different teams.

Since it is expensive and time-consuming to schedule face-to-face meetings every time something in a project comes up, employees use writing to ask questions and move a project forward.

If someone on the team cannot recognize what their colleagues are saying, your organization will struggle to finish tasks and clients’ projects on time, which can lead to losses for your firm.

However, when reading comprehension is high among all teams, employees can work together productively, resulting in more projects being completed on time and enhancing your organization’s performance. 

4. Identifying errors

Lastly, with excellent reading-comprehension skills, employees can spot mistakes in a document or task, ask searching questions about the meaning of a text, and take corrective action.

Humans beings frequently make mistakes, especially when we work on a text by ourselves. Even if we go over something 100 times and edit it meticulously, the chances of missing a comma or saying something by mistake are still high.

But good reading-comprehension skills enable employees to correct their work and that of their colleagues thoroughly in order to present well-written and concise texts. 

For which roles is reading comprehension particularly important?

Reading comprehension is a vital skill for any role and every industry. There isn’t a field that doesn’t require employees to understand even the most basic written information.

Of course, some jobs work specifically with texts, documents, and statistics, including diagrams, charts, graphs, and tables. That includes any desk job that requires a computer.

For which roles is reading comprehension particularly important?

To be more specific, the following list of jobs require strong reading-comprehensions skills:

  • Customer service

  • Data analyst 

  • Translator

  • Help-desk technician

  • Editor

  • Accountant 

  • IT specialist

If your organization includes any of the above jobs, you should test employees’ reading-comprehension skills. 

How can you test your applicants’ reading comprehension? 

As with many other skills, you can test reading comprehension quickly and easily with TestGorilla, using the Reading Comprehension test. The Reading Comprehension test is part of TestGorilla’s cognitive-ability tests.

The test will help you to ascertain an employee’s ability to identify the main points of a text and make inferences based on that information. Areas covered by TestGorilla’s Reading Comprehension test include:

  • Identifying the main thought of a passage

  • Making inferences based on a passage

Areas covered by TestGorilla's Read

Testing for reading comprehension will not only give you insights into a candidate’s ability to process and understand written communication quickly but will also give you indicators of their capacity to think critically, solve problems, follow instructions, and pay attention to details.

Even though you can get that information by using the Reading Comprehension test, you might want to further test a candidate’s ability in any or all of these core cognitive skills, which you can evaluate with the following assessments: 

Reading comprehension is a crucial core skill – which is why you should evaluate it

Reading comprehension is a vital skill for almost any job, so your employees should be proficient.

With strong reading comprehension, employees can follow instructions more easily, identify important information quicker, take action based on that information, work better in a team, and identify and correct mistakes in a text.

You can evaluate the skill using TestGorilla’s Reading Comprehension test, including it in your pre-employment assessment when hiring new employees for various roles.

Test applicants’ reading skills with our bias-free assessments, and hire the right match for the role you’re looking to fill.  Get started for free today and start making better hiring decisions, faster and bias-free.


Hire the best candidates with TestGorilla

Create pre-employment assessments in minutes to screen candidates, save time, and hire the best talent.

The best advice in pre-employment testing, in your inbox.

No spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

TestGorilla Logo

Hire the best. No bias. No stress.

Our screening tests identify the best candidates and make your hiring decisions faster, easier, and bias-free.

Free resources

Anti-cheating checklist

This checklist covers key features you should look for when choosing a skills testing platform

Onboarding checklist

This resource will help you develop an onboarding checklist for new hires.

How to find candidates with strong attention to detail

How to assess your candidates' attention to detail.

How to get HR certified

Learn how to get human resources certified through HRCI or SHRM.

Improve quality of hire

Learn how you can improve the level of talent at your company.

Case study
Case study: How CapitalT reduces hiring bias

Learn how CapitalT reduced hiring bias with online skills assessments.

Resume screening guide

Learn how to make the resume process more efficient and more effective.

Recruiting metrics
Important recruitment metrics

Improve your hiring strategy with these 7 critical recruitment metrics.

Case study
Case study: How Sukhi reduces shortlisting time

Learn how Sukhi decreased time spent reviewing resumes by 83%!

12 pre-employment testing hacks

Hire more efficiently with these hacks that 99% of recruiters aren't using.

The benefits of diversity

Make a business case for diversity and inclusion initiatives with this data.