About TalentABQ

What is TalentABQ?
TalentABQ is a joint initiative between Innovate+Educate, the City of Albuquerque, NM Department of Workforce Solutions, Central NM Community College and Mayor Richard Berry to advance Albuquerque’s workforce and help employers find talent using Skills Based Hiring. The goal of TalentABQ is to connect job seekers and employers through the common language of skills, so that all citizens have access to opportunity and employment. TalentABQ is a national pilot for Skills Based Hiring and is the first program of its kind in the country.
Who is Innovate+Educate?
Innovate+Educate is a New Mexico based national non-profit implementing research-based strategies to close the national skills gap and bridge the opportunity divide. We are focused on total systemic transformation through national policy advocacy and movement building, boundary-pushing research, development of practical tools and services and program and service delivery at the community level. Through this aligned effort, Innovate+Educate is creating sustainable and scalable ecosystems that prove Skills Based Hiring, training and credentials open new pathways for job seekers, benefit employers and strengthen communities.

For Job Seekers

Can I get hired just from my skill score?
It depends on each individual employer, but like most jobs, there will be other requirements that the employer is looking for. Skill scores can help you demonstrate your ability to do the job if you lack experience, don’t have a degree, are currently in school or are transitioning to a new career.
How do I get a skill score?
In partnership with TalentABQ, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions is offering the WorkKeys® skill assessments to New Mexico job seekers at no charge. You can schedule your WorkKeys® assessments here: http://skillstestingnm.schedulething.com
What is WorkKeys®?
WorkKeys®, created by ACT, the makers of the college entrance exam, designed WorkKeys® to assess real-world, workplace skills needed across most jobs. WorkKeys® is not like the tests you took in school that focus on content like history, algebra and science. WorkKeys® measures common workplace skills like Reading for Information, Locating Information, Workplace Observation and Listening for Understanding. See the question below for a complete list of the WorkKeys® assessments offered in New Mexico. View sample questions here: http://www.act.org/workkeys/assess/sample.html
What WorkKeys® Assessments are available?
The following WorkKeys® assessments are available to New Mexico job seekers at no charge at multiple testing locations across Albuquerque. You can learn more about each test and view sample questions at: http://www.act.org/workkeys/assess/sample.html

Required for many jobs

  • Reading for Information
  • Locating Information
  • Workplace Observation
  • Applied Math

Required for some jobs

  • Business Writing
  • Listening for Understanding
  • Applied Technology
  • Talent

What if I don't know which WorkKeys® tests to take?
If you are applying for a specific job and the assessments are not listed in the job posting, you can contact the employer directly. If you are not applying for a specific job, the three most common WorkKeys® assessments are Reading for Information, Locating Information and Applied Math. If you take all three of these, you can earn a National Career Readiness Certificate that shows an employer you have fundamental workplace skills. See question: What is a National Career Readiness Certificate? for more information.
Where do I take WorkKeys®?
There are several testing centers across Albuquerque. You can view the locations and schedule your assessments here: http://skillstestingnm.schedulething.com
What should I expect on testing day?
This is a general list of suggestions based on people who have already experienced taking WorkKeys®. Note that each location may vary slightly in conditions and rules. If you still have questions, contact the testing center where you have scheduled your assessments.

  1. Bring a photo ID with you and your social security number; proctors may ask for one or both.
  2. There is no food or beverages allowed in the room.
  3. Mobile phones are not allowed in the room. You may bring a calculator for the Applied Math test or they may provide one for you. Check in advance with your testing location.
  4. There is no talking during the assessment.
  5. Plan your wardrobe accordingly, as the room may be cold (we recommend wearing layers)
  6. If you are taking more than two assessments in one day, you may want to bring a snack to have during one of the breaks.
  7. The assessments are timed. You may finish an assessment early but you cannot receive extra time to finish. The assessment times vary but average 55 minutes.
  8. If you get up and leave the computer during an assessment, you can NOT pause the timer and it will continue to countdown.
  9. You may take a 10 minute break between assessments if you are taking more than one.
  10. There is a proctor in the room at all times.
  11. If you are taking the WorkKeys® tests on a computer, your results are available immediately upon completion. Your results are confidential and you will receive a copy of your skill scores.

Your scores are based on the number of questions answered CORRECTLY. If you’re not happy with your scores, you can skill-up and retake the assessment.

CLICK HERE TO SKILL UP »

I've taken WorkKeys® and received my skill scores, but I'm not really sure what they mean.
There is a brief explanation on the bottom of each of your skill score reports. The WorkKeys website breaks down each assessment by skill score and gives a description of both what the assessment is measuring and what skills you have based on your score. You can use this information when communicating with potential employers to show them you have the skills to do the job.
How can I skill up?
Through TalentABQ, you can skill up for free, using KeyTrain®, an online series of courses directly aligned to WorkKeys®. There are also 26 skill up centers across Albuquerque where you can have access to a computer and the internet as well as other resources geared at helping prepare you for getting a job, improving your skills, researching the types of jobs that match your skills and more.

Request a KeyTrain® account here »

See a list of TalentABQ Skill Up Centers »

*NOTE: If you have already taken WorkKeys® and then use KeyTrain® to skill up, you have to retake each WorkKeys® assessment to find out if you have increased your skills. Once you retake WorkKeys®, your new skill score will replace the previous skill score.

What is the difference between WorkKeys® and KeyTrain®?
WorkKeys® is a timed and proctored assessment that measures your workplace skills. KeyTrain®, is a free, online series of courses that you can take, at your own pace and on your own time to help you improve your skills. KeyTrain® was designed specifically to help improve the skills tested with WorkKeys®. If you are at all nervous about taking the WorkKeys® assessments, KeyTrain® is a great way to practice and get comfortable with the concepts, questions and skills that will be measured with WorkKeys®.
What is a National Career Readiness Certificate?
The National Career Readiness Certificate or NCRC was also created by ACT and is issued to individuals who take the following WorkKeys® assessments: Reading for Information, Locating Information and Applied Math. The NCRC is nationally recognized across more than 40 states. You can learn more about the NCRC here: https://www.act.org/certificate/
I've lost my scores, how can I get new copies of my skill score report?
You can retrieve your lost scores by calling: 1-800-967-5539. You can also create an account at: www.myWorkKeys®.com.

You will need your “Examinee ID” that you created when you took your assessments. If you do not have this information, they will give it to you over the phone when you call the above phone number. Once you have created your account, they will email you an activation code. Follow the instructions in the email to activate your account.

Once you have completed this step, you will be able to view your scores online and print off copies in the “Test Management” section of the website. There is NO CHARGE to print off copies from this website. If you order “official transcripts” they charge $5.50 per transcript. If you have any problems, contact ACT directly, at the number above.

What is a Job Search profile?
A JobSearch profile is an online skill profile provided to job seekers as part of the TalentABQ initiative. The JobSearch profile allows you to use your WorkKeys® test scores to connect with employers who are looking for candidates that have skill scores. Additionally, the JobSearch application can help you identify jobs which are a good match for your skills and makes it easy to showcase your WorkKeys® scores with prospective employers.

For Employers

How can Skills Based Hiring help me?
Skills Based Hiring uses assessments that measure workplace skills that are critical to job success. Each assessment measures different skills specific to the job you are hiring for and can serve as an additional, validated reference for both the candidates current skill levels as well as their ability to effectively learn on the job.

Research shows that Skills Based Hiring is 5x more predictive of success on the job than hiring by degree alone. Employers using Skills Based Hiring have experienced significant reductions in turnover, time and cost-to-hire and time and cost-to-train. You can learn more about Skills Based Hiring and see national case studies here »

How do I implement Skills Based Hiring?
It’s easy! Through TalentABQ, integrating Skills Based Hiring into your existing hiring practices is free and just a few simple steps. We help you add skills scores to your job posting then you post your job in all the normal places. We will also post your job for free on our website. Once there are skill scores associated with your job posting, TalentABQ will also send you candidates with matching skill scores. Simply fill out the form here or contact us today to get started.
Where do I get the skill scores for my job posting?
TalentABQ uses WorkKeys as a validated measure of job skills. Based on your job description, our team will help you determine which skills and the skill levels that best match the skills to do the job. By then preferring WorkKeys in your job description, job seekers know which assessments to take and what skill levels are preferred. Job seekers take WorkKeys at one of several testing centers around Albuquerque and can then voluntarily include their results with their application.
What types of positions work best with Skills Based Hiring?
The great thing about Skills Based Hiring is that it uses objective and validated measures of workplace skills for jobs across all levels from entry to executive level. Skills Based Hiring is an additional way to measure “ability to do the job” not always immediately apparent through education, resume or experience. In one case study, a New Mexico company was hiring a CFO. This position required a bachelor’s degree and four years experience. The job description also preferred a master’s level education, additional certifications and WorkKeys. They received 17 applications meeting all of the educational and certification requirements but only 5 met the minimum WorkKeys skill levels.
How can I learn more?
TalentABQ is here to answer any questions you have about Skills Based Hiring and integrating it into your hiring practices. There are 3 ways to contact us:

Fill out the Employer form here »
Email Genie Jones
Call us at (505) 780-8488

WorkKeys® and KeyTrain® are registered trademarks of ACT, Inc. For more information, please visit http://www.act.org/products/workforce-act-workkeys/ or http://www.keytrain.com.