Certainly, you've heard about Pre-employment Testing and Assessment before, but have you ever give it any thought about what these tools can really do for your recruitment process? When aiming to get the best talent, CV screening and unstructured interview results alone are not reliable enough because candidates can include misleading statements in their CVs and provide inaccurate information during face-to-face interviews while trying to impress the recruiter.
In our last post we discussed the importance of conducting structured interviews to identify the best candidates and today we would like to tell you why you should also use pre-employment assessment to further improve the quality of hire at your company.
What is Pre-employment testing and assessment?
Pre-employment testing and assessment is one of the most objective ways of predicting job performance and company fit. It consists in the use of tests and questionnaires to assess candidates in terms of a wide range of aspects such as cognitive ability, critical thinking skills, personality, preferences and motivation, among many others.
Well-designed and scientifically validated tests are a reliable and objective way of assessing candidates and they provide concrete results that can be standardised across all applicants. Recruiters can use test results to make better informed and more defensible hiring decisions. The use of pre-employment test and assessment by both large and small companies is significantly increasing year by year. For example, the publisher of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test, states that 89 of the Fortune 100 companies use their personality test to screen candidates and predict future success.
There are many types of tests you can choose from and your testing needs may vary depending on what you’re looking for in candidates for a specific department or industry. For hiring senior level executives you’ll probably want to assess cognitive ability and overall personality traits. If you´re hiring a waiter maybe you’ll be more interested in personality traits like sociability, timeliness, and conscientiousness.
However, even though you may use different types of tests, ideally, they should be normative – so that candidates’ scores can be quickly compared; reliable and valid – to be a proven predictor of job performance, tests must be scientifically validated and candidates have to score similar results if they re-take the test; hard to game – the answers to the tests can’t be available online and the test must be an accurate assessment of actual skills and behavioural traits; candid – the tests can’t have “leading” questions and have to be designed in such a way that candidates can be screened for overall honesty.
3 main reasons why you should use Pre-employment Testing and Assessment in your hiring
1. Pre-employment Testing and Assessment are more objective
Rely on objective data to make better hiring decisions. Pre-employment tests can provide you with standardised, useful insights on candidates and predict job performance and company fit. By using this data to identify and hire the right candidate you’ll also improve overall productivity and effectiveness of your teams.
Unlike face to face interviews, pre-employment testing allows you to assess a wide range of applicable skills and personality traits. It allows you to assess various characteristics of the candidate such as: cognitive ability, strategic thinking, subject-area knowledge, confidence, problem solving ability, leadership ability, agreeableness, organisational skills, helpfulness, analytical skills, risk-taking, productivity, initiative, honesty, people-skills, reliability, positivity, empathy, collaboration, etc.
2.Pre-employment Testing and Assessment increase employee retention
As important as hiring the right candidate, it’s crucial for companies to retain talent and reduce turnover. With pre-employment testing and assessment, you can screen candidates more efficiently for aptitude and personality and assess whether a candidate is likely to stay in the role and fit in with the company culture.
To assess if candidates are fit for a position, there are many factors that can be considered such as passion for learning; overall ambition; ownership and initiative; empathy; communication skills; critical thinking skills; collaboration skills; honesty; motivation; curiosity; etc. Screening for these skills during a standard face-to-face interview can be really difficult.
Employees that aren’t the right fit for a job will eventually underperform in terms of engagement with the role and productivity and, thus, are more likely to leave. And as you well know, replacing a bad hire can be very expensive and time-consuming. But pre-employment testing and assessment can reduce costs on hiring and training costs by providing you with data that will help you hire the right people for a position the first time.
3. Pre-employment Testing and Assessment increase legal defensibility
Contrary to what people normally think, pre-employment testing and assessment can increase the legal defensibility of your hiring process, when used correctly. The use of pre-employment testing and assessment has to follow the same guidelines as any other hiring selection method (including resumes, interviews, etc.)
These guidelines state that pre-employment tests and assessments are completely legal to use as long as they are job-related. Tests have an additional layer of legal defensibility due to the fact that they provide employers with objective, scientifically validated predictors of success in a job, in opposition to other subjective hiring methods. These actually gives companies a chance to better defend their hiring procedures if someone questions their hiring process legality.
Thanks for reading and see you next time!
Your team here at skeeled