You know how important it is to make the right decision when you are hiring. While you can always get rid of a bad candidate, finding a quality employee is expensive. You also have extended downtime from not being fully staffed. Combined, those factors turn a bad hiring decision into a costly practice for companies. The smaller the company or more critical the employee, the greater the potential for a really devastating impact.
For that reason, more and more companies are turning to pre-employment testing to help them pick the right candidate the first time. Pre-employment testing helps you go beyond what a candidate presents on a resume or in an interview and get an in-depth glimpse of that employee. Pre-employment testing can give you insight into a candidate’s work ethic, personality, history, and even job skills.
What Is Pre-Employment Testing?
Pre-employment testing is a broad category. It refers to any type of test that employers use to help assess potential employees. It can be done in a variety of ways, from online screening assessments to in-person urine tests to screen for drug and alcohol usage.
They can be used to help identify a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. These tests help determine if a person would be an appropriate fit for a company’s culture or an existing team. They are also helpful in determining the best way to coach or develop a person, if they are hired.
Tests can also be used to help verify a person’s resume and background experience. Can the person perform the tasks they say they can perform? Are they drug-and-alcohol free?
However you choose to use them, pre-employment testing is one way to give your HR department an advantage when you are looking for new hires.
What Are the Different Types of Pre-Employment Testing?
Some people think that all pre-employment testing is the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, there is a wide range of pre-employment test types and choosing the right ones depends on your company and your hiring needs.
These tests look at performance. How fast can a person type? Do they know this programming language? Can they edit a document? Can they write at a required level? What level of proficiency do they possess in a certain language? There are employment screening tests that can measure all of those skills.
Much like skills, in some jobs you need a certain level of knowledge to succeed. These tests are similar to standardized tests and focus on industry-specific knowledge.
Cognitive Ability Tests
How sharp is an employee? How quickly can they complete basic tasks? These tests measure an employee’s ability to engage in logical, verbal, and numerical reasoning.
Soft Skills Assessments
Often presented like puzzles, these assessments focus on the soft skills an employee could use to be successful. How do they communicate? How do they tackle a problem? Are they honest? Do they work well in a team?
While personality does not dictate job performance, personality can help you decide if someone is right for a job. It can also help managers relate to employees and guide coaching and mentoring for a new hire. There are different personality assessments, but one of the most common is the Myers Briggs.
Culture Fit Assessments
These are usually given alongside personality assessments. They do not look at the candidate in isolation, but how that candidate is likely to perform with an existing group. They can also look at a candidate’s values to see if the candidate and the company have similar goals.
You may hear these tests called a number of different things, including situational judgment tests. We call them stress tests because they are designed to see how candidates will handle stressful scenarios. They look at how well employees can follow instructions and prioritize tasks when faced with a stressful scenario.
There are a number of other tests that employers might use to help find the right employees. Drug screenings and tests for physical fitness for the job are two examples of these other types of tests.
Key Benefits of Pre-Employment Testing
The main benefit of pre-employment testing is that they can make it easier for you to pick the right candidate for the job.
Make Hiring Faster
Pre-employment tests can streamline the process by weeding out applicants that might look good on paper but lack the skills or personality for the job.
Pre-employment screening tests are objective. They provide employers with an objective data for hiring decisions, which is great documentation to have if your hiring process is ever questioned.
Improve the Quality of Your New-Hires
Pre-employment testing lets you compare potential candidates to your ideal candidate. While they cannot guarantee you hire the right candidate, they can greatly improve your odds.