Hiring new talent for your company can be a long and tiring process. In order to make sure you’re getting the person who’s not only best suited for the specific role you’re looking to fill, but will also fit the team’s culture, and the company’s values, you may have to conduct several interviews, with different people from your staff. This is not only time-consuming, and may be a drain on your resources, but may not always be the most objective way of making a decision. Pre-employment testing can help you save time, reduce your budget, and be more effective in general.
What is pre-employment testing?
Pre-employment tests can be used to screen job candidates even before the first phone interview, at any point in the process, or instead of interviewing altogether and can revolve around the different aspects of the job or anything surrounding it. The tests can include background checks, general knowledge, work skills, language proficiency, personality, emotional intelligence, physical abilities and more. All of those tests generally fall under one of two groups: personality and skills.
The personality tests are used to measure behavioral patterns that are important to perform the role you’re looking to fill. For instance, a social worker will need strong interpersonal skills. There are no right or wrong answers here, but they can provide a glimpse into how confident an applicant might feel in the role. Skill tests can be very important for technical positions, where the candidates must have a certain skill in order to succeed.
The benefits of pre-employment testing
As we mentioned, there are a number of advantages to using pre-employment tests in your recruiting process. We’ll start with the most apparent one.
Instead of wasting 30 minutes over the phone, trying to assess whether one person is right for the job, you can spend 30 minutes sending a written assessment to 10 people. You’ve saved the interviewer’s time, and they will only be talking to someone who is really skilled. In the assessment, you can test skills such as typing speed, and written communication, which can no be tested in conversation.
Objective and consistent
As much as recruiters and hiring managers are trained to be objective, we are all just human. In many cases, the conversation can stray, the questions are not always the same in every interview, and things can be swayed by very small things such as the time of day, or the interviewer’s last phone call. Tests, when designed correctly, have no bias and judge everyone in the same way. They give everyone the same chance to succeed.
Tests are quantifiable
Building on the point of eliminating bias in the hiring process, the pre-employment tests can also help you prove that there was no bias, in case that comes into question. The tests help you create quantifiable data to help you decide whether or not you wish to hire a candidate, and if someone chooses to sue for not being hired, that data will help you prove you were right in not hiring them.
A few things to keep in mind
As with every process, pre-employment testing is not perfect, and there are a few things that you need to be aware of when choosing to use it. For one, the tests may not give you the full picture. For example, how someone without skills is willing and able to learn. You may want to give candidates a few tests, and combine them with an interview. Another thing to keep in mind is that if a test is not built well, it may actually become discriminatory. So make sure you do some research before deciding on your tests, and also choose the ones that are strictly related to the job and can predict work performance. And finally, sometimes, the process can actually become longer, since candidates take time to answer the tests. But it will be worth it when the final result will be quality hires.