Finding the right fit for any job role is a laborious task. The recruiters or the HR managers are in constant restlessness unless this burden of onboarding is taken off their shoulders. The complexity of the hiring process has increased exponentially and is also more demanding for high-quality hires. Due to this, just evaluating resumes or conducting one-on-one interviews alone will not suffice for the need anymore.
As a solution to this growing demand, organizations have adopted a new channel of recruitment – Pre-employment Assessment. This is an overarching approach to understanding a candidate from all possible sides and angles. Pre-employment assessment test has offered the hiring process a brand new face, making it even more professional in approach.
Explore more on pre-employment tests, their benefits, the types, and some effective best practices here.
What is a Pre-Employment Test?
The pre-employment assessment is a systematic and centralized approach to assess, validate, and document information about the candidates’ performances, and is conducted before the finalization of the employment of the selected candidates. However, before diving further into it, understanding what pre-employment is is crucial.
So, what is pre-employment?
Pre-employment is the period before a candidate is hired or employed in a particular job role. During this period the candidate can be in the recruitment process and undergo several pre-employment tests to show themselves worthy of the role.
This testing process upholds several types of pre-employment tests that have the potential to acquire a comprehensive understanding of each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. These are standardized tests that are designed to achieve accurate measurement of their specific skills, talents, abilities, traits, and other characteristic parameters needed in a workplace.
The results obtained from pre-employment tests are used to locate the candidate’s caliber using certain scales and accordingly go ahead with the recruitment/selection process. Two things can be guaranteed to be achieved when pre-employment assessment tests are implemented. First, it improves the quality of the hiring and the hired candidate, and second, it reduces the burden and stress on the hiring managers.
For instance, some pre-employment testing examples can be discussed to understand where and when to use them. Consider a situation where an organization can make use of the numerical reasoning test as a part of its pre-employment recruitment process. This will allow the hiring managers to shortlist high-quality candidates who are skilled in numerical aptitude.
Similarly, the situational judgment test, which is one of the essential pre-employment tests, can be used to determine the behavior of the candidates and their ability to overcome and solve a given problem in a situation. Hence, multiple pre-employment screening tests can be leveraged to achieve maximum proficiency in the pre-hire assessment.
So, to simply put it, a pre-employment assessment is an examination conducted for the applicants before hiring for particular job roles. Along with resume screening, these assessments give a detailed understanding of the personality as well as the cognitive abilities of the applicants. It also helps the hiring managers to make accurate hiring decisions.
Pre-employment Test vs. Pre-employment Assessment
Most often we have come across how organizations use pre-employment tests and pre-employment assessments interchangeably. Is there a difference between them? Let us find out.
What is a Pre-Employment Test?
A pre-employment skills test is a set of text-based or media-led questions or challenges that are designed to test the candidates’ ability to understand and solve them. Each test covers around 3 to 4 areas of necessary knowledge and skills for a given job role and it is used for that particular role skill set.
A pre-employment test, also known as a pre-hire assessment test, will approximately last 10-15 minutes and the candidate is expected to just give an answer to the questions and move to the next test for the next set of skill sets. These tests are specifically built to give a sense of urgency to the candidate and make them advance through all the different test stages. All these tests together form a stable pre-employment assessment.
What is a Pre-employment Assessment?
A pre-employment assessment is a combination of all the pre-employment tests. Therefore, a pre-employment test is a subset of a pre-employment assessment. A pre-employment assessment lets the employer follow a specific set of tests to hire the most suitable match for the job role.
These pre-employment assessments will allow an organization to have deeper insights into the performances of each candidate. Pre-employment skill testing is an efficient way to garner and make high-quality recruits for all the open job roles.
Why do Hiring Managers Adopt Pre-Employment Testing?
From the employers’ perspectives, there are some key reasons to adopt pre-employment assessments. They are:
- It Catalyzes the Hiring Process
Using pre-employment testing software makes the process exponentially faster than when conducted manually. The resumes are scanned and filtered effectively. The candidates are screened and narrowed down quickly as the reports are automatically and instantly generated once candidates finish the tests.
- To Effectively Test an Applicant’s Skills and Abilities
By using these assessment tests for employment, employers are empowered to find out whether each candidate matches the requirements and criteria of the job description. For instance, if an employer is hiring a job seeker for the position of a programmer, they have to assess the applicant’s programming abilities and check if it matches their expectations. For this role, the recruiter’s focus will not be on skills like copywriting, or grammar. Hence, a pre-employment assessment lets the recruiters align the tests in accordance with the requirements.
- It Increases the Quality of the Interview Process
The quality of the interview is improved to a great extent as the candidates who are only apt for the job role are shortlisted for the interview. Both the interviewer and the candidate can indulge in insightful conversations and evaluations using the results generated in the pre-employment exam.
How Common is Pre-Employment Testing?
In recent years, the implementation of pre-employment testing has improved drastically. Most organizations have started to leverage the advantages provided by using the pre-employment proficiency test and gain valuable information and make data-oriented decisions.
To add maximum efficiency to the hiring process, hiring managers are clubbing different types of pre-employment assessments to gain wider exposure to the candidate’s capabilities and connect with them from all angles. On the basis of the utility of the pre-employment assessment test, it is most commonly used for cognitive aptitude tests, followed by personality tests, skills tests, and integrity tests.
What to Expect From Pre-Employment Testing?
It is important and mandatory to have realistic expectations regarding the pre-employment testing for human resources. The employers must have a clear understanding of what these evaluation tests can offer them, the candidates, as well as the organization.
A pre-employment testing software to perform this evaluation is ideal. These are professionally developed and validated tools, where employers can create tests, use self-generated questions, and choose the areas of skills to evaluate. Hence, recruiters and hiring managers have to be all ears to what your organizational setup requires and also know what not to expect from these tools.
It is essential to understand that using a pre-employment assessment tool does not guarantee zero bad hires. It guarantees that the hiring would be made more accurate and the number of bad hires will reduce drastically.
The point to be noted is that most research has shown that candidates hired through pre-employment assessments are more accurate and reliable than the ones who are hired only based on resumes and interviews. Remember, there is no one right way to hire.
A pre-employment assessment is just one among other important parameters like resumes, education, previous job experience, interview, etc. It is always ideal to combine a few approaches to have more probability of finding the right match.
The advantages these assessment tools offer must also be an important parameter when you decipher the approach that you intend to choose. These tools are best known for their streamlining capabilities, making the process smooth and efficient. Additionally, this software comes with in-built questionnaires and test templates that are customizable.
Therefore, the tool is flexible and scalable and can easily fit into the standards of any organization. SkillRobo is one such online pre-employment assessment tool that has over 100+ test templates for job roles across multiple industries.
What Can Pre-employment Tests Assess Candidates For?
A pre-employment evaluation tool can test a wide range of parameters required for multiple job roles. They can screen the candidates for the following:
- The candidates’ basic personality or character traits
- The candidate’s skills and abilities relating to the role
- Job knowledge- both technical and theoretical
- Software and language proficiency based on the role
- Emotional caliber and empathy
- Honesty and integrity
- Behavioral patterns
- Additional advantages or talents necessary for the role
The combination of different types of pre-employment evaluations is preferably conducted after the resume screening and before the one-on-one interview. This will allow only suitable candidates to move up the scale to attend the interview so that the interviewer does not have to waste time interviewing undesired candidates.
How Much Should Hiring Managers Depend on Hiring Tests?
Conducting these tests for employment and a coordinated recruitment process is highly beneficial to the organization. Just like using resumes or different interview modes, using a pre-employment assessment will help the recruiters to have a standardized approach to all the candidates equally. There is no space for bias created and all the candidates are assessed objectively. These tests allow the hiring managers to reach into areas that a resume screening or interview would give them.
Key benefits of Pre-Employment Testing
Along with driving the hiring process to efficiency, adopting the approach of hiring assessment tests as part of the employment test can summon plenty of key benefits to the organization as well as the candidates.
- Streamlining the Recruitment Process
The most noticeable key benefit of how the process becomes more streamlined. The organization can witness improved efficiency in the recruitment process. The biggest advantage is that these tests can be conducted by using a pre-employment assessment test and results can be obtained in a short span of time compared to a manual system of hiring. The test can be sent to multiple candidates and the process can be completed within a few days. The productivity of the hiring process increases which further drives the productivity of the organizational processes as well.
- Improving the Quality of Hire
Using a recruitment test helps hiring managers find the right fit for the job role and the organization. The filtering of qualified and desired candidates can be achieved with ease. Even in situations where the organizations go for mass hiring, the chances of hiring a low-quality hire are higher. Hence, using a hiring test can aid in reducing the probability of bad hires.
- Eliminating Common Hiring Bias
Unconscious bias is one of the biggest disadvantages of any other mode of the recruiting process. This is eradicated by using a pre-employment assessment program that lets employers practice a fair screening process. It effectively focuses only on the abilities, merits, personality traits, and as well as background and demographics of the candidates.
- Strong Legal Defensibility for Hiring Decisions
Since the hiring is completely achieved objectively, there is a strong defensibility to the process. The benefit is that using these tests ensures a common framework of assessments making the process consistent throughout for all candidates. A point to note here is that it is only legally defensible when these tests only measure the skills and traits of the candidates in the recruitment process.
- Decreasing Employee Turnover
Employee turnover can be a major headache to organizations and they constantly find ways to avoid or overcome it and retain the top talents in their team. The basic step an organization can take to prevent employee turnover is to hire the right candidate who fits the job requirements correctly. The recruiters should also have to assess the candidates’ ability to fit into the organizational work environment and culture as well.
- Improving the Candidate Experience
A pre-employment test is beneficial to the candidates as well. They can have a seamless experience while attending the assessment tests. By giving these tests, the candidates can gain insights into the organization that they intend to work for.
Only those candidates will be qualified for the interview round who clear the hiring test. This makes the interview process less tiring for the interviewer and also more meaningful and promising of a good hire.
- Instant Filtering of Top Candidates
A clear picture is acquired of the top candidates from all the applicants. This saves up a lot of time and the burden of picking out the best ones.
Benefits of Online Pre-Employment Testing Systems
The key advantages of using a pre-employment assessment test are amplified when pre-employment testing software is implemented to carry out the process. When an organization uses an online pre-work assessment test tool, the following are the top benefits.
Using a software tool to conduct the selection tests for hiring, the entire recruitment process becomes more convenient for all the participating parties. Let us list out how it makes the process convenient. Reason one, the hiring assessment can be conducted anywhere. The hiring manager can forward the test link and the candidates finish the test by the stipulated deadline.
The second reason is that the evaluator does not have to sit and assess the test or the answers. A report carrying the result will be generated once all the candidates complete the assessment. An automatic rank list is generated where the top talented candidates are filtered out along with their pass percentage. The final reason is that the recruiters or the team manager do not have to prepare questions for the assessments.
In-built test templates are available for all the job roles which can be customized further to fit the criteria.
A pre-employment assessment tool will enhance the efficiency of the process. The valuable time of the employers and that of the candidates are saved to a large extent. With the mobility of the application, the software can be used anytime anywhere.
A systematic and standardized approach is brought to the process. A framework is given to the process which will be the same for all the candidates. Hence, there is zero scope for bias or lack of consistency with the testing process.
The quality of the employees determines the productivity and credibility of an organization. Testing for employment is made easier with software applications. The process becomes effective with low chances of errors. These tools enable the team managers to organize and coordinate the team members with ease.
- Allows for Easy Customization
As mentioned, the pre-employment assessment test samples provided are customizable in nature. Therefore, the managers can cater to the needs of the role by making necessary changes to the available templates.
Considering the amount of resources that need to be put into conducting an offline mode test, conducting an online mode test is much more feasible and demands fewer physical resources, unlike a paper-and-pencil test.
The integrity of the test and the complete process are protected to the core. In a pre-employment assessment program, there is no scope for unauthorized access to the tests or any materials. The confidentiality of the test results and reports is perfectly maintained.
Types of Pre-Employment Tests
1. Cognitive Ability Tests
Cognitive ability mainly focuses on the brain and mental caliber of the candidates. In a cognitive assessment test, the recruiters will be able to assess and predict each candidate’s ability to deal with complexity. These types of tests have several other knowledge-based assessment tests, among which the General Aptitude Test (GAT) is one of the most common cognitive ability tests. The GAT will highlight the candidate’s ability to verbal, numerical, and logical reasoning when given a task. Practice assessment tests can also be provided to help candidates become familiar with the test format.
2. Personality Tests
Personality tests, as the name suggests, majorly focus on the personality traits of the candidates. Through these tests, the recruiters figure out whether the candidate is the right fit for the organization’s culture and their personality’s influence on the organization’s productivity as well. By implementing these types of tests, the hiring managers gain a comprehensive idea of the candidates’ behavioral patterns and instincts. Areas like engagement level, interest levels, etc. are assessed deeply. Under personality tests, there are multiple types:
- Caliper Profile
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
- SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire
- Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)
- DiSC Behavioral Inventory
3. Job Knowledge Tests
Job knowledge tests are assessments that are specifically conducted to gauge the conceptual and theoretical knowledge of the candidates. For example, if the recruiter is hiring an accountant, the candidates will be assessed based on their abilities in accounting processes. Therefore, the recruiters here will mainly focus on the skills and abilities that are specifically required for that particular role. Based on the expertise levels of the candidates, the candidates are graded accordingly.
4. Integrity Tests
This is one type of objective form of test conducted by the recruiters. Integrity tests cater to assessing the reliability of the candidates. The tests focus on figuring out the integrity and ethical composure a candidate possesses in encountering certain situations within the workspace. The candidates’ integrity must align with the organization’s culture and the existing employees. Some important questions that can be asked in an integrity test are as follows:
- Do you possess the same values inside and outside of the working environment?
- What would be your course of action if your manager or a coworker gave a task that violates organization policy?
- Is it ethical and appropriate to publish work samples on your website?
- Have you ever been untruthful to your previous employer?
- If a client demands something illegal, what would be your stand?
5. Emotional Intelligence Tests
Areas like relationship-building skills and emotional stability are assessed through emotional intelligence tests. An emotionally able candidate is preferred for job roles because these qualities are ideal in situations like diffusing conflicts and can effectively deal with anxiety, frustration, and disappointments. Berke assessment which assesses the problem-solving ability and personality traits, and can be used to range out the emotional skills of the candidates.
6. Skills Assessment Tests
Both types of skills, soft and hard skills are judged in skills assessment tests. Once the job-based skills of the candidates have been determined, at a later stage, the skills of the preferred candidates are tested. For example, if the recruiter is opening a job position for a content writer, the skills assessment test will test the candidates’ language capabilities, communication skills, ability to write quality content, and other additional skills like research, leadership skills, presentation skills, etc.
7. Physical Ability Tests
For job roles that require physical ability like defense or public safety, parameters like strength and stamina of the candidates are assessed. For this, a test for hiring employees is specifically adopted to reduce workplace accidents and issues. Physical ability tests cater to such needs.
8. Verbal Reasoning Tests
The verbal reasoning tests mainly focus on the candidates’ caliber in working with qualitative information in both written and spoken form. Verbal reasoning tests fall under the category of cognitive abilities, that is verbal reasoning is one way of achieving cognitive abilities tested. This is one of the most important areas of inspection as most of the work-related is based on handling important information. This skill is a crucial one that can predict performance in combination with aptitude tests.
9. Numerical Reasoning Tests
The numerical reasoning tests are for testing a candidate’s ability to comprehend and work with quantitative and numerical information. Just like verbal reasoning tests, numerical reasoning tests are also a part of cognitive ability. Job roles that are dependent on decision-making using data and analytics, especially with high-level roles. Numerical reasoning is much needed for job performance and can gauge the true potential of the candidates.
10. Inductive Reasoning Tests
Logical thinking and problem-solving abilities are the most essential skills that any candidate must possess. This can be accurately assessed through inductive reasoning tests. This type of test is also known as non-verbal reasoning, abstract reasoning, diagrammatic reasoning, or even logical reasoning. These areas of expertise are required for roles that require good problem-solving capabilities, innovation, technical expertise, and creativity roles. The major advantage of this mode of test format is that it is language-free. Thus, it becomes a bias-free tool if the candidates are from across several languages.
11. Situational Judgement Tests
Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) are behavior-oriented. It measures the candidate’s ability to make decisions and make reasonable and viable judgments. During this assessment test, the candidates are given a hypothetical situation and a range of possible remedial actions for that situation. To this, the candidates are asked to rank or rate each remedial action based on its effectiveness. This will bring out the decision-making capacity of the candidates.
12. Risk Tests
Risk management quality is an important quality to possess. It will aid in helping the organization at the time of risk. Conducting this test gives the biggest benefit in risk assessment in an organization. Candidates with risk management abilities will not engage in unsafe or unprofessional work behavior. Safety assessment is also a type of risk assessment. It assesses the candidates’ stand and attitude towards safety, and it will determine how likely they are to involve themselves in risk-taking behavior.
Best Practices in Pre-employment Assessment
To ace in picking the best choices out of the candidate pool, here are some effective best practices that will smoothen the process.
Research the Vendor Options
To begin the journey with the pre-employment test software, look and scan all the options available. Remember that not all tools have the same features. Some of them tend to have more features and might not be necessary for all organizations. Hence, it is ideal to list down multiple vendors who are available for the organization and rightly cater to the process’s needs. Have a clear idea of each of them and determine the type of service that they offer. Some relevant questions you need to ask before choosing a tool:
- What kind of pre-employment tests do they provide?
- Are the vendor’s tests customizable?
- How is the vendor’s onboarding process?
- What is the vendor’s reputation in the industry?
- What level of customer support is available?
Knowing these details will guide you to land on the right tool for your organization.
Implement Testing Responsibly
Selection tests for hiring need to be picked carefully. The hiring managers’ focus must be on testing the relevant skills and abilities for the role. Hence, when creating an assessment, the right combination of the tests must be used to evaluate the candidates. Failure to achieve can often lead to landing on the wrong fit for the role. An ill-fitting test will give the organization an ineffective hire.
The tests conducted must be relevant and sufficient. The total time and the number of questions influence the successful completion of the process. It is ideal to have tests for a limited period so that the candidates can complete the assessment on time.
Align your pre-employment testing with your brand
It is always better to align the pre-employment tests with the organization’s branding. Customization is an important feature to look for while looking for a software application. This will create a healthy rapport with the candidates and help them understand the requirements of the organization correctly. Ways in which this can be achieved are using the logo of the organization, following a particular theme color, or even using the team’s photos or videos to make the test session interactive and friendly.
Conduct the Test During the Right Time in the Recruitment Process
A certain order must be followed for the recruitment process with respect to the job role and the department. The hiring funnel that the hiring manager sets has a greater influence on the hiring process. In most scenarios, assessing the candidates using a pre-employment assessment at one of the early stages can help the hiring manager filter out the undesired or unfit applicants. It can also be put as the first stage if a large volume of applicants apply for a specific role.
Track the Pre-employment Testing Completion Rates
It is crucial to note the completion rate of the hiring tests to detect where the applicants are dropping out of the assessment. This will help you improve the standard of the tests and make them more candidate-friendly. Steps like making them shorter or changing a few steps might help improve the test completion rate.
Use the Test Results as Guidance
The test results obtained through these hiring tests are a guide that can be used to judge candidates for the later levels of the assessments. It can aid in achieving good decision-making ability for the team manager or the recruiters. The ideal way is to combine the results from the pre-employment assessment with the resume screening and the interview results to make a final decision on each candidate. This will allow the recruiters to make sound, objective, and bias-free decisions.
Identify the Right Skills and Abilities Required for the Role
One of the most important best practices is to rightly identify the skills, abilities, talents, and qualifications that are important to the particular job role. Setting these parameters will enable you to carry out pre-employment checks. What are pre-employment checks? This entails a series of verification procedures for the candidates regarding their qualifications, skills, and other parameters required for the role.
Provide Adequate Instructions and Support for Applicants
To acquire a smooth conduction of the hiring process, all the applicants must be provided with adequate and necessary information and instructions regarding the assessment process that they are going to take up. Providing enough time, as discussed earlier, is also crucial to the candidates.
Follow All Applicable Laws and Regulations
All your hiring procedures must comply with all the applicable laws and regulations of the pre-employment evaluations. Especially in the case of disability and discrimination.
Acquire an Encyclopedic Grip on the Recruitment Process with SkillRobo
SkillRobo is an online skills assessment tool that aids recruiters in filtering high-quality hires in a short span of time. What is a characteristic of employment testing that SkillRobo offers? The software’s major focus lies in giving a seamless process that empowers both the hiring manager and the participating candidates. The aim is to strain out candidates with the most apt skills and critical traits.
As a user-friendly platform, SkillRobo enables its users to effortlessly create assessment tests based on job roles. Users can create new tests or leverage the existing 100+ test templates that are customizable for efficiently carrying out the process. The platform caters to all industries and their job roles.
Some features that stand out are:
- Customizable Pre-designed Tests
- Wide range of skills tests across different sectors
- Instant analytics and results
- Seamless integration with other applications
- Interactive, engaging, user-friendly
- Easy communication with candidates
Using pre-employment assessment is a wonderful way of putting an end to the hectic management of the hiring process. It is the best aiding element alongside the conventional modes of practices of resume screening and interviews. A tool like SkillRobo has the potential to completely alter the dynamics of the recruitment to any role. To experience a seamless onboarding with the candidates, sign up today for free!