The pre-employment test is defined as a standardized way of collecting data and information of the applicants that have applied for a job in the organization. These are specially designed to measure the characteristics, intellect, skills, and personality of the candidates. The rating or the scores earned helps the employer to evaluate the person in terms of his capabilities.
The pre-employment assessment test is a very popular and common method used by an organization to acquire and document useful information about a potential employee during the hiring process. The tests provide the hiring managers with an overall view of the capabilities and skills of the applicant.
When a candidate clears this type of testing, he advances to the next hiring process stage. It helps him know what the hiring managers’ preference is and prepare accordingly for his interviews that will decide his fate in the organization.
The test often has a silver lining in the clouds as it gives him essential clues about the field and the related questions that the interviewer might be interested in.
Reasons to Use Pre-Employment Testing
The employer or the Human Resource team has the following reasons to use the pre-employment skills testing
1. Accelerate the hiring process
A good number of applicants apply for a specific job position, but the requirement is only for one employee. The Human Resource department uses the test to narrow down the applicants they consider quickly is not fit to advance to the next round of the hiring process.
2. To test the skills
Matching the skills to the job requirements is necessary if the organization wants to maintain its efficiency and productivity levels. One of the reasons for the test is to verify the applicant’s skills at the initial stage itself and see whether they will be of any use to the organization.
3. Increase the interview quality
The test is an effective way to gather important information about the applicants. The Human resource and the hiring team often use this information to their advantage by asking relevant questions at the interviews. This increases the quality of the interviews
How Widespread is the Pre-Employment Testing
In recent years the use of pre-employment testing has grown to a great extent. More and more organizations are opting for it as they have realized its importance and benefit in the scheme of things.
The hiring managers rely on this data-driven effort to streamline the hiring process. As per the survey conducted by AMA or the American Management Association, this type of testing shows that 70% of the organizations are doing job skill testing, 46% are conducting psychological, and personality tests, and 41% are testing the potential applicants for math skills.
The Legality of the Pre-Employment Testing
Yes, it is legal for an employer to conduct background checks and pre-employment testing at the time of the hiring process. An important criterion is that they should be validated, non-discriminatory, and administered properly.
As per the pre-employment testing laws, an organization must not use the results to discriminate based on age, disability, religion, origin, sex, color, and race as it is considered illegal.
Most of the nature tests are focused on abilities and skills that are directly and indirectly related to the job profile. In contrast, others are conducted to gather personal information that the organization can use later for various other purposes.
Types of Pre-Employment Testing
Some important types of the test are as follows-
1. Skills Assessment Test
One of the most important tests that look at both hard and soft skills is the pre-employment skills assessment test. The employer wants to look closely at leadership, communication, presentation, and research skills.
2. Aptitude Tests
The pre-employment aptitude test helps measure the ability to learn, understand, and apply a new skill in the candidate, along with problem-solving and critical thinking skills. These tests are specially used for higher and mid-level jobs as it is considered an accurate job performance predictor.
3. Personality Tests
The pre-employment personality test helps employers measure characteristics like personality, motivational level, interpersonal relations, interests, emotional adjustment, attitude, and engagement level of the applicant. It also helps to understand if the applicant is interested in a long-term career in the organization and has the necessary capability to boost productivity.
4. Job Knowledge Tests
As the name suggests, the pre-employment job knowledge test is taken by an organization to understand whether the applicant knows the job position he is applying for. Is he aware of the skills and know-how required to fulfill that position, and does he have the necessary expertise to fulfill his duties?
The applicant can ask the hiring manager about the subject matter of the test. He should read the questions thoroughly, understand, and then start answering just like any student does during important examinations.
5. Integrity and Honesty Tests
Considered one of the most objective tests, pre-employment honesty and integrity tests measure the applicants’ reliability quotient. Specific situations are handed out, and the hiring manager wants to see whether the applicant tackles them ethically and will he be able to fit in with the organizational culture or not.
This is the time to honestly answer the questions so that the hiring team can get an accurate description of the type of individual you are. The tests measure the applicant’s propensity towards undesirable behavior and his thought-process for things like drugs, alcohol, stealing, and lying.
6. Cognitive Ability Tests
This is a means to know about a potential applicant’s mental capacity or intelligence and whether he is fit to handle the job-related responsibilities. The hiring manager can predict the job performance accurately after looking at the answer sheet.
Questions related to GAT or General Aptitude Test helps to know about the verbal, numeric, deductive, and logical reasoning power along with the spatial perception of the potential candidate
7. Emotional Intelligence Tests
This type of test examines the emotional quotient and the potential applicant’s relationship-building skills. High intelligence is a sign of a good employee who can defuse tense and anxious moments in the workplace.
The pre-employment emotional intelligence test also brings to the forefront several skills like empathy, adaptability, and teamwork.
8. Physical Ability Tests
The pre-employment physical ability tests are conducted to know about the muscular movement, strength, endurance, stamina, and stretch of the person, especially if the job requires physical work.
Employers want to reduce the chance of mishaps and accidents in the workplace and want to see whether the applicant is physically active or not.
Pre-Employment Testing Best Practices
If an organization is thinking of including pre-employment testing in its hiring process, it should keep in mind the following best practices-
1. Research the Vendor Options
Numerous vendors in the market offer some of the best testing formats. Research the vendor options and know about the type of services they offer if you are looking for one of the best testing practices.
What type of tests are they offering, are they customized, customer support available, and most importantly, is the vendor considered a reputed brand in the market; are some important questions that need to be answered beforehand.
Learning in a detailed manner about every small thing will help in choosing the best available product in the market
2. Validate the Test Data
Validating the data in the tests is very important. The organization should ensure proper validation measures if looking for one of the best practices for testing.
3. Implement Testing Responsibly
Choosing a test format that is not up to the mark can be disastrous for an organization as ineffective results will lead to innumerable problems from which it will be unable to recover.
Test selection is important, so implement the testing responsibly if you are looking for one of the best testing practices. Choose the one that can measure relevant characteristics and skills appropriately and prove predictive for job success.
4. Align the Testing with your Brand
Customize and align the tests with your brand if you are looking for one of the best testing practices. It is the best way to showcase your brand. Upload the logo and add videos and photos to maintain branding consistency and preview the company culture.
It will also help to make an interactive experience for the applicants and enhance their testing process.
5. Identify the Right Moment for the Testing
It is a fact that the right moment has the maximum impact. After your test is ready to use, decide the perfect moment when you will use it on applicants during the hiring process if you are looking for one of the best practices for testing.
Some organizations prefer it at the onset as they can gather valuable data from the applicants. This will help in eliminating lots of unwarranted applicants at the initial stage itself. Moreover, the objective data will prove helpful later on in making decisions during the hiring process.
If an organization expects a large number of applicants, it can make pre-testing a part of the application process.
This is considered beneficial as it will help the recruiters to shortlist candidates at the earliest opportunity. This step will ensure only the eligible applicants and meet the requirements will move forward in the process, and the rest of the applications will not be entertained.
6. Track the Testing Completion Rate
Tracking the testing completion rate will help an organization know when and where the applicants are dropping off. You can then take appropriate steps to improve the process and make it more useful for the next round
7. Use the Results as Guidance
The testing should not be treated as the ultimate decision; instead, use it just as a guiding force to help you. Do not rely only on the test and its results; instead, use other selection methods alongside it like trial days, test assignments, etc. to make objective and fully informed decisions if you are looking for one of the best practices for testing
The testing is beneficial for both the applicants and the hiring managers. Some significant benefits are discussed below-
- The testing is considered beneficial as it saves time for the hiring manager by eliminating irrelevant applicants at the onset. Thus the company saves time, money, and effort by not interviewing the bad hires
- The recruiters can select the right talent from the pool through this testing process
- The testing is considered beneficial as it can deliver important projects on time by filling up job positions quickly
- It is possible to hire employees that fit the job profile, and this is an important advantage for an organization
- When the organization uses next-gen skill tests, they can hire new-age talent
- The interview team does not have to spend their valuable billable hours on applicants that are not fit for the company
- The testing is considered beneficial as it helps to measure the abilities and capabilities of each applicant
- The recruiting team can keep track of the applicant and his progress starting from the results of his tests
- The testing helps to remove hiring bias
- The testing is considered beneficial as it ensures a legally compliant process that is fair to everyone
- The testing helps the hiring team to identify inflated resumes
- The testing is considered beneficial as it validates the technical skills of an applicant and ensures that he is speaking the truth about them
- This type of testing helps the candidates to showcase their skills and knowledge at a worthy platform that will take them up the ladder in the hiring process
Advantages of Pre-Employment Online Testing
The advantages of pre-employment online testing are as follows-
- The candidate engagement is better in the online testing method compared to the offline method
- The applicants from remote locations can also gain access, and this allows for a wider reach
- It is an automatic process where the results are also derived within minutes. It saves a lot of time for the hiring team, which was earlier spent on manual evaluations and post-test feedback
- The pre-employment online testing improves the hiring decisions by providing a valuable estimate about the applicant’s future performance
- An important advantage of pre-employment online testing is that it minimizes the administration time ad applicants can attempt it anywhere and anytime
- It is possible to get actionable insights at both the macro and micro level
- Instant detailed reports help in easy analyzing of the results
- The pre-employment online testing weeds out unfit applicants and ensures that only the right talent moves forward
- An important advantage of pre-employment online testing is that it minimizes the risk of human error during grading. This ensures a reliable and valid evaluation process.
- It minimizes hiring bias as there is no human involvement and the evaluation is purely based on proven competencies
- By reducing unnecessary task, online testing helps to increase the productivity of the hiring team
- The pre-employment online testing avoids storage and management of test-related data manually
The pre-employment test is conducted to determine whether the applicant will prove the right fit for the company’s specific job.
This professionally developed test is considered a reliable means of gaining important insights into prospective employees’ traits and capabilities. It has proved a boon in filtering a large pool of candidates most effectively.