3 Things to Know About Pre-Hire Testing

Aug 25 2015

Assessments are a great tool to help you weed out candidates who are not a fit for your job. They also help you determine if your potential employee has the skills needed to be successful. We’ve administered hundreds of employment related tests and have found that they are a great way to gain further insight into your candidate’s personality, skill set, and work style. Here are 3 things to think about when trying to determine how much weight to put on pre-hire testing.

1. There is a test for almost everything imaginable
If you thought pre-hire testing was limited to typing speeds and Excel tests, think again. There is literally a test for just about anything you can think of. Whether you want to test communication style, personality, java development skills, financial planning, sales style, dexterity, or HR policies and procedures—there’s a test for that. Don’t underestimate the value of putting a candidate’s resume to the test.

2. Your candidate’s reaction to the test is important
How your candidate responds to your request to complete an assessment can be a strong indication of their personality and interest in the role. For example, you like Sarah’s resume, but when you told her she’d need to take a communication skills test, she sounded annoyed. It’s been 24 hours since you talked, and she still hasn’t taken the test. This is a strong indication that Sarah is not invested in your job. If she were, she’d be accommodating and agreeable, and would demonstrate a high sense of urgency—which means she’d figure out a way to take that test in a timely manner. If you come across potential employees who sound like taking an assessment is “beneath them” or they don’t give you a clear idea of when you can expect them to complete the test, this is usually a red flag.

3. View test results as one data point of many
You’ve gotten the results back from one of your front runners and he hasn’t scored as well as you’d like. This is where we talk about the bigger picture. We always recommend that people consider assessment results as one data point of many. This means you want to look at the whole package: resume, interview skills, personality, culture fit, test results, and over all interest in the role. Test results should not make or break a hiring decision, but instead, should help you make a smarter choice. If Tim has a track record of meeting and exceeding his sales goals, but he scored lower that you’d like on his personality test, don’t automatically take him out of the running. Instead, consider talking to him about your concerns and evaluating him on a broader scope. How he responds to your concerns can help you determine whether or not to put a lot of weight on one area that’s lacking.

Making smart hiring decisions is about so much more than finding a resume you like and having an good interview experience. You want to feel confident that you’ve thoroughly vetted your candidate up front and you won’t have any unexpected surprises after you make an offer. Testing is worth the time and effort and can really give you valuable insight into areas where you might need to put more training time and emphasis with your new hire.  


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