A Definitive Guide to Pre Employment Assessment Tests

Posted by IntroMagic Team on January 8th, 2022

Undeniably, bad hires can cost you a lot. In fact, according to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 74% of the companies lost $14,900 on average for every bad hire. Thanks to the high replacement hire cost. That’s where the whole picture of pre employment assessment comes in. 

Let’s understand this with an example. 

Zappos, a billion dollar online shoe venture, relies heavily on a strong team and performance delivery. Since their target audience is an online content consumer, their team members need to be adept in creating compelling copies and product descriptions to convert visitors into paying customers. 

This is where pre employment assessment test came into play for their content managerial positions. The company leadership was looking for professionals who understood what the product stood for, company culture and much more. 

Pre employment assessment tests helped in:

  • Assessing the candidates’ understanding about the product
  • Knowing more about their work methodology and much more 

The overall process helped the company in not only hiring the right members and leaders but also facilitated in making informative decisions about their workforce. The result was a drastic reduction in their turnover rate and a better company culture.

Pre employment assessment is not a new de facto element of the hiring process but sure has taken a new face in the light of new developments in terms of talent acquisition and employee retention.

What is Pre Employment Assessment?

A pre employment assessment is a standard testing method to help employees understand the potential candidate’s suitability for the role, their adaptability to the work culture and their alignment with the company’s vision.

It is a scientific approach, consisting of tests and hands-on skill demonstration tasks. The results offer insights that are poignant for hiring managers to make informed decisions with respect to the candidate’s strengths, weaknesses and ability to be a part of the workforce.

A pre employment skills assessment works on the principles of workforce analytics that is automating human resources, targeting specific and custom hiring parameters, yielding long-term results. These assessments are best served when hiring managers are looking for highly niche roles or are short on time for finalizing the right candidate.

It skips the queue to face-to-face interviews as it enables hiring managers to weed out the undesirable yet time consuming profiles right at the beginning of the process. With more time and less profiles to scan through, pre employment assessment streamlines the flow of information and reduces contradictions when it comes to making hiring decisions.

8 Types of Pre Employment Assessments

Now that we are aware of the importance of pre employment assessments, it is only logical to understand the different types of assessments that can help your hiring team make the right call.

Here are 8 types of pre employment assessments that can help you get the right candidate.

1. Work sample tests

One of the most direct pre-employment assessment tests, Work Sample Tests assess the applicant’s ability to perform the task on a typical day at work.

These tests usually consist of technical rounds (based on the role), case-study style presentations or hands on judgment tests based on hypothetical circumstances.

These tests are reflections of the realistic tasks of the job, these job previews help hiring managers get a much better understanding whether the applicant is the right fit for the role.

2. Skills assessment tests

Offering a dual understanding of the candidate’s core and soft skills, the Skill Assessment Tests are implemented a little later in the hiring process.

Once the applicant has been through the initial interviews, these assessments help hiring managers check her ability to perform at the job based on their core knowledge and soft skills to carry out the tasks. Soft skills usually include presentation skills, persuading skills and business communication.

3. Job knowledge tests

The Job Knowledge Tests are very crucial as they help employers understand where their applicants are aware of what the job will entail.

This is helpful for the candidate as well since the test brings in more clarity about the job scope and lets him/her decide whether this is the career trajectory they are looking for.

4. Cognitive ability tests

The Cognitive Ability Tests are centered on the applicant’s mental capability to justify the job role.

The tests consist of a series of questions that help hiring managers assess the applicant’s job performance in the said situations.

One of the tests is known as the General Aptitude Test where the candidate’s cognitive ability to apply their verbal reasoning, logical understanding and numeric reasoning to solve a problem at hand.

5. Emotional intelligence tests

Apart from Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Emotional Quotient (EQ) is also considered a sort after attributes during the hiring process.

The Emotional Intelligence Test checks the applicant’s emotional intelligence where they are assessed based on their emotional control, relationship building abilities, team spirit, adaptability and levels of empathy.

6. Personality tests

A Personality Test is usually designed to determine a person’s characteristics to see if they match (or not) the company culture and of course, the job at hand.

It tests the candidate’s experience, on-hands approach, ability to think on their feet, tenacity and tolerance during a crisis. For personality tests, many companies have deployed for customer facing or client servicing roles.

7. Situational judgement tests

The Situational Judgement Tests are created to understand the applicant’s management and multi tasking skills.

Via these assessments, hiring managers can observe the candidate’s ability to prioritize tasks, follow instructions and handle a crisis. In this test, the candidate is given a question based on a real-time office situation with four options where they have to select the right action that works best with the scenario.

Their answer to such questions is fed into a predictive model that in turn determines the candidate’s capability on handling real-time aspects of a job.

8. Physical ability tests

These tests are usually limited to the physical and manual sectors. The hiring team undertakes these assessments to determine the candidate’s mental as well as physical fitness to undertake the job.

The assessment tests the candidate’s physical attributes like endurance, cardiovascular health, stamina and much more.

6 Benefits of Pre Employment Skills Assessment

Recruitment is never an easy job because it requires an assessment of the human capability which is never a customized factor!

With greater technicalities, demands and dynamic job scopes, hiring needs to be more streamlined and data enriched, something which can be garnered with the help of pre employment skills assessments.

These assessments are important for getting the right talent and setting a benchmark for your talentforce. Here are some of the benefits of integrating pre employment assessment into your hiring practice.

1. Increases productivity

Companies today are running on a fuel called productivity and pre employment assessment tests can help employers grasp just that in their candidates.

Since these assessments are professionally developed, while keeping in mind the company requirements, they are quite accurate in predicting the productivity levels of an employee via performance based tests and much more.

For instance, a retail company is usually eyeing the increment in sales every day. In order to achieve this, a test called the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST) will work best to hire employees with a knack for sales and business development.

In this test, candidates with proficiency in communication skills, verbal ability and at crunching numbers will be selected for further rounds and who have a better chance at improving the per hour or per day sales rate for the brand.

2. Accelerates the hiring process

Narrowing down the applications saves time and pre employment skills assessments help the hiring manager do just that. Talk about redefining resume sorting!

3. Streamlines the flow of information

In conventional hiring processes, there is a dearth of clarity. Pre employment assessment tests put all stakeholders on one page. Hiring managers from different teams will now be able to view the candidate via the same lens as the information is now more direct and streamlined. This also helps reduce contradictions between the job role and final hiring decision.

4. Enhances the quality of interviews

Getting the right candidate and having all the right information is key to qualitative and productive interviews. Pre employment assessment helps hiring managers gather ample data with respect to the candidate’s experience and skills, empowering them to ask the right questions during the interview.

5. Lowers the turnover rate

Pre employment assessment tools are a path to data backed decisions. Since candidates selected via these assessments have cleared tests with respect to core skills and fitment, they are more likely to fit the puzzle and less likely to quit.

6. Reduces cost and time invested per applicant

Pre employment assessment tests help improve the efficiency of the recruitment process by eliminating the under-performing applicants right from the start. This saves time and effort that is later put in by the hiring team.

Pre Employment Assessment Best Practices

If you’re planning to implement pre-employment tests to your recruitment process, make sure to follow these best practices to make the most of it.

1. Look at multiple vendors and their services

Start by researching different vendors to see the kind of formats they offer. Learn about their services and ask some important questions like:

  • What type of pre-employment tests do you offer?
  • Are your tests customizable?
  • What is your onboarding process like?
  • Do you provide customer support?

These questions are a great way to know about the tool/software better and help in better decision making.

​​2. Ensure the effectiveness of the test data

When it comes to validating the data of the pre-employment tests, there are multiple validity measures.

Say, for instance, a pre-employment test should demonstrate content whenever the criteria it is measuring aligns with the performance and job description. Or maybe, a test should demonstrate criterion-related validity whenever the results are used to forecast job performance.

The assessment scores have to be evaluated statistically as well as measured against the employee’s performance. In addition, pre-employment assessments can also show something known as construct validity. This is gauged by comparing the outcomes to a similar test that assesses the same psychological factors, like intelligence or integrity.

3. Be responsible with your tests

When it comes to implementing pre-employment assessment, “test selection” is vital. So be more appropriate while measuring characteristics and relevant skills to ensure they are predictive for job’s success.

Choosing ill-fitting tests leads to ineffective outcomes, making it unhelpful for candidate selection. Also, make sure to conduct appropriate amounts of testing.

For example, tests conducted within 40 minutes or even less tend to have a completion rate of 75% whereas tests of 1 hour tend to have a completion rate of just 66%.

Limiting assessments to 30-40 minutes can help decrease the number of candidates that fail to finish the process because of time requirements.

4. Keep a track of pre-employment test completion rates

It’s always a good idea to assess where and when candidates drop off, as this data allows you to think of the steps you could take to enhance the overall process. For example, changing the sequence of the pre-hire tests or making them precise and shorter. Measuring the completion rates helps you to optimize the entire process and makes it useful over time.

5. Use test results to improve

Note that pre-hire tests aren’t meant to be the ultimate tool for decision-making. Rather they are meant to help you in the process of making better decisions.

Do not rely only on candidate test results. Instead, combine the pre-employment tests with other selection methods like test assignments, job interviews, or trial periods to make a fully informed decision.

Final Takeaway

While we understand the scope of all pre employment assessments, its types and implementation, what makes a good pre employment assessment test?
The answer is validation.

All pre employment assessments are based on validity measures. These validations are not a standardized measure of approval but a pathway to ensure that the assessment is well-curated to test the applicants in a manner that it is effective and beneficial for the employee.

These validations usually rely on the content of the assessment, its construct (or structure) to determine its efficacy to test candidates and criteria which helps connect the results of the test with real-time job scenarios. The criterion validity is the most important of all as it forms the foundation of the recruiting process.

With this, we wrap up a comprehensive session on how you can implement pre employment assessment tests for your company and workforce.

Hope this blog helps you understand the nitty gritties that go into pre-employment assessment and optimize it for a better hiring process and take some pressure off your hardworking recruiting team.

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