The Power of Pre-Hiring Tests

The Power of Pre-Hiring Tests

by Lynna Peterson

With unemployment rates soaring and the expense of hiring and training an employee skyrocketing, you simply can’t afford to place or hire the wrong person. More easy said than done, right?

Pre-Hire Testing is the buzz right now in the HR world, but which one do you implement? If you have done any research or even simply searched “pre-hire test options” into Google, your screen instantly became cluttered with different testing types . . . Personality Testing, Behavioral/Cognitive Testing, Skills Tests, Job Fit, Screening. A bit overwhelming! What are these tests all about?

An employment assessment is a very powerful tool if selected AND implemented correctly. See below for a few key tips on the power of pre-hire testing. Run through this list before even sitting down in front of your computer to begin your quest for a test!

Why am I looking for an assessment? Which pain-points am I trying to fix or ease?

High turnover, lack of skills, employees not performing they way we want them to, attendance, safety behaviors . . . start here! Identify the issues and make a short list.

Cost! I don’t recommend setting a budget, however, I do recommend going in with an idea of what you would like to spend. Testing will range anywhere from $200 to $2. To sum it up . . . the more money you spend DOES NOT EQUAL a better assessment. That is why you begin with your pain-points and then find an assessment that fits your “why” needs AND supplies you with enough information about that applicant on those “why” needs. (You also want to ensure the test manufacturer can supply you with an up-to-date User Manual and Validation for their assortment . . . stay tuned, that topic will be saved for a future blog post!)

What does the information on the report tell you about the applicant and how can you use that in your hiring decision?

If the report doesn’t give you any relevant information to increase your decision to hire or not to hire an applicant . . . don’t use the test! You want to ensure you can use this tool as a legitimate part of your decision making process. Does the report supply a synopsis on the applicant? A job fit score? Follow-up interview questions? Make sure the detail report = information you need on those “why” pain-points.

Here is a Quick Example: Sally Martin runs the HR department at a local bank. Recently, Sally has had issues with her Tellers being on time to work and occasionally, at the end of the day, a few Tellers are slightly off on their counts. Sally is very frustrated and decides to use a pre-hire test for future applicants. The bank has high applicant traffic and the position is an entry-level job; she decides to implement her test at point of application. After doing a bit of research, Sally selects the Myers and Briggs Personality assessment to solve her issue becaus . . . at the end of the day it was the most affordable AND she was nervous about getting approval for the cost of a more customize test from her boss.

Right test?
NO! Sally selected a personality assessment to solve an attendance and basic math skills issue. Her basis for selecting the Myers and Briggs pre-hire test was cost, not to mention her fear of asking for approval for more money!

So, as a recap:

  1. Ask yourself, why am I looking for an assessment?
  2. Consider cost
  3. Look into reporting and the results given

Now . . . do you feel ready to begin your quest for a test?

For more information about assessments and pre-hire tests, contact us


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