What is a Pre-Employment Test?
by Callie Hansen
To this point in our Recruiting Basics series, we’ve discussed the basics about an applicant tracking system and the differences between job boards and job aggregators. The fourth article to join the series is all about screening applicants.
Traditionally, the hiring process has consisted of looking over paper applications, reviewing resumes, conducting interviews and hiring the best candidate from the pool. Modern day technology has arguably complicated that process. Now, you could be inundated with hundreds of applicants for a single position making your best guess as you sift through the pool to find the one perfect candidate you want to hire.
This is where pre-employment testing comes in. Pre-employment testing is a hiring tool that is increasingly being used by employers to screen applicants. Also known as assessments, pre-employment tests take hiring one step further by providing an additional screening process for your applicants. These tests help you filter the best of the best and give you good insight as to which candidate is more qualified for the position you are hiring.
“Pre-employment tests are a standardized measurement tools that help ensure a safe, productive, and satisfying work environment. Using them makes hiring a statistical and data based decision that helps reduce risk of a bad hire and all of the ramifications that come with it.”
Pre-employment tests come in many different shapes and sizes, but there are three important steps to take for each test that will help you find the sharpest needle in the haystack.
Step 1: Establish a Benchmark
A pre-employment test will narrow down the results so you have a smaller and easier pool to sift through. The goal of a pre-employment test is to find and hire the candidate who is most qualified for the position. The first step is to set the benchmark for which you want your applicants to be measured against. The way this is accomplished is by first creating the test, then choosing two to three of your best employees relative to the job you’re advertising, and have them take the test. Use their results to determine where to set the bar for future applicants. Having your best employees take the tests will help you to see how applicants compare. Additionally, the same could be said for your bottom producers and you can have them take the test as well. This will differentiate the good from the not so great and give you the numbers and percentages you need in order to determine who fits in where and how, and who will be the best fit for the company.
From there, you can make changes and set benchmark you want. This benchmark will determine the characteristics you are looking for in a candidate, especially one who will be successful at your company.
“Pre-employment tests help you assess your applicants’ skills, abilities, knowledge competencies, intellectual capacity, and personality characteristics against not only other applicants in your pool but also against the top talent within your organization.”
Step 2: Test Your Applicant Pool
Now is the time to put your pool of applicants to the test. With the test prepared and ready to go, send it out to your applicant pool and the results will separate the good from the bad.
Pre-employment tests reduce the risk for a bad hire.
If you use an applicant tracking system like ApplicantPro, there are a few ways to initiate the test and get it to your applicants. The first way is at the point of application for all applicants after they submit their application. The second way is at the point of application for only those that qualify. In seconds the system checks that basic qualifications are met and then applicants are prompted to complete the assessment. Lastly, you can invite a specific group via email to complete it at your request. If the applicant doesn’t complete it, he/she will be prompted to finish the test through a follow-up email. The tests are completed online at a secure URL at the applicants’ convenience and results come into the applicant tracking system for you to review. This valuable information, along with applicant information, is available to you and any managers that you grant access with little to no effort on your part.
Step 3: Hire The Best Fit
Once your applicants have been screened, you will have the ability to view all of the applicant’s results in relation to other applicants and your benchmark of top/bottom performers. Through the use of an applicant tracking system, like ApplicantPro, you can see who was qualified for your position based on the benchmark you set for the test and at that point you can move forward in the hiring process. Schedule an interview and hire the applicant you’ve been looking for.
Pre-employment tests are the solution to narrowing down your applicant pool so you can find and hire the most qualified candidate for your open position. It is a secure and validated process that is sure to give you the results you are looking for. These tests not only open the doors to a more qualified candidate, but a pre-employment test reduces the risk for a bad hire. The last thing you want to do is hire someone who isn’t a good fit for your company. Pre-employment testing helps to reduce that risk.
ApplicantPro offers a diverse range of pre-employment tests. Choose from a number of skill-based tests that will analyze math and comprehension skills, typing skills, and work value that assess an applicant’s trustworthiness and moral culpability in a position.
Click here to begin the process of implementing pre-employment tests within your hiring process.
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