The Importance of Pre-employment Tests in The Hiring Process

The Importance of Pre-employment Tests in The Hiring Process

The employees you choose to work at your company can make or break its success. Their work, time, and talent all cost money, not to mention what you need to spend on onboarding, benefits, and training. 

According to an SHRM report, hiring one employee costs a company an average of $4,129. This sum doesn’t even touch the money you’ll be paying that employee. It covers your efforts to interest potential candidates, check their applications, and fill out the position. 

On average, it takes 42 days to fill a position at a company. Not to mention, choosing the wrong person will eventually mean that you have to find a new one. This costs up to two times the yearly salary for that position.

What does this mean for your business?

This is why choosing the right people for the job is the most important task for your business. 

How to choose the right person for the job

When you’re looking for employees, your goal is to acquire the best talent there is. This is easier said than done. Not only do employers get hundreds of applications for a single position, which can take forever to check, but resumes are often unreliable. 

Today, 85% of job seekers lie on their resumes. We are talking about small, white lies as well as big things that will make you think that you’ve found the ideal candidate for the job.

So, yes, you should definitely take close look at those resumes to find your favorites, but there’s yet another method that can help you choose the right employee. 

We are talking about pre-employment testing. 

Properly developed tests are a great way to gather information on candidates and make sure that they are the perfect fit. 

Pre-employment tests you should consider

There are probably many things that you want to learn about candidates before you pick one and start paying them money. You can’t leave your work in the hands of just anyone. Still, you can’t send them dozens of tests that will take hours of their time, either. 

The idea is to send 1 or 2 tests to determine if the applicants are honest and a good fit for the job in question. You can send more detailed tests once you narrow down your choices.

That being said, here are the most commonly used pre-employment tests that can help you find the best candidate.

English proficiency test

Even if the position doesn’t require knowledge of foreign languages, you might want to consider sending out an English proficiency test to your candidates. Some of them might not be native English speakers, and their lack of knowledge in terms of grammar and vocabulary can seriously diminish the quality of their work. Test Gorilla has an excellent test for this purpose.

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Background check test

Since applicants often lie in their resumes, this is a great way to check their background. This can include verifying their employment history, education, credit history, criminal record, etc. If you want to collect such information, inform the candidate before you do it.

Job knowledge/ skill tests

These tests evaluate the knowledge of the candidate regarding the specific field they’ll be working in. You can use them to test everything from their job skills to their practical skills.

Reasons why you should be conducting pre-employment tests

Employers rarely conduct such tests because they take some time to be created and require extra effort from the job applicants. Still, a truly interested applicant won’t mind spending a few minutes on a simple, yet insightful test you’ll create. 

This is definitely worth your time and effort because pre-employment tests come with many perks for recruiters. Here are just a few of them.

  1. Higher productivity

By screening your candidates, you can better determine if they possess what it takes to fill the role at your company. Employment testing gives you the power to measure skills like problem-solving, communication, language proficiency, basic math, etc. 

If you detect and hire the most promising candidates, this will result in higher productivity in the workplace.

Tests are the best means you have to predict an applicant’s performance because they are objective and can show you how skilled the person is.

  1. Higher employee retention 

If you make sure to employ the right people, you won’t have to change employees all the time. With those test results, you’ll know exactly what the applicant knows and what they still need to learn, and you can work on the benefits you’ll offer them to stay at your company. 

People often quit their job because it isn’t the right fit. If you figure this out from the start and avoid such employees, both of you won’t be wasting your time. 

Pre-employment tests also help you ensure that new employees have an appropriate temperament, a personality that fits the position, and the basic aptitude for the job in question.

  1. Faster and more efficient hiring process

On average, recruiters receive 250 resumes for a single job opening. The bigger your company and the higher the position, the higher will this number be. 

Now imagine checking endless resumes trying to pick just one person. Some are clearly not a good fit, but many look great. It also takes forever to check them all, especially if you look at them in detail.

Hiring new people can be exhausting. This is why companies dedicate little time to checking resumes and rush to fill out a position that would otherwise take over a month to fill. If you want to speed things up and find the right person at the same time, you need some pre-employment tests. 

How can this help you?

If you require that candidates take tests early in the process, you can use the results to weed out the less qualified candidates. Out of those hundreds of applicants, many won’t bother to complete your test since they are basically sending their resumes out to as many companies as they can. 

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You’ll end up testing those that are serious about the position and are willing to take a bit of time to complete your test. After you see their score on the test, you can eliminate the ones that are not a good fit. 

This leaves you with a much smaller number of applicants and makes the hiring process faster, as well as more efficient. By requiring candidates to take tests early on in the process, you can weed out the ones who are sending their resumes out to as many openings as possible.

This will allow you to filter out the candidates who are serious enough to take the test. It also shows you who to move forward with. These are resume spammers, and they are not a good choice for you.

A good technique is to set a minimum score that candidates must reach to get interviewed. This cuts down on time spent responding to applicants and interviewing people who aren’t a good fit for the job.

When you have cut down the number of applicants to a few of the best choices, you’ll need to call them for an interview or reach out to them on the phone. This will reduce the time spent on interviews, too, since you’ll have far fewer candidates to speak to. 

According to Forbes, an in-person interview takes around 40 minutes to be completed. With every person you eliminate thanks to pre-employment testing, you save your recruiters 40 minutes of their time.

  1. Objective feedback

Even if you are the fairest person and want to promote equality in the workplace, bias can happen unintentionally. The human input into the employee selection process can be affected in many ways. 

If you use pre-employment tests, on the other hand, you get objective feedback. You won’t have to wait to see how the person will talk and act during the interview to guess if they’d do the job well. 

Some candidates are shy. Others will be too stressed during the interview. There will be candidates that are overly confident and can convince you that they know more than they do.

Tests are standardized, which gives you feedback that’s fair, inclusive, and highly objective. Yes, the interview is important, too, but these tests will give you an idea of the candidates’ skills. You can assess things like personality traits, soft and hard skills, leadership, reliability, honesty, etc. 

You must keep in mind that even the most qualified, amazing person for the position can fail an interview. If you want to find the gems and avoid the frauds, you need objectivity.

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  1. Defensibility

One very important task for your business is to make sure that your hiring process is legally compliant. Pre-employment tests provide a legal defense in case of problems. These tests are regulated based on federal guidelines, which will prevent discriminatory practices and make you less vulnerable to legal action.

Will you be using tests for the next hire?

The marketplace is very competitive nowadays. It is vital for your company’s success and survival to hire the best people for the positions it offers. As you learned in this article, pre-employment testing can make this faster, more efficient, and less expensive. That being said, you should start looking for those tests and decide which one best fits your company’s needs.

Author Biography: Daniel Quintero is a Venezuelan content creator who has been working for the past 2 years in English and Spanish. He has a degree in International Business and he is finishing a Master’s degree in Marketing. 

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