Pre-employment tests can help screen candidates. While there is no doubt about the utility of testing for screening candidates to select the best candidates for employment, you can face legal issues if tests are not reliable, valid, or improperly implemented.
Let’s first look at the benefits-
Pre-employment testing has numerous benefits in modern practices of hiring. Especially while advertising for job vacancies, companies receive a huge number of applications. Pre-employment testing helps to hire the best candidates among them.
Here are some other benefits of pre-employment testing:
- Screening of candidates based on abilities:
Such tests are used to screen applicants to jobs and may involve testing of knowledge, cognitive abilities, work skills, motor and physical abilities, emotional intelligence, personality, and integrity and language proficiency
- To select the best:
Testing is used by companies to identify candidates, who are most likely to succeed in job roles and to screen the unqualified.
- Save money and time:
By helping companies to identify candidates, who have the chances of performing well on the jobs, such testing can lead to more company benefits like saving cost and time in the recruitment process, improving morale and decreasing turnover.
Issues in Pre-Employment Testing-
Once an employer decides to use pre-employment testing in the hiring process, the question is- how to gain maximum out of it? The recruiter comes face to face with following issues:
- Which tests to select?
The validity and effectiveness of such tests is the criterion of ‘job relatedness.’ Tests of Pre-hire type should measure traits, abilities, and skills, which are relevant to the particular job. Improper test selection will end up in wrong selection methodology and lack of legal compliance.
The typical best practice in employment testing is to do an analysis of job requirement, prior to testing candidates for the job. After defining such job analysis, it becomes easier to choose the right tests.
Some tests measure general abilities of a candidate like critical thinking, learning ability, and problem-solving and may suit a number of jobs. Other tests like the Programming assessment tool are meant to test talent of the candidate in specific job-related skills like basic programming. Such tests must not be used to assess capability for any other job.
- When to use tests?
After deciding on kind of tests, companies must now decide at which stage of hiring process the tests must be administered. There may be many factors impacting this decision, but HR experts generally recommend testing of applicants as soon as possible.
When used early in the hiring process, it is a reliable and effective way to collect objective data prior to deciding which early candidates must move on to the next stage of recruitment.
- How much testing is suitable?
The next stage is to decide how many tests to administer. For attracting the best talent, companies should worry about how they are perceived by candidates
As per studies by Criteria Corp, it has also been found that candidates complete such tests very less frequently when test length exceeds 40 minutes. It seems that this is the point when ‘test fatigue’ sets in, to discourage candidates.
- Setting up minimum cut-off scores
Establishing a high cut-off score is good when the company has an extensive pool of applicants. In such cases, employers do well in being selective, and cut-off criteria are a very good time saver. But take note that setting cut-offs is both a science and an art.