How Successful Companies Are Using Pre-Employment Testing Today


Depending on the vacant job positions, traditional interview methods, such as reviewing resumes and face-to-face interviews are ineffective in selecting the right candidates. These systems are unreliable in these cases since some applicants may mislead the potential employers by including inaccurate or false information in their resumes and during interviews. For this reason, many companies and recruiting agencies are now turning to reliable candidate selection options, including pre-employment testing to find out the most competent ones.

Benefits of Pre-employment Testing

Usually, recruiting new talent is a cost and time intensive exercise, especially where reviewing resumes and interviews are the only candidate selection methods used. Pre-employment testing helps any company spend less time in reviewing the CVs and resumes of the candidates applied, and in conducting interviews. Similarly, the company saves money that would otherwise have been spent in replacing bad hires. Pre-employment testing will provide employers with a better understanding of the potential employee, their strengths and weaknesses, and how well they may work within a team.

On the other hand, recruiting the wrong employees will have damaging impacts on the employee morale, effectiveness and workflow culture. The specificity of pre-employment tests usually allows the employers to identify skill gaps within their manpower. Once identified, training programs are developed keeping these specific skill gaps in mind. Fortune Magazine, a popular USA based magazine, stated that companies which used pre-employment testing recorded higher performance margins and returns on investment, as well as lower staff turnover and training costs.

Features of a Good Pre-Employment Test

Before customizing and administering pre-employment tests, some recruiters carry out an analysis of the job requirements for the open positions. This analysis helps to identify the knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics that should be in the selected candidate as per the demand of the job role. When customizing or choosing pre-employment tests, the recruiters may keep this factor in mind.

Additionally, pre-employment testing may be chosen according to the company’s objectives and goals. For example, a service based company may consider tests that might assess the behaviors, temperaments and knowledge base of the candidates. On the other hand, a product based company may consider tests that might focus on measuring their hard skills, such as machine operation, computer programming or technical adequacy.

Auto racing companies are a good example of successful companies that often benefit from pre-employment testing. These companies usually run a physically demanding pit stop where race cars make scheduled and unscheduled stops. Pre-employment screening for pit employees usually involves intense physical and cognitive exercises. These tests may help measure the candidates’ speed, precision, attention to detail, stamina and strength. Thus, auto racing companies that use pre-employment testing are able to ensure safe workplaces, high efficiency and improved team performance.

A good pre-employment test should be able to adequately predict the candidate’s job performance when at work. A strong correlation between the test results and job performance may confirm the validity of the test. For instance, job candidates who excel in empathy evaluation tests are likely to perform better as nurses or customer relation executives. Moreover, a good pre-employment test should not breach any equal employment opportunity laws and the tests should be free from prejudice. 

How Successful Businesses Do It

According to Psychology Today, about 80% of Fortune 500 companies use pre-employment testing in their recruitment strategies. This improves their team building, talent search and decision making capacities. Below we will look at what these companies do to ensure they get the most out of their manpower.

The first step in this process is putting in place a dynamic assessment plan that will suit the business needs. The plan isolates the company’s shortcomings with regard to skill acquisition and how these shortcomings may have affected the bottom line. This means that the company may identify a disconnection within the recruitment process that has been affecting their productivity. Once identified, they may develop standardized processes to incorporate the missing aspects in the recruitment process. This process involves alignment of job roles with the appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Peer reviews and benchmarks are be important when reviewing an assessment plan. They help to confirm that all shortcomings have been considered in the new strategy before implementing it. Senior management as well as external human resource professionals may be involved in the peer review exercise. Similarly, companies that have been marked as the best performers in the industry may be referred to. Detailed and continuous training of the human resource personnel is necessary before implementation of the new plan. Moreover, all key personnel should understand the new process and its eventual impacts on the business.

Upon implementation, a continuous monitoring of its effectiveness, impacts and adoption is imperative. The administration should maintain updated records of employee profiles, test results and job performance reviews. This provides a reliable reference point during the monitoring exercise. The validity of the tests may also be realigned periodically to ensure the tests will match with the evolving trends in the industry.

Furthermore, pre-employment assessments need to be free of any legal liability that may result in the company losing their reputation, revenue or manpower. Thus, they should ensure that all pre-and post-screening assessments will meet the legal threshold and are not demeaning, derogatory, discriminative or illegal. They should consult legal counsel to provide guidance whenever required. Additionally, if standardized tests are acquired from third-party sources, they should be assessed before implementation to ensure they meet the company’s code of conduct and legal requirements.

In summary, many successful companies have now placed their focus on getting the most out of their workforce making hefty investments in pre-employment assessment strategies. This has not only shown a significant boost in their profit margins, product quality and employee retention rates, but has also helped them set benchmarks for success in the business world. While these businesses usually place emphasis on creating customized tests for their potential hires, they also take caution to make sure that these tests meet their manpower requirements, skill gaps, financial status, and production targets.

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