Recruiting & Hiring Blog for HR Professionals

[Guest Blog] What to Expect From Pre-Employment Testing

hyrell_blogimage_assessment_9-5-15Administering pre-employment tests as part of the hiring process can drive meaningful improvements in your company’s performance. These bottom-line benefits of testing explain why more than 80% of the Fortune 500 now use pre-employment testing as part of their hiring process.

Personality, aptitude and skills tests, or a combination thereof, can yield valuable insights into a candidate’s behavioral tendencies, problem-solving ability, and job-related competencies. By using professionally developed, validated testing instruments you are adding objective, data-driven metrics to your hiring process. No test is a perfect predictor, however, and besides being aware of the benefits of pre-employment testing, it is just as important that you not expect that tests will eliminate hiring mistakes altogether.

This is why when we first speak with customers, we try to establish realistic goals and expectations for a pre-employment testing program.  Specifically, what kind of results should you expect from using pre-employment tests? Using tests should drive incremental improvements in your hiring results, and minimize the risk of bad hires.  It should also dramatically streamline your hiring process, and translate into demonstrable improvements in your business by reducing turnover, lowering hiring and training costs, and improving productivity.

It is, however, just as important to be realistic and realize what you should NOT expect from pre-employment testing. Tests are NOT a crystal ball, unfortunately. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. When you see testing companies say things like, “Never make a bad hire again” or advertise 99.9% accuracy, it means they are either ignorant of how the science behind testing works, or misrepresenting it to sell you their tests—either way run, don’t walk, in the opposite direction. Incorporating tests into your hiring process does not mean you’ll never make another bad hire, only that you will make fewer of them.  Some people who don’t test well may be great employees, and some that test well may be terrible employees.  On the other hand, research shows that tests are significantly more accurate and reliable as predictors than resumes or interviews. Still, there is no selection methodology that will be 100% accurate in predicting performance. 

That’s why we always recommend that tests should be only one element of a comprehensive set of criteria you use to evaluate applicants. Sure, you can use tests at the top of the process to screen out employees who aren’t a good fit, but ultimately, organizations that use tests are making their final decisions based on many factors, of which tests should be an important component.  A good way to look at it is this: no matter how well developed a test is, you should not try to outsource your hiring decisions to a testing company.  You should expect tests to streamline and improve your hiring process, not replace it.

To learn more about pre-employment testing software please reach out to the Hyrell Team for a free demo of our Online Hiring System.

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Topics: Applicant Tracking Success, Future of HR, Pre-Employment Testing

This is disclaimer text. We’ve shared these tips to help educate you on social media employment screenings and considerations for your business — this information should not be construed as legal advice. But if your company chooses to screen applicants on social media or want to explore the topic even further, consult with an attorney for advice related to this screening tactic.

Photo credit: photographer via website

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