What is a Pre-Hire Assessment?
Pre-employment testing is used to efficiently screen job applicants. Tests can include questions of cognitive abilities, knowledge, work skills, physical and motor abilities, personality, emotional intelligence, language proficiency, and even integrity. Companies use testing to find the candidates most likely to succeed in the open positions and to screen out those who are unqualified. They help companies pick out the candidates who they consider the most likely to perform well on the job should they be hired. Pre-hire assessments can positive results such as saving time and cost in the selection process, decreasing turnover, and even improving morale, because team members are more confident in the abilities of new hires.
The Pros and Cons
While it’s pretty clear to see why employers would be interested in testing candidates before hiring, there are some complexities involved in terms of the validity and reliability of the tests. Pre-employment tests are frequently challenged in court. Before administering such tests, companies must be prepared to defend that validity of the assessments should candidates who did not perform well seek compensation. They must be able to explain how the test measures the specific criteria that would predict future job performance or success. There needs to be a direct correlation between test scores and job performance. A good example is testing applicants ability to use the software products that would be part of their everyday experience on the job. If they do well on the test, performing actions that they would be expected to perform on the job, the test is more likely to be considered valid.
The reliability of the tests is also an issue of concern. If employers spend the time and resources on testing candidates, they need to be reliable enough to make high level hiring decisions based on the results. For a test to be truly reliable, a candidate’s score should be roughly the same every time they take the exam. It should consistently measure traits otherwise it will be unlikely to predict a candidate’s future job performance. And similarly with validation, test reliability should be proven prior to the test being implemented.
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Overall, you might find it worthwhile to implement a pre-hire assessment program. But be sure you keep in mind the complexities before you dive in. For more tips on how to hire and train the best candidates for your business, look to the experts at Clarity Consultants for the support and knowledge that will help you get ahead.