Every employer is concerned about employee turnover. Losing employees hurts business no matter what sort of industry you're in. Productivity falters, as does morale in the workplace – especially if that workplace is left understaffed. These factors can have far-reaching effects on everything from workplace safety and efficiency to employee and customer satisfaction and ultimately, the bottom line.
Replacing these employees is a costly, time-consuming process, as well as a difficult and risky one. Accurately evaluating the potential of candidates to become solid, reliable, and productive employees is no easy task based only on the limited information provided by resumes, reference checks, and interviews. That makes hiring a gamble, and when employers get it wrong, the costs can be high.
For instance, according to a study commissioned by LinkedIn, candidates that are poorly matched to a position drive up costs associated with hiring and onboarding new employees – the hiring process takes longer and the recruits don't stay – issues that created a cost burden of $19.8 billion a year in each of the 11 countries examined for this research.
Given the many costs that high employee turnover rates can inflict on businesses, employers are always seeking effective methods of reducing them. A growing number of them are turning to pre employment testing as a means of doing that. So just how can pre employment tests help?
How Pre Employment Testing Can Reduce Turnover
Selecting new hires who are well-matched to the job they are placed in is an important factor in reducing employee turnover. These employees are more likely to be successful in completing job training, leading to better short-term retention rates, and are also more likely to be satisfied in their employment, leading to higher long-term retention.
Well-designed pre employment testing programs can provide employers with much more accurate, objective information to aid in evaluating job candidates than can be obtained via the traditional resumes, references and interviews. Better information on candidates provides employers with the ability to accurately assess just how well-matched a particular candidate is to the job in question, greatly increasing the odds of hiring the right person for the job – one who will become a reliable, long-term employee.
So what should a well-designed pre employment testing program consist of in order to be effective in reducing turnover rates? That depends largely on the demands of your workplace and the characteristics of your business.
If the job you're hiring for is a position of trust, integrity testing may be wise – and, according to researchers from Edgewood College, it has the potential to reduce turnover. According to these researchers, a company that used integrity testing in 600 or its 1,900 stores saw a 13 percent decline in employee turnover in stores that used testing, while the stores that did not had an increase in turnover rates of 14 percent.
Tests that measure job-specific aptitudes and skills can be very useful. For instance, a sales aptitude test for jobs that involve sales, a personality test for customer service positions, and cognitive or skills, knowledge, and abilities tests for skilled positions.
For employers offering physically demanding jobs, such as construction, health care, warehouse, or manufacturing work, physical ability testing can be a very important tool for reducing employee turnover. After all, a new hire that struggles with the tough physical tasks required of them in these positions isn't likely to stay long, either washing out of training, leaving due to exhaustion, or leaving the workforce after an injury due to overexertion. Using a solid physical ability test to ensure that new hires are physically capable of meeting those demands increases the odds of them remaining happy and healthy in their new positions.
Given the variables involved, the best bet for employers interested in designing an accurate and effective pre employment testing program lies in getting professional help. A reputable, experienced testing provider can evaluate the workplace in terms of job demands and ideal employee qualities to devise a testing program that is tailored to the specific needs of the business in question, in compliance with federal workplace regulations and legally defensible should hiring practices ever be called into question.