Exploring Pre Employment Testing Options: What, When, and Why

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 3, 2015 8:00:00 AM / by Deborah Lechner

A growing number of companies today, from large multinationals to small businesses, are using pre employment testing to improve their odds of filling jobs with the best candidate the first time. After all, hiring people requires quite an investment of both time and money, an investment that companies stand to lose if they get it wrong. More efficient information gathering about prospective employees, via pre employment testing, can help minimize these types of losses. However, employers who are considering making pre hire testing part of their hiring process may well find the many options available today a bit confusing. What sort of testing to use? Why and when should candidates be tested?

While the needs, and therefore the optimal pre hire testing strategies, of companies will vary from one to organization to another, research by the Aberdeen Group has assembled some helpful pointers on how to make the most of pre employment testing to improve the hiring process. Their report, put together by information gathered through surveying top performing companies – ones that hire and retain top talent – on their pre hire testing policies, stresses that using a combination of assessment types at various points in the hiring process yields the most significant results.

They suggest that the most effective assessments at the top of the hiring process are those that measure skills and knowledge, allowing companies to screen out applicants who do not possess the basic capabilities required for the job quickly and efficiently, giving them the means to focus their time and energy on viable candidates. For candidates that make it through that initial filter and are being brought into the interview process, more specific tests, such as assessments to determine cultural fit, job fit and cognitive ability/critical thinking skills are important. When it comes to final hiring decisions, post offer testing can offer critical information to help ensure that a potential employee is well suited to the job and your workplace. These assessments may include job simulations, situational judgment, drug/alcohol testing, and in physically demanding jobs, medical evaluations and physical abilities testing.

While this outline of the testing practices of top performing companies offers a basic idea of why and when to employ pre hire assessments to improve the hiring process, the Aberdeen report stresses that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for effective pre employment testing. To be successful in minimizing bad hires, candidate assessment must be an individualized, well-rounded process that considers what information is most useful to your particular company, and at what point in the hiring process that information will be of most benefit.

If you're uncertain about which types of pre hire testing might be best for your company's needs, bringing in a professional consultant to help build an effective pre employment testing strategy is quite likely to be worthy investment. According to another Aberdeen Group report, organizations that have invested in a comprehensive and effective pre hire testing strategy achieve double-digit gains over their counterparts in their ability to achieve organizational goals and execute business strategy, hire individuals who can get up to speed quickly, and improve the overall engagement of their entire employee base – impressive results that certainly indicate a healthy return on that investment.

When are Physical abilities test best performed

Topics: Pre Employment Screening

Deborah Lechner

Written by Deborah Lechner

Deborah Lechner, ErgoScience President, combines an extensive research background with 25-plus years of clinical experience. Under her leadership, ErgoScience continues to use the science of work to improve workplace safety, productivity and profitability.