Pre-Employment Testing: Definition and Examples

Kelly Cantwell

Pre-employment tests are an important part of any interviewing process, allowing you to assess each candidate's qualifications and on-the-job characteristics in an objective and standardized way. Here, we'll discuss more about what a pre-employment assessment is, the different types of pre-employment tests, and how to use them effectively.

What is a pre-employment assessment?

What is pre employment testing?

A pre-employment assessment test is an examination you give to job candidates as part of the screening and hiring process. You can use these tests to determine personality traits and characteristics, cognitive abilities, job knowledge, aptitude, skills, and on-the-job behaviors.

Using these tests gives you and your team a better understanding of job applicants prior to making a hiring decision.

What can pre-employment tests check for?

What can pre employment tests check for?

Hiring managers, HR departments and executives use pre-employment tests to screen candidates for:

  • Personality or character traits
  • Skills and abilities
  • Job knowledge (i.e., technical or theoretical expertise in a particular field)
  • Software or language proficiency
  • Emotional intelligence (i.e., how well someone builds relationships and understands emotions)
  • Integrity and honesty
  • Attitude towards employers

Different types of pre-employment tests can help you understand — prior to an interview — whether or not a candidate could be a good fit for a particular job.

Why is pre-employment testing important?

A pre-employment test can provide more information than a resume or interview. It gives you insights that make it easier to compare candidates and make informed hiring decisions. When you include pre-employment testing into your hiring process you can:

  • Ensure hiring practices are fair. A pre-employment assessment program reduces bias and discrimination. It uncovers and documents abilities and merit.
  • Instantly identify top candidates. Use an employment test to identify which candidates to bring in for interviews.
  • Improve job interviews. Sample interview questions provided with pre-employment exam results help you deeply explore important topics, traits, and skill areas.
  • Make informed hiring decisions. Ensure candidates have desired knowledge, skills, and abilities for the role and your company culture.
  • Reduce bad hires. By determining which candidates have the right personality for a given position, you can reduce hiring mistakes and lower your turnover rate.
Why is pre employment testing important?

6 types of pre-employment tests

Before discussing how to choose the right hiring tests, here are the five types of pre-employment tests commonly offered. They will help you confidently narrow your list of applicants and improve the quality of your interviews.

Hire Success pre employment assessment tests.
  1. Personality tests

    Are the personality traits of an applicant well-suited for a particular job? A personality test can help you determine if an applicant is comfortable working independently. It can measure how organized they are, how well they might adapt to new situations, and if they are persuasive.

    Assess personality
  2. Honesty and integrity tests

    Useful types of hiring tests will help you discover the honesty of job candidates. The integrity of the people on your team is crucial to company culture and the well-being of your business. That is why it's important to gain insight into risky behaviors and attitudes. You'll want to uncover any history of drug or alcohol abuse or indications of violence. It's also insightful to explore their attitudes toward previous employers.

    Measure integrity
  3. Aptitude tests

    An aptitude test allows you to measure a candidate's ability to perform a certain task or acquire knowledge in a specific area. These tests will uncover how well a job candidate thinks through things like organization, logic, and reading comprehension, and can help you consistently and objectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of each potential employee.

    Test aptitude
  4. Skills assessments

    A pre-employment skills test evaluates an applicant's mastery of job-specific knowledge and skills. They let you both verify and measure abilities claimed on a resume and also make it possible to objectively compare candidates.

    Assess job skills
  5. Job knowledge tests

    Unlike skills tests, which assess whether a candidate can do something in practice, job knowledge tests evaluate a candidate's underlying, theoretical knowledge of the role and its requirements. This knowledge takes time and effort to acquire, and can be demonstrated most effectively through the completion of a job knowledge test.

  6. Custom role-specific assessments

    You may need to customize exams to test knowledge or abilities that aren't included in pre-made aptitude and skills tests. With Hire Success®, it's easy to design, administer, and score tests on any topic, software program, or skill set you choose.

    You can select questions from the various categories within our question database, as well as add your own job-specific questions. Or, if you have an existing assessment, you can upload it to the Hire Success® system to leverage the test administering and reporting capabilities.

    Create your own employment test

Choosing the right hiring test for your needs

Once you know what pre-employment testing is, the next challenge is exploring the types of pre-employment tests available and which assessment type you should recommend for the hiring process. Selecting the appropriate tests and testing company will help you:

Keep hiring information organized and in one place.

Offer professionally developed tests conveniently online via any device with an internet connection.

Select from a library of tests to match your specific needs.

Streamline and integrate applicant tracking in one central online location to review, post, and share job information.

Link directly from your website to the system, post job specifics and requirements, and immediately provide testing links when an application is submitted.

Proper use of pre-employment testing

Proper use of pre employment testing.

If you're considering using pre-employment testing in your hiring process, it's important to understand the best practices for pre-employment testing. There are a few key steps you can follow to ensure that the testing process is fair and effective:

  1. Identify the skills and abilities that are necessary for the job. This information can be used to assist with developing a job-related test or series of tests for your applicants.
  2. Use the same test or tests for all applicants who apply for the same job. This will help ensure the testing process is consistent and fair for all job applicants.
  3. Provide adequate instructions and support for applicants. All applicants should be provided with sufficient instructions and support throughout the testing process, as well as ample time to complete the test or tests.
  4. Use the test results as just one factor in the overall hiring decision. Pre-employment test results should be weighed against other relevant information, such as the applicant's resume, references, and interview performance.
  5. Follow all applicable laws and regulations. Your process must comply with all laws and regulations regarding pre-employment testing, including those related to disability and discrimination.

Working with a provider like Hire Success®, you can organize your hiring data in one place and easily share it with your team. A professional provider makes the process affordable, convenient, simple, and compliant.

When should you test job candidates in the hiring process?

The use of pre-employment testing is typically one step in the overall hiring process, and the specific timing of the testing will depend on the needs and preferences of the employer.

In some cases, employers may choose to administer tests as part of the initial application process before the first round of interviews. In other cases, employers may wait until later in the hiring process, such as after an initial interview or after a second round of interviews.

The important thing is to ensure that the testing is administered at a point in the process when it will provide useful and relevant information to help with your hiring decision.

When should you test job candidates in the hiring process?

How much should you depend on assessments when making a hiring decision?

Much like an interview or resume, pre-employment tests are used to gather additional information on an applicant in order to determine their fit for a given position. Though test results can provide valuable insights into a candidate's skills and personality that you may not be able to obtain otherwise, they shouldn't be your only consideration.

When it comes time to make a hiring decision, it's best to factor pre-employment test results in with all the other important information you've obtained about a candidate, such as their work history, references, and interview performance.

The benefits of using an online pre-employment testing system

Benefits of using an online pre employment testing system.

Online pre-employment testing systems offer several benefits to both employers and job applicants:

  1. Offers convenience

    Online pre-employment tests offer applicants an accessible and convenient testing option, allowing them to take tests from any location with an internet connection. This makes it easier for them to participate in the hiring process and allows you to receive the results fast and share them internally with minimal effort.

  2. Increases efficiency

    With online pre-employment testing, you can save valuable time and reduce administrative burden by automating the test administration and scoring process. You can also access tests and results at any time from your mobile device.

  3. Ensures standardization

    Using online pre-employment tests helps ensure that all applicants are evaluated using the same criteria, reducing the potential for bias or inconsistency in the hiring process.

  4. Improves organization

    An online pre-employment testing system allows you to easily organize candidate information in one place where your team can review, post, and share job information.

  5. Allows for easy customization

    With a custom pre-employment test builder, you can tailor tests to a specific job by choosing from prebuilt questions in a variety of subjects or creating your own industry-specific questions.

  6. Promotes cost savings

    Compared to the process of administering and scoring paper-and-pencil tests, conducting online pre-employment tests is less time consuming leading to reduced costs associated with labor and materials.

  7. Enhances security

    Online pre-employment testing can help protect the integrity of the testing process by preventing unauthorized access to test materials and ensuring that test results are kept confidential.

Want to know more about employment testing?

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