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What Is the Best Time for Pre-Employment Testing?

Guy Thornton
Guy Thornton September 01, 2019
the Best Time for Pre-Employment Testing

It goes without saying that pre-employment testing can play an important role when it comes to the selection part of the hiring process. However, what is a little less obvious is the importance of when in this process these tests take place and the advantages or disadvantages that timing may have on the results.

This article takes a look at just that and will uncover whether proper timing of the test during the hiring process can make the testing results even more helpful overall in finding the right candidate.

The Traditional Way

There are certainly no rules about this. Testing can be done at any stage of the candidates’ selection process, and the results will not differ in regard to that. But knowing the results sooner in the process may be instrumental in improving the hiring procedure. The traditional hiring procedure commonly begins with reviewing the applicants’ resumes. After this, the most suitable candidates are interviewed, either face-to-face or by telephone. Then, more often than not, the testing comes in the last stage once candidates have been shortlisted. Leaving the testing until this final stage may be a flawed approach that increases both the timescale of the process and the expense. For example, what if those applicants, who have reached the last round after resume reviews and interviews, fail to get favourable results in the tests? You’re left deciding on whether you need to go back and start the process from the beginning, undoubtedly at a cost.

Testing First

If you choose to test the candidates before even checking their resumes you will end up with objective and standardised results that will weed out those who aren’t the right fit for the position. Now, what would the benefits be if we put the testing first? First of all, you would level the playing field for candidates taking out any bias that comes with the interview process. Secondly, with the test at the start of the process you may filter out some of those uncommitted job-seekers who have emailed their resumes but probably won’t show up for the testing, saving you both time and money. And finally, letting the reliable data point you towards the right candidates rather than the potentially ‘enhanced’ resumes gives candidates that may not have the work biographies but do have the skills and talents a chance to interview. Giving candidates like this a chance without the testing early on would be almost impossible. However, this issue can be resolved by smart planning. If you can manage to avoid paying per test and look at getting a more efficient pricing model for unlimited testing over a period of time, you may even end up saving some money.

The Bottom Line

The timing of pre-employment testing does play a role in finding the right candidates. But at the end of the day, testing at any time during the hiring process is definitely better than not testing at all. It’s important to ensure well structured, reliable and objective information, like these test results, is considered d in the decision-making process. Consider your company’s needs when determining the timing and the benefits of pre-employment testing will always outweigh the possible disadvantage of improper timing

Guy Thornton
Guy Thornton September 01, 2019

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