For employers, recruiting can be difficult, especially if you are sifting through potentially thousands of apparently qualified and experienced candidates. The right pre-employment screening process will make creating a shortlist of the very best candidates simple.
From a pile of CVs and cover letters it is possible to create a large pool of candidate possibilities, but there is much more to an efficient hiring process than a paper sift - and that is why many recruiters choose to use pre-employment screening assessments.
What are the benefits of pre-employment screening?
From the initial contact of a potential candidate, recruiters and employers need to have a relevant and reliable process for eliminating candidates that don't meet the requirements of the role.
This means having a CV screening process, a suite of pre-screening assessments, and a series of measurable metrics to ensure that the recruitment procedure is as efficient and useful as possible.
What are the typical limitations of free pre-employment screening tools?
There are so many pre-employment screening tools available on the internet, from both respected and well-known employment businesses to the less reputable websites - but there are limitations to the tools that are free.
Limited time period/limited uses
For things like free pre-employment screening assessments, employers can often find free trials from major test publishers that give an idea of how the tests work. These free trials are mostly offered with a limited number of uses or with just one basic test available, which makes their usefulness limited.
Other resources might have a limited time offer or free trial period before a subscription-based membership kicks in.
Free tools are broad spectrum in general. They are not tailored to a specific job role or even a specific industry - which could make them less relevant for the role you are recruiting for.
Some tools can be simply modified to suit the needs of your business, such as the CV screening checklist, but others are much harder to personalise (such as the aptitude or personality tests).
The old adage of 'if it seems too good to be true, it usually is' can be relevant when looking for free tools on the internet - and while there are some relatively unknown sources of good, actionable information, it is always best to rely on a well-known name for tools that have an impact on your hiring process.
Hiring the wrong candidate through reliance on questionable resources could be an expensive mistake - high employee turnover means more recruitment costs.
4 Free Resources for Pre-Employment Screening
1. Free resume pre-screening checklist
There is a certain art to considering CVs and cover letters, and when you are faced with thousands of potential candidates all boiled down to just some pages of writing, it can be a difficult task.
CV and cover letter screening is subjective - every employer and recruiter will get different information from each one. Having a CV screening checklist helps to remove some of the unconscious bias, and also makes it a faster process in most cases.
The checklist that Coburg Banks use is a great printable option, and you can use it as it is or take ideas from it to create a more bespoke pre-screening checklist. On this list are some simple and straightforward considerations like whether there is a cover letter and how the CV is laid out (for readability and appearance) but also things to look for within the document itself such as experience, education and qualifications.
By their very nature, CV sifts are going to be more subjective, but using a template or a checklist will ensure that all candidates are being assessed for the same things.
2. Free pre-employment tests
Pre-employment assessments are an objective and fair way to test candidate ability against a benchmark - meaning that employers can get more information about potential hires that is standardised and unbiased.
Using the right combination of aptitude, personality and skills tests has proven benefits in streamlining the recruitment process and ensuring that employers hire the right candidate - someone who will be successful at their role.
The types of pre-employment tests available vary wildly, and with bespoke options available to tailor the assessments to your particular business (even down to each individual role) it is relatively simple to set up a suite of tests that work for you. The type of tests include:
Testing candidates on what they know about a job role is important, especially where skilled employees are valued highly. These assessments rely on the applicant having sufficient role-related knowledge and understanding to be able to step into the role (without too much investment in training).
Unlike the job knowledge or skills assessments, cognitive ability is more about the candidates aptitude and ability to learn. Candidates are given information or data and need to make reasoned decisions to find the answer - and this is all based on basic knowledge of the English language and mathematical operations.
Hiring for skilled jobs means that candidates need to demonstrate their level of skill in different areas, whether that be typing speed or using a specific software suite. Skills assessments provide quantified data about each candidate's ability.
An important part of assessing a candidate is not just about their ability to perform the role; it is also about how they work as part of the job culture. Culture fit demonstrates that the candidate has the right personality traits to be a valued and valuable part of the team - in some cases, this might be more important than their job knowledge.
You can get free pre-employment tests from Test Candidates in the following areas:
- Numerical Reasoning: Candidates are presented with numerical data in the form or graphs or tables, and must read, understand and analyse the data in order to choose the right answer (multiple choice).
- Verbal Reasoning: Candidates are presented with information in the form of a short paragraph and need to quickly read, understand, and analyse the information to choose the right answer.
- Logical Reasoning: When presented with a pattern made of shapes or pictures, the candidate must use logic to deduce the pattern and discover which of the multiple choice answers is the logical next in the pattern or missing piece.
- Situational Judgement: Making decisions that are difficult, based on limited information, is a desirable skill in many industries - and the situational judgement test provides a scenario and a number of possible actions to determine how the candidate will behave at work when faced with a difficult decision.
3. Free Candidate screening checklist
The screening doesn't end with the pre-employment assessments - while they will be able to highlight the top candidates, the next stage will be part of the interview process. Whether you begin with a telephone call, a video conference or a face-to-face interview, having a structured question checklist will make sure you are asking the relevant questions.
This checklist from Glassdoor offers a number of points that you might like to cover in your screening interviews, including asking questions about the candidates knowledge of the business and the role in particular, what they understand about the company values and mission, and the type of questions they might ask.
4. Free guide to measuring metrics when screening
Knowing what works (and what doesn't work) for your business when recruiting is not easy unless you are measuring the metrics of the process. This Recruiting Metrics toolkit from Toggl has all the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that you should be measuring in order to assess how well your process is working.
With everything from the cost of hiring through to the quality of each hire, metrics will make it simple to see where your process needs more work and how you can streamline procedures to ensure better hiring decisions.