Companies are increasingly using recruitment tests as an objective method of assessing the suitability of potential candidates. Hiring mistakes can be costly and detrimental to an organisation, and recruitment tests provide a reliable and efficient alternative form of assessment.
Although employment tests provide valuable insight, they are most often used as part of a broader hiring strategy.
Companies can choose the types of tests that are most relevant for their organisation, tailoring the assessment process to suit their needs and to complement their existing recruitment activities.
What are recruitment tests?
Recruitment tests are a systematic and objective method of assessing potential job candidates as part of the hiring process. The tests work to determine a candidate's suitability for the position and examine their capabilities and performance in the workplace, providing an informed choice for the employer.
The employer is provided with quantifiable evidence to indicate the potential competency of each candidate, including their strengths, weaknesses, and characteristics. A systematic approach can assist recruiters in evaluating the relevant factors, taking the job specifications and demands of the role into consideration.
Recruitment tests also eliminate the potential for unconscious bias that often occurs when hiring decisions are made subjectively by individuals.
Why are recruitment tests necessary?
As recruitment tests provide quantifiable evidence, they are considered more reliable than a bias of emotion or the impression gained by an employer. It seems that many successful companies agree, as surveys have found that up to 61% of companies use psychometric testing in mature markets, with this figure rising to as high as 75% within The Times top 100 companies.
The traditional job recruitment process undertaken by hiring managers or employers can involve taking risks that may ultimately negatively impact the organisation, from causing operational faults to bringing down working standards.
The assessments typically used by employers as part of the hiring process are naturally biased in multiple ways. This bias might lead to hiring mistakes, such as an interviewer dismissing an ideal candidate for subjective reasons or mistakenly employing a qualified candidate who doesn't possess the necessary attributes to fit into the existing team.
Pre-employment tests provide objective data about each candidate that can mitigate these risks. If you are applying for a job, keep in mind to try out online practice tests before the actual tests.
Here is a list of tests that can be used during the recruitment process.
Types of recruitment tests
1. Personality Test
Personality tests are used to assess how a candidate's personality traits might fit within the team and setting of the organisation. Those pre-employment assessment tests can help the employer determine whether the candidate will be comfortable and adequate within the role that they will potentially play, and how their characteristics and personality traits might influence their performance and influence on their colleagues.
2. Behavioral Assessment
A behavioral assessment analyses the job candidate's behavioral competencies, including their personality attributes, analytical ability, interpersonal skills, and leadership skills in a workplace scenario. The assessment asks the candidate to choose the best course of action or response to a real, common workplace situation.
These tests can be changed and suited for different employment positions and enable the employer to recognise any potential for leadership and skill within their job candidates.
3. Cognitive Ability Test
Cognitive Ability tests function to measure the logical, verbal, and numerical thinking and understanding of potential employees. They allow an employer to gain a more accurate overview of the candidate's capabilities than might be achieved through an interview alone.
Testing the potential employee's cognitive skills helps employers to anticipate their candidate's performance in the workplace and on the job.
4. Numerical Test
Numerical tests offer multiple-choice questions to analyse the potential employee's critical thinking and handling of numerical data in a difficult workplace situation. The way a candidate answers the questions can help the employer recognize any potential weaknesses or strengths and determine whether the individual can adopt an analytical and efficient approach to dealing with data.
5. Coding Tests
6. Role-based Tests
Role-based tests aid the employer in assessing whether candidates are well suited to the specific position to which they are applying. Applicants are tested on relevant performance traits and their proficiency and aptitude within the field.
The employer is given an insight into the candidate's potential capacities and competency, including any strengths or weaknesses, to assess how well they might fit into the organisation and role.
7. Situational judgement tests
Situational judgement tests are pre-employment tests designed to assess the potential employee's skill and approach to selecting the most efficient and appropriate response to a hypothetical situation they could encounter. A typical question might present a workplace scenario and ask the candidate to select a response that feels most appropriate.
Situational judgement tests effectively allow the employer to recognise any assets or potential issues by providing a reliable glimpse into the candidate's reaction to possible scenarios.
8. Verbal reasoning
Verbal reasoning tests present a piece of writing to the candidate to assess their cognition, reasoning skills, and comprehension abilities. Through this type of assessment, the employer is given an insight into their potential employee's ability to understand and draw conclusions from written text, an essential skill for candidates in most job roles.
9. Remote Work Assessment
Remote Work assessments help employers understand the traits and capabilities needed from candidates to participate in remote working. The informal and sometimes challenging circumstances of remote working demand specific skills from an employee.
Employers can use remote work assessments to ensure that candidates can sustain the productivity and output required of the company.
10. Language Proficiency Test
A language proficiency test is used to evaluate a candidate's communication skills, including grammar, listening, pronunciation, and fluency. Employers benefit from this test as communication within industries is the key to efficient work, particularly across large organisations with employees of wide-ranging nationalities.
Therefore, this test provides the employer with an insight into their potential employees' comprehension of a specific language and their ability to communicate efficiently in real workplace situations.
11. Background Check
Background checks can be a beneficial part of the screening process for an employer, primarily as a method of managing safeguarding and security risks. They also give valuable insight and understanding of the employee's workplace performance history, past conduct, skill, or failings from former employers.
This knowledge reveals how an employee behaves in an everyday workplace and might not be found elsewhere in the recruitment process.
12. Logical reasoning
Logical reasoning tests give employers insight into a candidate's decision-making and problem-solving skills. Example questions might present a series of shapes or patterns and ask the candidate to predict which comes next in the sequence. These psychometric tests are used widely for roles such as software development and financial analysis.