They are an efficient method of streamlining large applicant pools, ensuring the best-matched individuals progress to the next stage of your recruitment process. Quantifiable results help to keep your selection objective and save valuable time.
Standardised assessment tools have their limitations, but utilising them as a component of a varied and comprehensive recruitment process is considered good practice.
If you do not already use a pre-employment assessment tool when recruiting, their consideration is strongly recommended. A tool can likely improve your employee selection methods.
What is Pre-Employment Assessment?
A pre-employment assessment is the general name given to any standardised test or questionnaire employed in a recruitment process. There are a number of different pre-employment assessment tools – or platforms – which administer a range of assessments.
Most platforms have a general offering suitable for most corporate or third sector roles, with specific assessments available according to industry. Other platforms are tailored entirely to specific sectors, providing assessments relevant for roles in areas such as technology, software, engineering, logistics and sales.
There are also tools dedicated to assessing a particular skill, such as language proficiency, or an aspect of workplace compatibility, such as cultural fit. All these platforms can be utilised to gain valuable insight into your candidate cohort.
The best tool – or combination of tools - to use will depend upon the attributes and factors that indicate a strong job fit within your industry.
How do Pre-Employment Assessment Tools Typically Work?
Pre-employment assessment tools work by presenting your candidates with the same set of tests and questions, resulting in comparable results that can be used to make objective decisions.
Depending on the assessment platform and test selection curated, candidates will encounter questions involving multiple choice, rankings, filling in the blanks, short and long text answers, audio and video. Responses are generally submitted under timed conditions.
Once the tests have been completed, the pre-employment assessment tool compiles, analyses and evaluates the results. The presentation of results varies according to platform.
Some will evaluate candidate answers and provide a headline report with light touch analysis. Other tools report extensively, using their analytics to provide detailed recommendations.
You will want to select the platform that works best for your needs. This will depend upon your sector, the level of assessment you require, the result analysis you seek, and the reasoning behind your switch to pre-employment assessment tools.
For example, your priority may be improving employee turnover, speeding up your selection process, or improving candidate experience and satisfaction. Pre-employment assessment tools are often designed to improve performance across all objectives but, inevitably, some help to meet particular objectives better than others.
Some tools provide extra features such as the ability to upload virtual tours or an integrated video interview platform. Pre-employment assessment tools tend to work best if they integrate with your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) or have an effective API.
5 Reasons Why You Should be Using a Pre-Employment Assessment Tool
Using a pre-employment assessment tool in your recruitment process will help your company to:
1. Shortlist qualified candidates more efficiently
Pre-employment assessment tools can aid your pre-employment testing process, saving you both time and money. Through their use, you can gain insight into candidates more quickly than carefully reading through resumes – and avoid potential bias.
The standardised nature of aptitude and industry tests means rapid objective decisions can be made regarding suitability. A pre-employment assessment tool will centralise and streamline the administration of tests, evaluation of answers and presentation of results – simplifying the process at every stage.
2. Build a future-ready workforce
The right pre-employment assessment tool will allow you to assess the skills you feel are necessary to be at the top of the game in your sector. This way, you can ensure you are selecting candidates with the capability to rapidly excel in their role and the agility to absorb new technological or industry advances.
If you operate within a technical or engineering industry and are seeking to evaluate competency regarding specific skills - such as programming languages or modelling - it is worth selecting a platform tailored to the assessment of these skills.
3. Create a better candidate experience
The interface of a pre-employment assessment tool can improve candidate experience and overall satisfaction with your recruitment process.
Remember that your hiring process reflects directly upon your employer brand, which, in turn, impacts the calibre of candidates you attract. An accessible assessment platform that is intuitive and easy to use, along with tests that are pitched at the correct level, will improve candidates’ impression of your company.
The extra features some platforms provide, such as the opportunity to upload an office virtual tour or insights from current employees, will also help to boost enthusiasm for securing a role. You should seek to present a dynamic and varied assessment process that candidates find engaging, and perhaps even fun, to complete.
4. Make data-driven hiring decisions
The results generated from pre-employment assessment will help you to make informed, impartial selections, based on performance data. Employers are increasingly aware of minimising any unconscious bias, which has no place within a fair and effective recruitment process.
The standardised nature of pre-employment assessments helps to achieve this. Assessment results also provide defence against any suggestion of prejudiced practice or legal challenge.
Informed decisions, based on evidence of candidate skill strengths, personality and other variables that indicate high probability of success in the role, are crucial to effective hiring.
Increasing the probability of matching the ideal candidate to each of your roles lowers staff-turnover and leads to improved long-term business impact. Using a data-driven approach has the potential to greatly improve the quality of your selection process.
5. Identify and map the right person to the right job
Pre-employment assessment tools allow you to create a tailored assessment process relevant to your industry and job roles. If you take the time to identify the qualities that are pertinent to the role, you can ensure they are effectively evaluated using a pre-employment assessment tool.
Alongside aptitude testing, you can set assessments on soft skills and aspects that are important to you, such as situational behavioural traits or personality – ensuring the right person ends up in the role.