Types of Pre-employment Testing You Should Do

March 17, 2019
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The process of procuring new talent for your company is usually long and extensive. When looking for candidates for any role, you want to make sure that you’ll be getting someone who’s not only qualified in terms of education, past experience, and skills but that they also fit with the company’s values and culture. All of these will make sure that this employee will be able to succeed in the role, thrive and will remain with the company for years to come.

In order to make sure your candidates fit all of those criteria, a simple interview is not enough, and even a series of interviews won’t do. There is a lot that can be hidden from the eye during a conversation and can cause problems once that person is hired. If you want to make sure you choose the best person for the role, there are several pre-employment tests you should invest in, which may change according to the position you are looking to fill. For example, you will not want to perform a physical ability test for a desk job or a language proficiency test for a programmer.

It is also important to mention that the tests should be used with a form of discretion, as they are not always perfect. While a good test can help you learn more about a candidate, a bad one can hurt the chances of a good candidate. Here are the main types of pre-employment testing:

Background and Integrity Tests

A candidate’s resume is a great resource to evaluate all of their skills and experience, and an interview is one tool to help you validate those. However, you can’t always rely only on those two to make sure that all of the information is correct. This is especially true in roles that require some form of delicate interactions, like primary or social care, jobs involving children, roles that require special qualifications and more. In those cases, you may want to conduct comprehensive background checks, to make sure there is no criminal record, open court cases, look at the candidate’s social media, verify their experience, etc.

The integrity test will take this a step further, and look into the potential employee’s personality. The different questions will try and assess how honest they are, where their ethics lie, if they are disciplined in their line of work and can be relied on.

Skills and Knowledge Testing

Again, just because someone wrote on their resume that they are fluent in French, for example, doesn’t mean we should take them at their word. A lot of candidates like to “embellish”, thinking they can learn and expand their knowledge once they are on the job. There are many automated skills testing tools you can use to help you test, depending on the role you’re looking to fill. You can also devise your own tests. For example, for a role as an editor, you can send the candidate an old article before it was edited, and you can compare the result with the one from your skilled editors. For the role of customer service, you can create a few scenarios, and ask the candidate how they’d respond to each. It’s important to create a way to measure the results that is objective and won’t discriminate among candidates.

In the same manner, you can also test the candidate’s knowledge, which is needed for a specific role. For example, divorce lawyers need to know more about family law. Tech journalists need to know about the latest in the world of technology. You can create a list of questions to test their understanding of those fields, to make sure they can succeed in the role.

Personality and Emotional Intelligence Tests

As mentioned before, a big part of determining whether a candidate will be successful in a role or not is if they fit with the company’s culture. A personality test can help determine how that candidate will react in certain situations, what their values are, how they will interact with the current employees and customers and more. It can also help predict if they possess certain personality traits that can benefit the role. For example, salespeople who score higher on assertiveness, tend to succeed more.

An emotional intelligence test measures that candidate’s ability to understand emotions and build relationships. This can be a good indication for any role but is extremely important for roles that involve leadership, caring for others and relationship building in general. Both tests, personality and emotional intelligence are not accurate by nature and should only be taken as a guide.

There are other tests, more specific to the role, such as physical ability tests, language proficiency, drug and alcohol testing, cognitive ability testing and more. Always choose the test that makes the most sense for your position and company, and make sure to combine it with an interview, to be as objective as possible.
Types of Pre-employment Testing You Should Do
Source: HR.com Articles

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