The Benefits of Pre-Employment Testing

Two employees look at pre-employment testing results online.

Pre-Employment Testing Concretely Gauges Job Candidate Skill Sets

78% of job candidates admit to misrepresenting themselves during job interviews—just one in six job seekers doesn’t stretch the truth! Now, in some cases, these are benign white lies—most of us would say we loved our last job and “learned a lot, but it’s time to move on” even if that wasn’t the case—but up to 60% of job seekers purposefully misrepresent the mastery of skills they’ve barely used. That particular stretch could have dire consequences. If you’re an employer looking for a new hire who is a Salesforce expert, can speak French, build and execute an email marketing campaign, or complete simple coding, you want to ensure job candidates have these skills.

An easy and efficient way for employers to gauge candidate skills and ensure they aren’t misled is by administering pre-employment testing.

What is Pre-Employment Testing

Pre-employment testing isn’t just for gauging candidates’ skills. Pre-employment testing refers to any assessments job candidates take during the recruiting process. While pre-employment testing can be skill-based, they also evaluate personality traits, cognitive abilities, aptitude, or integrity. Pre-employment testing can be administered as part of the job application to screen out candidates or during later stages of the job-application process to help pick between finalists.  

Pre-employment testing is a common practice. Talent Board found 65% of employers use some form of pre-employment testing, including 75% of Time’s best companies to work for and 80% of Fortune 500 companies. Research shows pre-employment testing works—aptitude tests are twice as predictive as resumes, three times as predictive as interviews, and four times as predictive as education levels at determining a candidate's success at a new company.

What Can Pre-Employment Tests Assess?

There are many types of pre-employment testing that can help you better understand whether or not a candidate is a good fit for a company or role. 

  • Aptitude: Aptitude tests measure a candidate’s potential through cognitive aptitude assessments, evaluating problem-solving, attention to detail, learning ability, mechanical reasoning, and focus. 
  • Skills: Skills tests assess essential competencies candidates have acquired through past experiences ranging from basic computer skills to culinary insights to language or complex math. 
  • Personality: Understanding candidates' work style and behavioral tendencies are essential. Personality assessments help employers discover the unique qualities and character traits an applicant can bring to your organization. 
  • Emotional Intelligence: People skills are becoming increasingly valuable in our technologically-driven world. Dynamic intelligence assessments help pinpoint candidates who have empathy, understanding, and emotional stability in times of stress or change. They measure emotional perception and understanding. 
  • Integrity/Risk: Integrity and risk assessments identify candidates who are conscientious, reliable, and able to follow essential protocols. They focus on integrity/honesty, the ability to follow the rules, the propensity towards anger, and the likelihood of being involved in accidents/incidents. 

The following section will cover four crucial reasons forward-thinking organizations should incorporate pre-employment tests into their recruiting strategy.

Four Reasons to Incorporate Pre-Employment Testing Into Your Hiring

Higher Productivity

62% of those who use pre-employment testing do so to make better hiring decisions—a productive workforce will always be the best hiring decision. 

Productivity is critical for a successful business. Companies need productive employees to make a profit. However, studies show the average employee is only effective 60% of the time

A University of California Irvine Study found that employees get interrupted approximately every three minutes—while companies can certainly work to minimize interruptions, having employees who excel at adaptation, multi-tasking, and staying focused is critical. Additionally, on average, office workers are only productive for two hours and 23 minutes daily. Assessing workers for drive and time management can ensure your average is much higher. 

These statistics show how critical it is to ensure the employees you hire have the traits of highly productive employees. Organizations that include assessments in recruiting are 24% more likely to have employees exceed performance goals than organizations that don’t. 

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Higher Employee Retention

Criteria Corp—a talent success company with a robust suite of pre-employment assessments and HiringThing’s newest integration partner—found that potential employees who scored high on their Criteria Basic Skills Test were less likely to be fired or quit than potential employees with low scores. Additionally, marketing intelligence company The Aberdeen Group found that companies that use pre-employment testing have a 39% lower turnover rate. 

Employee retention is a significant challenge for organizations across industries. Reducing turnover saves money (it costs approximately 16% of an employee’s salary to replace them) but has myriad other benefits, including boosting employee morale and bolstering employer brand reputation (which strengthens recruiting efforts). 

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A More Efficient Hiring Process

Pre-employment testing can also streamline the hiring process, making it a more efficient method for both employers and job candidates. 

  • When you utilize pre-employment assessments, you get objective feedback that removes the inherent biases that constantly threaten recruiting decision-making. 
  • Utilizing pre-employment testing standardizes your hiring process, which helps counter bias and makes the hiring process more time efficient for all stakeholders.
  • Talent Board found that 47% of employers use pre-employment testing to improve new hire performance, and 31% do so to introduce candidates to the expectations of the role, a more meaningful way to obtain both results versus superfluous boilerplate exposition.  
  • Great candidates can sometimes struggle with nerves or technology during interviews. Testing allows you to see another side of potential candidates. 
  • Research shows the average recruiter spends 63% of their time completing phone screenings, and the average interview lasts 40 minutes. Using pre-employment tools as an initial screener can help give your hiring teams back valuable time. 

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Increased Defensibility 

Good pre-employment tests have sound scientific backing that predicts an individual’s success at a job better than subjective methods like interviews, reading resumes, or the dreaded (but too-oft cited) “gut feelings.” Employers often forget that it’s crucial for companies to engage in legally compliant employment selection. Pre-employment tests provide a lawfully defensible practice if a job candidate alleges discriminatory practices or if the employer relied on information outside the legal domain to deny them a job. 

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HiringThing Partners With Criteria Corp

According to an Aberdeen Group study, employers who utilize pre-employment testing are 36% more satisfied with their hiring decisions than those who don’t. Stats like this is why HiringThing has entered a new partnership with Criteria Corp, one of the most dynamic organizations in the pre-employment testing pace. 

Criteria Corp considers itself a talent success company, helping organizations make objective, evidence-based talent decisions that reduce bias and drive better outcomes for hiring teams. Criteria Corp was founded to take powerfully predictive science and make it accessible to all employers, enabling them to make better results-driven talent decisions. They serve over 4500 active customers in over 50 countries and have delivered over 40,000,000 pre-employment tests. 

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