8 Types of Pre-employment Tests that Help to Streamline Recruitment and Selection

8 Types of Pre-employment Tests that Help to Streamline Recruitment and Selection


Rohit Ram Gopal

July 2, 2024

Hiring the right person can be a challenge. Resumes don't always tell the whole story, and interviews can be misleading. This can lead to a lengthy hiring process filled with unqualified candidates and bad hires.

The good news? Pre-employment tests, based on extensive research and data, can significantly improve your hiring efficiency. Reports suggest that these tests can boost your hiring efficiency by upto 74% and cut out 90% of unfit candidates from the hiring pool (Source). These tests provide valuable insights into a candidate's skills and suitability for the role, saving you time and resources.

By utilizing pre-employment tests, you can identify the most promising candidates quickly, focusing your efforts on those with the highest potential for success. Imagine a streamlined hiring process with reduced turnover and highly productive employees – that's the power of effective pre-employment testing.

What are pre-employment tests used for?

Pre-employment tests are structured assessments designed to evaluate different attributes of candidates that are relevant to job performance. They serve several purposes:

  • Skills assessment: Custom tests can be created to check for specific job-related skills and technical knowledge necessary for the role.
  • Behavioral evaluation: Recruiters use tailored assessments and psychometric tests to evaluate candidate's behavioral tendencies, integrity, and emotional intelligence.
  • Cognitive ability testing: To measure problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and reasoning abilities.
  • Culture fit and compatibility: Tests based on real-life work scenarios can help determine cultural fit and alignment with organizational values.

When are pre-employment tests most useful?

Pre-employment tests are most useful in several key situations. Let’s look at them in detail below:

1. Early screening in high-volume recruitment

Scenario: You're dealing with a large applicant pool, like for entry-level positions or graduate programs. Reviewing every resume can be overwhelming.

Benefit: Pre-employment tests can efficiently assess basic skills and knowledge required for the role, filtering out unqualified candidates early on. This saves time and resources for both you and the candidates who wouldn't be a good fit.

Pro-tip: Choose tests specifically aligned with the essential skills of the position. Typing tests for administrative roles or basic coding skills tests for programmers can be great first steps.

2. Assessing specific skills & abilities

Scenario: The role requires specific technical or cognitive skills that may not be readily apparent from a resume or interview.

Benefit: Skill-based tests, like software proficiency tests, language assessments, or problem-solving simulations, can objectively evaluate a candidate's capabilities. This ensures you're focusing on those who possess the necessary tools to excel.

Pro-tip: Carefully research and choose tests that are demonstrably valid and reliable in measuring the targeted skills.

3. Identifying cultural fit and soft skills

Scenario: Teamwork, communication, or leadership skills are crucial for the role.

Benefit: Personality or behavioral assessments can provide insights into a candidate's work style, communication preferences, and ability to collaborate. This helps ensure they align with your company culture.

Pro-tip: Use these tests in conjunction with other selection tools like interviews and references to get a well-rounded picture of the candidate's soft skills. Don't rely solely on personality tests for hiring decisions.

Table to show how testing early in the application process can slash your processing time

8 types of pre-employement tests that recruiters love

1. Cognitive ability tests

  • What they measure: General mental capabilities like problem-solving, critical thinking, memory, and learning agility.
  • Use them for: Roles requiring strong analytical skills or quick learning, like data analyst, engineering, or research positions.
  • How to use: Choose tests with established norms for the specific job type to ensure a fair comparison of candidates.

2. Skills assessment tests

  • What they measure: Specific job-related skills like software proficiency, typing speed, or mechanical aptitude.
  • Use them for: Roles with clear technical requirements, like graphic designer (using design software), customer service representative (typing speed and accuracy), or machinist (mechanical aptitude).
  • How to use:: Develop or choose tests that closely mirror the actual tasks and tools used in the position.

3. Personality tests

  • What they measure: Personality traits, work style preferences, and cultural fit.
  • Use them for: Roles requiring teamwork, strong communication, or specific personality traits, like sales positions (outgoing and persuasive) or project management (organized and detail-oriented).
  • How to use:: Use these tests cautiously, focusing on how traits relate to job performance. Don't rely solely on them for hiring decisions.

4. Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs)

  • What they measure: How a candidate would react in specific work-related scenarios.
  • Use them for: Roles with complex decision-making or ethical dilemmas, like management positions, customer service representatives, or nurses.
  • How to use:: Develop SJTs based on real-life situations your employees might encounter.

5. Work sample tests

  • What they measure: Ability to perform actual job tasks under simulated conditions.
  • Use them for: Roles with clearly defined tasks or workflows, like writing positions (writing sample), graphic design (design project), or programming positions (coding challenge).
  • How to use:: Ensure the work sample is relevant, representative of the job, and can be completed within a reasonable timeframe.

6. Integrity tests

  • What they measure: Honesty, ethical decision-making, and propensity for workplace misconduct.
  • Use them for: Roles requiring high levels of trust and ethical behavior, like financial positions, security personnel, or compliance officers.
  • How to use:: Follow legal guidelines for integrity testing in your region.

7. Language proficiency tests

  • What they measure: Ability to understand, speak, read, and write in a specific language.
  • Use them for: Roles requiring strong communication skills in a particular language, like customer service representatives interacting with foreign clients, translators, or international business positions.
  • How to use:: Choose tests that align with the required level of fluency for the specific role.

8. Physical ability tests

  • What they measure: Physical capabilities and fitness necessary to perform job duties safely and effectively.
  • Use them for: Roles with physically demanding tasks, like construction workers, firefighters, or security guards.
  • How to use:: Ensure physical ability tests are directly related to the essential functions of the job and comply with anti-discrimination laws.

Best practices for using pre-employment tests

For the most reliable results, pick a pre-employment test that directly relates to the job. Imagine a math whiz for accounting or a communication pro for writing-heavy roles like HR, PR, or marketing. The test should be like a tailored suit, not a one-size-fits-all solution.

The platform you choose for testing matters just as much as the test itself. Think user-friendly! It should be easy to send out, smooth for candidates to navigate, and securely collect answers. Plus, automatic grading saves time and eliminates bias in scoring. A clunky testing experience can reflect poorly on your company.

When you use research-backed pre-employment assessments, you can trust the results. They provide valuable, objective data to guide your hiring decisions, alongside other steps like interviews. These tests are like a fact-checker, offering unbiased insights that complement your existing hiring process.

Pre-employment tests are great when used wisely. But your talent pipeline begins with the right communication.

Pre-employment tests can be a game-changer in hiring. However, the best test scores in the world won't help if you don't have a strong pool of qualified candidates to begin with.

That's where effective communication comes in. Building a strong talent pipeline starts with attracting the right people and nurturing those relationships. By consistently showcasing your company culture, values, and career opportunities, you build a network of potential hires who are already interested and engaged.

This is where Nurturebox.ai shines.

Nurturebox.ai provides a powerful platform to automate and personalize your candidate communication. It allows you to keep potential hires informed about your company, nurture relationships, and build excitement for future opportunities. Imagine a talent pool full of engaged individuals, primed to excel when you put their skills to the test! 

Ready to build that talent pipeline? Talk to us at <enter email or contact link>

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