The Value of Pre-Employment Testing

The ability to post jobs online in a variety of job boards and career sites expands your potential market for finding that perfect office hero to fill the gap in your administrative, management or office team. Unfortunately, it also adds a downside to the hiring process. Chances are you’ll get as many unqualified applicants as you will qualified.

Recent studies show that applicants spend about 76 seconds reading a job description before they decide to submit their resume. When you add the resume “spammers” into the mix, it’s no wonder that recruiters say that more than 50% of the people who submit their resumes don’t even meet the basic requirements of the role.

Never before has there been a stronger need for implementing pre-employment testing to ensure that applicants can:

  • perform the tasks required
  • fit well within your team
  • thrive within the pace and environment of your company

The types of pre-employment testing you may want to implement will depend on the role you’re filling and the risk associated with hiring the wrong person.

Types of Pre-Employment Testing
While there are many types of pre-employment tests, they fit into one of three categories of testing: skills, aptitude and personality.

  • Skills testing: These tests measure competencies in the nuts and bolts of a job. They can include something as simple as basic math or spelling, to the ability to create complex spreadsheets and formulas or write highly technical documents. A good approach to this can include a “sit down and show me” method where a candidate is given a task to complete and then is scored on their level of competency.
  • Aptitude testing: Where skills testing concentrates on specific tasks, aptitude testing assesses an applicant’s intelligence and ability to think logically to arrive at a solution. These tests will measure things like critical thinking, the ability to learn new things and problem solving ability. These are traits highly sought after in mid to higher level positions where the ability to “think on your feet” is critical.
  • Personality testing: Just because someone can do a role, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the right person for it. The purpose of personality testing is two-fold.
    • You want to find out if the person is a good personality fit for the role. For example, a gregarious, talkative extravert probably isn’t going to be happy stuck behind a desk all day with no one to talk to.
    • If the candidate will regularly work within a team, you’ll want to make sure that they’re also a complementary personality style to balance out the team.

There are many different types of personality tests. For example, at ESS Direct, our Workplace Personality Analysis process is based on the highly accepted DISC model.

Who should perform the pre-employment testing?
If you or someone on your staff are specially trained in pre-employment testing and have the time, tools and resources to do effective testing, you can perform pre-employment testing in house. Otherwise, work with a professional recruiting firm that already has the tools and expertise to perform that testing. They’ll also add the benefit of an objective 3rd party that has the time and resources to devote to ensure that your candidate has a positive experience while performing the pre-employment testing.

About the author
(Voted Barrie’s Best Employment Agency 7 years running, ESS Direct offers recruitment and temporary placement services throughout Barrie and South Simcoe County, specializing in helping companies identify, attract and hire administrative and office heroes.)

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