Talent Acquisition

7 Pre-Employment Assessments for Screening Candidates

The job market is more competitive than ever, and employers are looking beyond resumes and cover letters to fill positions. Pre-employment assessments are recruitment tools that allow employers to evaluate candidates for desired skills, personality traits, and capabilities before integrating them into the company.

Takeaways

  • Pre-employment assessment tests streamline hiring decisions, improve job-person fit, and reduce turnover rates.
  • Traditional hiring methods often fail to evaluate the whole person and can lead to unconscious bias.
  • Assessments typically provide an objective evaluation, consistently testing all applicants with measurable results.

What Are Pre-Employment Assessments?

Pre-employment assessments are evaluations and tests employers use to measure job candidates’ skills, personality traits, and suitability for specific positions. They provide valuable insights beyond the information found in resumes, cover letters, and interviews.  

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Why Do Employers Use Pre-Employment Assessment Tests?

Administering these tests allows employers to make more informed and objective hiring decisions. This leads to a better fit between the candidate and the job, which can reduce employee turnover rates.

Employment assessments are invaluable for roles needing specific technical or interpersonal skills because they identify truly qualified candidates. While many applicants might look good on paper, skill assessments highlight those most likely to add value to the team.

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Are Assessments Better Than Interviews?

Interviews are an important part of the hiring process, as they allow employers to evaluate a candidate’s skills, experience, and suitability for a job role. However, interviews can sometimes be inconsistent and biased, leading to unfair judgments and decisions. Biases can emerge due to cultural differences or stereotypes affecting an employer’s perception of one candidate over another.

Introducing assessment tests to the hiring process can help eliminate potential biases and provide a more comprehensive evaluation of candidates. This can ultimately lead to identifying the best individuals who align with the company’s culture and values.

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7 Types of Pre-Employment Assessment Tests

Remember, when it is time to hire, pre-employment assessment tests are powerful tools for optimizing your recruiting efforts.

1. DiSC/DiSC+ Tests

The DiSC assessment is a behavioral assessment tool used to understand individual behavioral styles.  It helps employers understand how candidates:

  • communicate
  • work in teams
  • handle tasks
  • respond to challenges

The four letters in “DiSC” categorize candidates into one of four core personality dimensions.

Dominance (D)How a person tends to solve problems and make decisions
Influence (I)How a person interacts and shares opinions with other people
Steadiness (S)How a person prefers to pace things in their environment
Conscientiousness (C)How a person relates to established practices and standards

The DiSC+ personality assessment test, exclusive to Wizehire, digs beyond these four dimensions of human behavior and identifies seven additional motivators that drive what candidates care about most. Not only do DiSC and DiSC+ help identify talent, but they also help cultivate a positive company culture, retain employees, and create an inclusive hiring process.

2. Job Skills Tests

A job skills assessment is an aptitude test that addresses specific hard and soft skills such as:

  • critical thinking
  • problem-solving
  • time management
  • writing and editing
  • language proficiency
  • technical skills
  • creative skills

For example, a job skills test might assess a candidate’s technical proficiency by administering a coding assessment for software developers. Translators might undergo a language test, while tradespeople could perform practical exercises to evaluate their task performance abilities.

3. Personality Tests

A personality test, sometimes called a psychological assessment, digs into how candidates approach work situations, handle stress, interact with colleagues, and respond to challenges. These tests often focus on soft skills such as communication, teamwork, adaptability, or problem-solving.

Personality testing is rising and becoming a standard practice in many employers’ hiring processes, particularly when assessing interpersonal skills.

Assessments such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the Big Five personality traits (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism) measure an individual’s vital characteristics. For instance, if you are looking for a salesperson, you are looking for someone who ranks high in extraversion and motivation. 

4. Integrity Tests

Integrity tests assess a candidate’s reliability and trustworthiness in the workplace. These tests examine a person’s core values, responses to ethical dilemmas, and perceptions of ethical versus unethical behavior. Hiring individuals with strong integrity helps maintain a positive work environment, enhances productivity, and ensures a cohesive, satisfied team.

5. Emotional Intelligence (EI) Test

High emotional intelligence is associated with strong interpersonal skills, empathy, self-awareness, and stress management. Employers are aware that EI is an increasingly vital strength to have. So, they use emotional intelligence tests to identify hires who can handle workplace relationships and challenges with emotional maturity, avoiding hostile situations.

Emotional intelligence indicators include listening to others, understanding their perspectives, and facilitating discussions.

6. Physical Ability Tests

Some jobs, such as firefighting, law enforcement, construction, or the military, require a certain standard of physical ability. Physical ability tests usually mimic conditions encountered on the job and evaluate whether an individual can keep up with the physical demands. 

They may be as extreme as having applicants complete timed runs and obstacle courses or as simple as performing drug tests to ensure that substances will not interfere with physical ability.

7. Situational Judgment Test (SJT)

Situational judgment tests present candidates with hypothetical scenarios and ask them to choose the most appropriate course of action based on the situation. These tests assess how candidates might respond to real-world work challenges and how they use problem-solving abilities under pressure.

Typically, an SJT uses a multiple-choice format so that individuals can choose what they believe to be the best option for a presented scenario. This can help employers determine how candidates handle teamwork, conflicts, and communication.

Pros and Cons of Using Pre-Employment Assessments

While assessments can prove invaluable to employers, we would be remiss for not comparing the top pros and cons.

Pros

  • Tests objectively evaluate candidates, reducing unconscious bias and promoting inclusivity.
  • Assessments save time by bringing the most qualified applicants to the forefront.
  • Resumes and interviews do not always accurately represent an applicant’s ability or character.

Cons

  • Tests could exclude negative candidate traits or fail to account for a candidate’s potential to learn and adapt.
  • Applicants may alter their responses to what they believe the employer wants to see.
  • Assessments are time-consuming, so candidates may opt out of applying for the position due to lack of time.

Wize Words

Traditional hiring methods such as resumes and interviews still have their place, but including one or more tests in your recruitment process will help you adapt to the ever-changing hiring landscape.

Author

  • Anna Petron

    Anna Petron is a professional writer with several years of communication and brand storytelling experience across a spectrum of businesses. She's intrigued by trends that constantly shift and affect recruitment and workplace culture, and she provides practical solutions for organizations looking to enrich their internal structure.

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The article was reviewed by Deirdre Sullivan

Anna Petron

Anna Petron is a professional writer with several years of communication and brand storytelling experience across a spectrum of businesses. She's intrigued by trends that constantly shift and affect recruitment and workplace culture, and she provides practical solutions for organizations looking to enrich their internal structure.

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