Pre hire assessment is a critical tool that helps match personality to job performance. This assessment can be taken in paper format or online and provides clear, objective information on individual's strengths, limitations, motivations and potential.
Why pre hire assessment?
Hiring the right persons for the right job drives performance, engagement and productivity. Pre hire assessment is essential to ensure identify and hire the best fit for organizations. By helping organizations identify the right candidates who are more likely to perform, pre hire assessment can lead to additional company benefits, such as saving time and cost in the selection process, decreasing turnover and improving morale.
Pre hire assessment is gaining momentum these days with an increasing number of employers adopting these techniques early in the interview process; soon after initial phone screenings and before the first face-to-face interview. Sometimes, pre hire assessment is adopted when only a few candidates are available and the choice has to be narrowed down.
Skills measured by pre hire assessment
Other than skills, behaviors and attitudes, such assessment measures 'predictive index' that is, what type of person the candidate is and how he/she works with others as well.
The applicant's instinctive method of operation, and the ways in which he/she can be most productive.
An occupational personality questionnaire is a work style assessment for managerial and professional staff and this can assess many behavioral dimensions.
Specific assessment tests identify personality based performance risks and what could affect individual leadership styles and actions.
Indicators measure job-related emotional and behavioral tendencies such as energy, stress, optimism, self-esteem, commitment to work, attention to detail, desire for change, physical courage, self-direction, assertiveness, tolerance, consideration for others and sociability.
Some assessment profiles gauge cognitive, behavioral and connotative attributes.
Certain smart assessment techniques comprise a straightforward biographical interview that captures themes related to fit a role from childhood through all stages of education and each and every job the candidate has held. Candidates are rated according to their probability of success in the role.
Some pre hire assessments measure personality traits such as openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and emotional stability.
Behavioral styles such as dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness that could be distinct and predictable pattern of observable behavior are assessed.
Values that the employees cherish in a job or work culture can be evaluated.
Such pre hire assessments enable recruiters and employers to dig deeper in the interview. They help to instantly screen out people who don't want to invest time in the employers hiring process and helps to identify people who are likely to fit into the organization.
Pre hire assessments also evaluate general reasoning and cognitive tests to evaluate how quickly candidates can process new information and evaluate complex scenarios.
Preparing for pre hire assessment
Candidates should be aware that they are going to undergo pre-screens and assessments. They should request information on the purpose of the assessment as well as its validity and reliability.
Candidates must also inquire about privacy practices for retention of the assessment results. It is imperative that they understand the criteria for pre-selection and the rationale used for assessment and measures taken for privacy.
Assessments and prescreens vary from one employer to another. It is essential that the applicant is well rested, and takes the assessment in quiet, private surroundings. If the employer gives multiple assessments, then the applicant can avoid assessment burnout by taking time to stretch in between, get something to drink and mentally unwind before proceeding to the next assessment.
It would be good for the applicant to skim through the questions to have an idea of how much time to devote to each question or section. It is important to be subdued and relaxed while undergoing the test.
The candidate can also prepare and maintain a journal of successes and past work accomplishments so that he/she could give a detailed and accurate account of earlier assignments and achievements.
What pre hire assessment can do for the employers?
Online pre hire assessment saves cost and provides increased hiring accuracy. It allows the potential candidate to take the test online whenever and wherever it is convenient for them. Therefore the scope for hiring is larger as more number of candidates can be tested. Again quantitative data that can make interviews and hiring decisions more legally defensible is got.
With unemployment on the rise and the number of applicants increasing, it is getting more and more difficult to pick up truly experienced candidates from volumes of inflated resumes. Hence, pre hire assessment is increasingly adopted by hiring managers.
Some limitations of pre hire assessment
One of the key challenges of these assessments is that sometimes it becomes difficult to measure an applicant's true capabilities and characteristics as chances are they might succumb to pressure and stress and this might pull their scores down. The perfect candidate may end up with low scores and may not pass the pre employment assessment.
There are numerous online courses for each component such as abstract, verbal, numerical, mechanical and personality tests. There is also a danger of validity - whether or not the test measures the specific criterion it is supposed to measure and can predict future job performance or success. Sometimes, it happens that those who do the test well may not actually perform well on the job.
The issue of reliability is another hindrance - the consistency with which a test measures an item. Someone may take a test on one day and score high and again take a test next week and secure low score.
The third issue is that of equal employment opportunity aspects - as employment tests are periodically challenged in court and employers must ensure that the tests do not violate any law.
Tips for using pre employment tests
For pre hire tests to deliver the desired business outcome:
The tests should certify validity and reliability.
It should meet all statutory and legal requirements.
Thorough research must be conducted if any outside company is used for testing.
Be objective in test questionnaire and not overtly subjective and
Do not rely solely on test results to choose candidates.