How to Use Pre-Employment Tests During Your Hiring Process

Posted by Monica Lichi on Jan 25, 2018 2:07:41 PM

The hiring process does not end with an interview; some employers might take additional steps to make their hiring processes more effective. These steps may include pre-employment testing, background checks, reference checks or a medical screening.


Pre-employment tests became popular after World War II. Nowadays organizations use them to find the candidates most likely to succeed in their open reqs. Companies now examine a candidate's knowledge/education, applicable work skills, physical abilities, personality, emotional intelligence, cognitive abilities, and other factors. Drug testing may also be utilized as part of pre-employment screening.

Some of the most common methods are:

Ability Tests

Every candidate you meet will have abilities which are general traits. Remember, abilities don't predict success in a specific role. Skills - rooted in ability and consistent practice/application - are related to specific tasks or functions of a job.

These exams will measure cognitive ability which investigate your candidate's intelligence or intellectual capacity. Example questions will push your candidate on comprehension (e.g. verbal, mathematical, logical) and decision-making. 


Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to accurately perceive and appraise emotions (Mayer 2000). The most popular EQ test, the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso, is intended to capture the following aspects: the ability to perceive emotions, the ability to use emotions and to facilitate thought, the ability to understand emotions, and the ability to manage emotions.


Physical Fitness & Medical Examinations

Fitness and medical screens are conducted to determine whether your candidate meets the minimum health requirements to handle the physical responsibilities of your job/workplace. For example, a specific job may bring employees in contact with hazardous chemicals. A different position may require employees to lift heavy items or stand on their feet for lengthy periods of time. Usually, these tests are administrated only after an offer is extended to a candidate.


Drug & Alcohol Testing

The laws that regulate drug and alcohol testing vary by location. Companies in sensitive industries (e.g. defense, transportation, safety) are required to administer drug and alcohol exams (sometimes ongoing) to select applicants and employees.

An extensive range of tests is available, and they can be helpful as long as employers select an appropriate approach. Anyone responsible for choosing them should be knowledgeable about each exam's related standards. More importantly, make sure what you assess correlates with the crucial attributes necessary for successful performance.


Which Test(s) Should I Use for My Hiring Process?

Here are a few tips for selecting the right test for your firm:

  • Determine that each screening methodology meets its associated standards
  • Articulate the necessary sucessful skills and abilities related to each job
  • Obtain/compare information from several reputable resources (e.g. test publishers, human resources consultants, independent analysts) 
  • Ask for clarification whenever you encounter unclear/ambiguous/incomplete information
  • Read and comprehend all of the details to become familiar of how the testing was developed, how it's actually implemented, and when the exam should be delivered
  • Assign a qualified expert to correctly analyze/interpret the results


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Topics: Hiring, Pre-employment Testing