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Who is This Guide for?

This pre-employment testing guide is a comprehensive guide for recruiters, hiring managers, recruitment managers, HR people, as well as job candidates – especially in technology companies.

This guide will walk you through the use, benefits, common mistakes, and best practices of pre-employment tests in detail.

pre-employment testing guide

What is pre-employment testing?

Let’s first understand the basics.

Pre-employment tests help companies determine which applicants are most qualified (and suitable) for a particular job role. These tests evaluate the candidates' suitability for a particular role through job-knowledge tests, personality traits, intelligence, and physical ability. Organizations must ensure that their pre-employment tests are compliant with the guidelines provided by EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and other laws.

History of pre-employment testing

Pre-employment tests were formally first used to recruit for the US Army in World War 1: the Army Alpha & Beta tests and were administered to over 1.75 million recruits.

history of pre-employment testing

source: Psychological test for recruits at Camp Lee, VA, 1917

With pre employment testing, the US Army had goals very similar to employers today. Some requirements for the test were:

  • It should be a high degree of validity as a measure of intelligence
  • Should be arranged for objectivity of scoring and the elimination of personal judgment concerning correct answers
  • The test must be made as completely independent of schooling and educational advantages as possible
  • The different tests used should be arranged to yield an accurate measure of intelligence in a reasonably short time

Whether the Alpha & Beta tests were successful or not for their intended purpose is up for debate, but the US Armed Forces have kept updating their recruitment process and administer the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) to this day to select recruits.

Why pre-employment testing important for hiring?

On an average, companies in the United States spend about $4,000 to hire a new employee and it takes them up to 52 days to fill a position source

By using pre-employment testing, companies can

  • Remove irrelevant candidates from the process as quickly as possible
  • Get hiring managers to spend time with the right candidates
  • Remove bias from hiring decisions and processes
  • And finally,find the candidates that are most likely to succeed

Pre-employment testing has come a long way since its inception during World War 1. For that matter, it has vastly changed from the days when companies use to take pen & paper tests on their premises.

To align with the disruption caused by technology proliferation, today, organizations have moved to more sophisticated & simulation-based online pre-employment tests. Candidates can take these tests at any time & any place.

“The secret to my success is that we’ve gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.”
--Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs - Secret of success

Apart from the common benefits, modern online pre-employment tests also serve a bigger purpose in the overall hiring process.

While making the recruitment process faster, sustainable, and more objective, pre-employment tests also help organizations-

  • Deliver a stellar hiring experience to the candidates
  • Bring hiring managers & recruiters on the same page
  • Help in hiring a diverse workforce without biases
  • Ensure a legally compliant & fair hiring process
  • Attract quality candidates & help in employer branding
  • Improve employer branding
  • Provide insights to improve talent acquisition strategies

“Almost 90 percent of firms that test job applicants say they will not hire job seekers when pre-employment testing finds them to be deficient in basic skills” (Greenberg, 1996, p. 24).”

Benefits of Pre-employment Testing:

How Various Stakeholders Benefit from a Modern Pre-Employment Testing Platform

Apart from being a great help to recruiters, pre-employment tests also help the hiring managers, members of the hiring team, the senior people in recruitment, operations & HR. They help the candidates have a bias-free, fair hiring process, allows them to prove their candidature & showcase their skills in a hassle-free manner.

Let’s have a quick look at how carefully crafted, calibrated & well-maintained online testing tools can help various stakeholders in an organization.

Benefits of Pre-employment Testing for Hiring Managers
  • Save interviewer’s time by avoiding interviews of irrelevant candidates
  • Get high-quality candidates from the recruiters
  • Hire job-fit candidates
  • Avoid bad hires and avoid time spent on PIP, lack of results, project failures
  • Deliver projects on time by filling up the requirements quickly
  • Access to ready to use next gen skills tests useful for hiring new age talent
  • Ready access to a large pool of questions and avoid the hassles of questions getting leaked
  • To save billable hours, they want hiring team’s time to be spent interviewing relevant candidates
  • To maintain a large pool of questions so that the questions do not get leaked

Spectraforce saves billable hours of technical resources

Spectraforce is a staffing solutions company with a diverse client base ranging from IT giants, Fortune 500 companies, and tech-savvy SMBs.

They needed interviewers with strong technical knowledge about various programming languages to assess the skills of candidates. The HR team didn’t have tests for these technologies, so the expensive billable technical resources had to spend time in creating these questions.

By using Interview Mocha, Spectraforce was able to test the depth of candidates’ technical knowledge quickly. Now, the recruiting team does not depend on technical resources for test preparations.

This has helped the company reduce the hiring timeline from 4 hours to 3 hours.Read More...

Benefits of Pre-employment Testing for Recruitment Managers
  • Recruit job-fit candidate
  • Quickly filter out irrelevant candidates early in the process
  • Easily track & measure each recruiter’s performance
  • Improve Time to Hire
  • keep track & measure sourcing mechanisms
  • remove hiring biases
  • Reduce recruitment costs
  • Deliver better candidate experience
Benefits of Pre-employment Testing for VP Talent Acquisition
  • Leverage the power of data and analytics in the hiring process
  • Enhance employer branding
  • Warrant diversity in hiring by removing hiring biases
  • Ensure a legally compliant and fair-to-all hiring process
Benefits of Pre-employment Testing for Recruiters
  • Easier identification of inflated resumes
  • Quick screening of job applicants
  • To validate technical skills of a candidate
  • Accurate validation of candidates’ technical skills without going through the hassles of interview scheduling
  • To be on the same page as the Hiring Manager
Why Candidates LOVE Pre-employment Testing
  • They get a fair hiring process
  • To get a good interview experience
  • They can avoid traveling to the employer's office multiple times during the interview process
  • They get access to a platform where they can showcase their knowledge and skills
Altran Portugal cuts down hiring time by 40%

Altran is a global leader in engineering and research and development (R & D) services. The company receives thousands of resumes across all its job openings. Measuring the candidates’ technical knowledge based on their resumes was a time-consuming and challenging task because candidates had to be interviewed individually. As a result, resumes were sifted based on educational background, work experience, and top-tier colleges. This resulted in missing out on high-quality candidates from lesser-known backgrounds, and the company spent a lot of time with candidates who weren't a good fit for the job.

Interview Mocha’s assessments allowed Altran Portugal to check the candidates’ knowledge and skills vis-a-vis the job role. This helped them cut down the hiring process time by 40% and speak to the most qualified, diverse candidates.

Read More...

Advantages of Pre-employment Testing in a Nutshell

Nowadays, companies of all sizes use a pre-employment testing tool to get a better handle on the vast talent pool applying for the open job opportunities and select job fit candidates faster. While technology plays a vital role in increasing the number of applicants, employers today making it easier by implementing pre-employment tests into the recruitment process.

benefits of pre-employment testing
The 14 ( Tangible ) Benefits of Pre-employment Testing for Employers

1. Reduced administration -Online tests need not be specifically organized. Candidates can be attempt those anytime, and from anywhere.

2. Automatic process - Instant automated results are just a click away, which saves a lot of time in manual test evaluations. Immediate post-test feedback helps in keeping the candidates motivated and engaged.

3. Data and complete test analysis -Get actionable and valuable analysis and insights about the tests at micro as well as macro level.

4. Instant diagnostic reports - Detailed reports enable all the stakeholders to analyze results with ease.

5. Ensure Quality candidates -Easily weed out poor fit applicants. Increase the chances of hiring high-quality candidates.

6. Eliminates human error in grading -Automated scoring ensures that the skill evaluation process is free of human error, and it is more valid and reliable.

7. Minimize the risk of bad hires - Accurately judge the candidates’ skills using scientifically designed questions and minimize the chances of bad hires.

8. Improve hiring decisions -Make a better hiring decision by easily identifying job-fit candidates. Get valuable insights into the candidates’ job readiness and future job performance.

9. Reduce time-to-hire - Avoid the unnecessary, low-value, and cost-increasing elements in the hiring process

11. Increased productivity -Increase the recruitment and hiring teams’ productivity by reducing unnecessary tasks.

12. Reduced Hiring Biases -Avoid discrimination against candidates based on gender, age, race, region. Make hiring decisions purely based on candidates’ proven competencies.

13. Data handling & Storage -Avoid the hassle of manual management and storage of all candidate and test-related data.

14. Wider reach -Allow applicants from remote locations to apply for jobs and appear for the initial round of testing. This improves the reach of the company.

15. Better candidate engagement -Actively engage candidates early in the hiring process, Ensure higher candidate satisfaction through a seamless hiring process.

Gett reduces time to hire and brings in transparency

The challenge that I faced while hiring for Business Analyst or any other position in my team is reaching out to the right candidate. A typical job opening at Gett attracts almost 80-90 resumes. While, on paper, maybe 50 of them fit the bill, there is no sure way of knowing the right fit unless each one is interviewed individually. Another challenge was eliminating human bias while hiring. Since, our process was so dependent on resumes, telephonic, and personal interviews; there was a possibility however marginal that human biases could creep in. In the larger scheme of things, this played out as a significant factor.

As an analytics team head, I have a firm belief in data and data-driven decision making. With Interview Mocha, we got the clarity we were looking for. I created a BA assessment emphasizing analytical and logical thinking skills. These assessments were used for 1st level screening.

As an analytics team head, I have a firm belief in data and data-driven decision making. With Interview Mocha, we got the clarity we were looking for. I created a BA assessment emphasizing analytical and logical thinking skills. These assessments were used for 1st level screening. This eliminated over-reliance on resumes removed irrelevant candidates, and brought transparency to the process. Another major advantage is that there is absolutely no need for the candidates to travel down to our office, they can appear for the assessment from anywhere and Mocha's powerful anti-cheating measures ensure that it's a fair attempt. We finally got the right candidate, that too in ¼ the time it would have normally taken us.

-George Nichkov (Global Analytics Team Lead, Gett).

Read More...

Next Topics in this guide

In this guide, we also cover topics such as:

  • Types of Pre-employment Tests

    Know what are the different types of pre-employment tests and their uses.

  • Laws Governing Pre-Employment Tests:

    Know about the legal issues involved with pre-employment testing that may comply with EEOC guidelines or adequate security measures that must be taken before giving a test to any candidate.

  • How to choose your pre-employment test:

    Know how to strategize and include the pre-employment tests into your recruiting process. You will be able to choose and check the effectiveness of the pre-employment tests.

  • Pre-employment tests 101 for Candidates:

    Recruiters and HR aren't the only ones who are interested to know about pre-employment testing. Candidates are well aware of the importance of pre-employment testing and there are a lot of basic questions that must be answered. Head over to the candidate's section to know more.