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How to choose your pre-employment testing tools?

how to choose pre-employment testing tool

Pre-employment testing help organizations to cut cut down time-to-hire and select the most qualified individuals that best fit the job role. However, this can happen only when the pre-employment tests are appropriately selected and monitored with care. It is important to select the right tests on the basis of what is required in the job

To select the right pre-employment testing you must consider these 3 steps:

  • 1. Check reliability & Validity of tests
  • 2. Determine the tests you need
  • 3. Evaluate the pre-employment testing tool
1. Validity and Reliability of tests -
importance of validity and reliability in assessment

Pre-employment testing not only help employers assess the job-specific skills of applicants but also add to the legal defensibility of the employers. To ensure the legal defensibility, you must check if the test is reliable and valid.

2.1 Reliability:

Test reliability depends on how consistently the test measures the skills required for a specific job role. A test can be considered as a reliable test if a person appears for it repeatedly, and the results are similar for every attempt.

Types of reliability:

1. Test-retest Reliability: Indicates repeatability obtained by giving the same test twice at different timings to a group of applicants.
Ex. If a test is designed to assess the technical skills given to a set of applicants twice in a time period of two weeks. The results obtained from the two attempts will indicate the reliability of the test.

2. Alternate or parallel form reliability:Indicates the stability of the test after administering different forms of a pre-employment test.
Ex. To check if the logical reasoning test is reliable, create a set of questions that will evaluate the logical reasoning and then divide the test into two parts. The outcome of both sets should be similar. If they are the same it means all the items measure the same characteristics and can be used interchangeably.

3. Inter-rater reliability:The test likely to be reliable if two or more raters give the same score and take the same assessment decision. Inter-rater reliability is useful because the evaluators will not interpret the same results; raters may disagree as to how well certain responses of the constructor skill being assessed.

4. Internal consistency reliability:The test is reliable if the different characteristics of the test yield similar results.

2.2 Validity:

Validity is the degree to which the pre-employment screening test assesses what it purports to assess and how well it evaluates the competencies of the applicants.

While reliability is necessary, the validity of the test is also equally important.

  • 1. Validity identifies if the characteristic being measured by a test is related to job qualifications and requirements
  • 2. Validity helps you to make a decision or prediction about people based on their test performance
  • 3. Validity tells you how good a pre-employment test is for a particular job role
Types of Validity:

1. Construct Validity: It ensures that the pre-employment test measures only the intended characteristics and no other variables. In other words, you measure a trait or skill that is part of the overall desired skill needed for success on the job. To measure the construct-related validity, you would look at the scores from the assessment correlated with scores from other established tests that measure the same characteristics.

2. Content Validity:It ensures that the content of a test is relevant and measures requirements and qualifications for the job role. if you were hiring for a job that required the ability to transcribe the content, testing for the rate at which the candidate types would be high regarding content-related validity.

3. Criterion-related validity: It indicates that the test demonstrates a correlation or other statistical relationship between test performance and job performance. Those who score high on the test tend to perform better on the job.

2. Find the type of test you need -

There are several types of pre-employment tests. It is likely that you want to find out just about everything about the candidate (her skill levels, her personality traits, culture fit, learnability, aptitude, etc.) However, too many tests can make your hiring process longer, and it would be tough to keep the candidates engaged throughout the lengthy hiring process. It is also likely that many good candidates might just leak out from your pipelines.

So, we always suggest a minimalistic approach, unless absolutely necessary. Check only those aspects that are extremely important and test the most fundamental qualities to assess the candidate job-fit.

Ask yourself - what are the most important attributes that the job demands - technical skills, learning ability, aptitude, technical knowledge, emotional intelligence, or cultural fit? Define the tests based on that.

importance of validity and reliability in assessment

Have a realistic approach when you choose the type of pre-employment tests and set a bar of what you want to expect out of the results. The above image shows the correlation of various types of tests with job performance.

3. Evaluate the pre-employment assessment tools?
evaluate pre-employment testing software checklist

Detail checklist to evaluate your pre-employment assessment vendor :

Assessment Tool Evaluation Checklist

No. of skills provided by the vendor

Check your requirements by looking into the future

  1. 1. Are all the skill assessments I’m looking for available?
  2. 2. If not, can the vendor make specific assessments?
  3. 3. Will the vendor create custom-tailored assessments?
  4. 4. If yes, how fast can they do this?

Quality of Assessments

Quality is a subjective matter, it gets difficult to ascertain the quality of the tests, especially if you are not an expert of the technology you are hiring for. During the evaluation you can ask the tech experts or the hiring managers can spend some time with the questions to select the right test for the applicants, and benchmarking them would be a good idea to set the right score expectations from the candidates. Another good practice to improve the quality of the test is to ask your candidates’ themselves…

  1. 1.What do my best employees think about the quality of the questions?
  2. 2. What is the average test score of my high performing employees
  3. 3. Can the vendor’s SME guide you in understanding the science of assessments?
  4. 4. Can experts help you in creating the right assessments according to job role?
  5. 5. Is skill tests created by Subject Matter Experts?
  6. 6. Do they charge to speak to an expert?
  7. 7. Are questions available on Google?
  8. 8. Are the questions too easy or too difficult to solve
  9. 9. Are the questions easy to comprehend
  10. 10. Are the tests EEOC compliant
  11. 11. Is the candidates’ feedback taken after each test?

Tests Customizability

Every job-role & responsibilities are different, and generalizing your tests can be harmful. Assesses the tool on the following -

  1. 1. Do you need to give different assessments to the same candidate to assess his skills set
  2. 2. Can you combine multiple skills into one single test
  3. 3. Can you adjust the question difficulty level according to the expertise level desired in the job - position
  4. 4. Can you add your own questions to the test
  5. 5. Can you upload your own questions in one go?

Ease of Use

Creating software that facilitates a smooth assessment experience isn’t easy for a vendor and using the full potential of software for users requires a lot of time and I’m sure you already have a lot on your plate to work on. So, when it comes to assessment software you will want an easy to use software that can be remotely accessible with easy navigation, invitation and reporting options.

  1. 1. How easy it is to invite a candidate?
  2. 2. Are you able to create assessments quickly?
  3. 3. How easy it is to navigate the software?
  4. 4. Are the reports dynamic or easy to share?
  5. 5. Does the platform allow role-based access control?

Change in existing workflows

Your skill assessment platform must integrate with the Application Tracking System (ATS) you are currently using. Such tight integration helps in reducing delays in processing data and hiring the right candidate.

  1. 1. Is the software integrated with the ATS I’m using?
  2. 2. How easy it is to integrate with the ATS?
  3. 3. How much time will it take to sync the data with ATS?
  4. 4. Is it possible to invite, assess, share, and view reports within the ATS?

Support

A good support team will help you make the best use of the tool. It’s important to know the kind of support you can expect in the future from your vendor.

  1. 1. How proactive is the support team?
  2. 2. Is there 24/7 support available?
  3. 3. Is the support available to help you while assessing candidates?

Analytics That Matters

Customized performance report that is well organized and summarizes overall strengths and skill gaps of a group of candidates with comparative reports helps in a quick selection of the right candidates.

  1. 1. Are reports customizable?
  2. 2. Can I compare candidates?
  3. 3. Do reports provide details of every single skill assessed?
  4. 4. What candidates have to say about the test?
  5. 5. Are reports easily shareable?

Proctored Assessments

To assess candidates remotely and to have a fair competition you need advanced cheating prevention techniques that facilitate a smooth test experience.

  1. 1. Is there an image, audio, and video proctoring feature available?
  2. 2. Can candidates copy questions to google?
  3. 3. Is there a window violation detection?
  4. 4. Can questions be randomized?
  5. 5. Is there an option to preselect IP ranges to ensure authentication?

Security

Security is one of the top concerns for enterprises and assessment vendors must understand your need for security

  1. 1. What are the security compliance guidelines being followed?
  2. 2. Is your data safe with the vendor?
  3. 3. Is the tool EEOC compliance?
  4. 4. Is the GDPR compliant?
  5. 5. Is there an option for Single Sign-on?
  6. 6. Is there role-based access control?

Employer Branding & Candidate Engagement

The candidates perceive your brand based on the presentation of assessments. White-labeled assessments, along with the fusion of different assessment software features help in strong brand building.

  1. 1. Can candidates see your company’s branding while giving an assessment?
  2. 2. Are the assessments fun and quick?
  3. 3. How easy it for the candidate to start the assessment?
  4. 4. Is the whole procedure of assessment easy for candidates?

Candidate feedback

You must ask your candidates for their feedback after they complete the test. The feedback can help in improving the test and removing any difficulties that the candidates may have while taking the test.

  1. Is there a mechanism to collect candidate feedback?

Other questions that you can keep in your checklist

Different platforms have different solutions to help a client in candidate assessment. It is recommended that you ask about all such extra solutions.

  1. 1. Are there any features or solutions that you may not be aware of?
  2. 2. Will you be charged separately for those features or services?

download the checklist to evaluate pre-employment testing tool
What Mocha provides you?

Interview Mocha is a powerful assessment platform that’s built to help you hire the best candidates faster. In addition to a large skills testing library, we’ve got AI that recognizes when someone else is on the computer, or there’s another human speaking in the background, or any other form of cheating. Here are our detailed benefits:

  • Latest Skill library:

    Ability to create & maintain valid & reliable tests for traditional as well as upcoming skills link to new collar skills.

  • Test multiple skills in one go:

    Highly customizable tests that can combine multiple skills into one test, so that the candidate does not have to appear in multiple tests.

  • Job Simulators:

    Simulation tests such as Coding simulators, SQL simulators, etc makes your life easy by assessing real job skills of applicants.

  • Time & cost-effective testing:

    The tests can evaluate hundreds of applicants in minimum time without investing time and money in lengthy and time-consuming recruitment methods.

  • Cheating prevention

    By using AI-based cheating prevention mechanisms such as image proctoring, video proctoring and window violation you can avoid the wrong practices done by candidates to clear the assessment.

  • Randomization

    Candidates tend to pass on the test questions to their friends/colleagues if you have the same set of questions for a certain job role. With a reliable third-party test provider, you can have controlled randomization of questions which will keep the test difficulty constant but with a random set of questions for each test attempt.

  • Latest version & Technology Stacks:

    Skills are changing fast and many a time you will land up at the standard tests available with most of the vendors, but they are not specific to your company/domain/technology stack? If not, the test will not give you suitable (different word) candidates. We provide content consulting and tweak/create questions to suit your specific job role.

  • Great Candidate experience:

    Vendors that care for candidate experience, seek candidate feedback and provide you actionable insights to further improve the test and the overall testing experience of the candidates.

  • Actionable reports:

    An intelligent testing system that calibrates and provide you insightful reports

  • Integrated with your ATS:
    Integrating with an ATS means creating more value out of your investments.
  • Easy to use:
    Either use pre-built tests or simply give your job description to get a custom-made test specially made for you by the SMEs(Subject Matter Experts).
  • Easy to administer:
    Send a test to invite through mail or simply paste the link on your career page or social media for the candidates.

There is still no definitive way strategizing the hiring process and that's why you will find almost all the companies have different strategies in place. It’s more like a game of chess, with each and every different move, there's an opportunity to win the game in millions of ways and if not millions then definitely a million ways to hire the right candidate. It all depends on your strategies to choose. Pre-employment testing is one of the ways, when to use it will be your choice. So choose wisely.