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BLOG SERIES: The Value of Pre-Employment Testing – 4-Part Series

Part 2: Benefits of Pre-Employment Testing

It is believed that over half of all job applications contain inaccurate information about experience, education, and ability to perform essential functions on the job.   By using a pre-employment assessment during the initial stages of the hiring process, claims of skill proficiencies can be easily validated, eliminating the need for the employer to spend time interviewing unqualified candidates.  A competency-based assessment will help to defend a reasonable expectation for skills and abilities from job candidates and current incumbents.  It will also ensure uniformity and consistency in judging applications and in reducing the risk of bias in hiring.

Competency-based assessments begin with a clearly defined required skill set for the position. Sometimes skills are externally defined by licensure or labor agencies. Other times they can be defined based on specific equipment or industry standards.  Organizations should be sure that job descriptions are updated regularly and metrics are in place to measure performance.  This will help to ensure a consistent skill set throughout job classifications within the organization.

Competency-based testing can also be used to measure evolving skills of current incumbents. In addition to aiding in an unbiased selection of employees for advancement or succession planning, testing can help employees to measure their progress and skill development over time.  Organizations are able to use the data gained from these assessments to design or modify internal training programs.

Organizations can reduce risk management liabilities and costs by using valid, legally defensible assessments that demonstrate reasonable standards and can measure qualities that are job related. Competency-based assessments help to ensure that the employer is not violating federal anti-discrimination laws and are less likely to differ in results by gender and race.  Other benefits of pre-employment testing include a higher caliber of applicants which ultimately leads to better workers, higher productivity, increased quality and lower employee turnover.

UPCOMING: Part 3: Competency-Based Testing – Standardized Assessments