At Nocti Business Solutions (NBS) we’ve noticed a significant increase in the use of pre-employment testing across all industries. Generally, companies will use one of two types of tests, personality or skill assessments. Of course, our focus is skill assessment; a test that identifies and quantifies the level of skill or knowledge a candidate possesses. As the use of these tests increases, we hear a lot of questions about their positive and negative aspects, and we are happy to share both.
First, let’s talk about employers use how pre-employment skill assessments within their hiring process. At NBS, we help employers identify candidates with the right knowledge and skills to be a beneficial addition to their workforce. We do so by providing the hiring team with pre-employment tests, which candidates take during the hiring process. Each test can be industry-specific or used to measure soft skills (21st-century skills test). Employers and supervisors then collect and review the results of each candidate. Keep in mind, the review process is unique to each organization, but we offer suggestions for best practices.
The Benefits of Using Pre-employment Testing
Anyone who is responsible for finding new and qualified workers knows that no hiring process is perfect. However, with the right tools and methodologies, employers can vastly improve their hiring process—building a superior workforce. Below are a few reasons why hiring managers and teams should use pre-employment assessments within their hiring process.
Being able to quantify and provide numeric evidence makes any decision easier. By having those specific details, employers directly and comparatively measure the level of skill and knowledge each candidate possesses. This is particularly useful in any role or industry where explicit tools, methodologies, certifications, safety procedures, or equipment are necessary. Results will not only confirm that a candidate “knows their stuff”, but allow employers to compare scores throughout their industry. Ultimately, this provides hiring teams with far more detailed information than an interview or resume could.
Level playing field
As we previously mentioned, quantifiable data allows employers and managers to directly compare the level of skill or knowledge between multiple candidates. The hiring process is a competition; managers want to ensure that they are making the best hiring decision and numeric evidence confirms that future employees are just that. Keep in mind, just because a candidate is a better interviewee does not mean that they are the better fit for the job—but without assessment results, how can an employer know?
Time is money
Lastly, and most importantly, employees are the most expensive asset to any company. Hiring and onboarding take time and money, and managers waste both when new hires don’t work out. It can take up to 18 months for a new hire’s work to become profitable to the company, which is quite an investment. By assessing the employee before they are hired, managers ensure that they have the knowledge, skills, or the ability to learn what is needed to fulfill their role properly.
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The Obstacles of using Pre-employment Testing
At NBS, we acknowledge that no system is perfect. Even though we aim to ensure that our tests are fair, accurate, and aid employers with new hires—there are a few obstacles to overcome.
Bad test taker
One obvious obstacle is simply that some people are bad test takers. This has been a common problem for standardized testing throughout all levels of education. An individual may know everything there is to know about a trade or skill, but when it comes to reading and answering questions, they just can’t do it. This is primarily why we suggest that hiring decisions should not be solely made on test scores, even though they can be a vital part of the decision.
This is something that we rarely hear about, but it certainly happens. Some applicants dislike taking tests so much that once they hear that a pre-employment test is involved, they abandon the application process. However, this can typically be avoided by hiring managers explaining the purpose of the test and that the hiring decision is not made solely based on test results. On the other hand, it might be beneficial for hiring teams when applicants abandon their application due to having to take a test. Individuals who would walk away from an opportunity may not be worthwhile hires in the first place.
As we mentioned before, time is money. By adding a pre-employment assessment to the hiring process, managers do prolong the process. Time is added with setting test times and locations, as well as retrieving and reviewing results. However, with proper planning and preparation, managers should be able to overcome that problem. At NBS, one primary objective is to make the test-taking process and delivery of results as efficient as possible.
Do the pros outweigh the cons for pre-employment testing?
Ultimately, this is a question that employers and managers can only answer through experience. However, at NBS we believe that with the right implementation and strategy, the benefits of using pre-employment assessments greatly outweighs the obstacles, which is exactly why we provide explanations for both. By having an idea of what obstacle may arise by using pre-employment assessments, managers can prepare and plan to avoid them.
If you have any interest in implementing pre-employment testing within your hiring process, contact NBS today. We are always available to answer all of your questions and provide any information about pre-employment assessment tests.