Before hiring an employee, your client might want to conduct pre-employment testing. An employment test can reveal whether a candidate is right for the job.
As a recruiter, you might be responsible for administering pre-employment testing. There are a variety of pre-employment assessment tests. The test or tests you and your client conduct will depend on the open position.
What is pre-employment testing?
Pre-employment testing is the process of screening job candidates with tests during the hiring process. Pre-hire testing can help you spot discrepancies in an applicant’s resume, determine whether an applicant has the necessary skills for the job, and find out how they would fit in at your client’s company.
There is not one standard pre-employment test. Instead, each test focuses on something different, like an individual’s skills, knowledge, personality, or background.
You must use tests that relate to the open position. For example, you wouldn’t have an applicant perform a physical ability test for a receptionist position.
As long as pre-employment tests are valid and fair, they can make a great addition to the full cycle recruiting process and help you screen out unqualified applicants. Your client cannot use the results of the tests to discriminate based on a candidate’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Types of pre-employment testing
Here are some types of general pre-employment assessment tests you might conduct. Your client might even use some of these screenings for current employees, too.
Pre-employment skills testing
Having a stellar resume and excelling in interviews are important, but they might not reveal the whole truth about a candidate. This job assessment test can help you determine if a candidate has the right skills needed for the job.
A pre-employment skills test might assess soft skills (e.g., communication), basic abilities, and skills the candidate must have to perform the job.
You can create a standardized skills test so you can compare how each candidate stacks up. You might have the candidate actually show their skills. Let’s say you are recruiting a web developer. For the skills test, you could have them create a website mockup.
Pre-employment personality test
A personality test, also known as a job-fit test, can help you determine how well an applicant would fit in at your client’s company. Personality tests assess a candidate’s behavior and personality.
Personality tests look for characteristics that are relevant to job performance, company culture, and the specific position. You might learn how a candidate would react to situations that come up in the workplace. And, you could learn how a candidate would interact with the current workforce.
Generally, personality tests are made up of multiple choice questions. The test provides statements and asks the candidate to give an answer ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree.
If there is conflict in the workplace, I become closed off.
- Strongly Agree (5)
- Agree (4)
- Neutral/Undecided (3)
- Disagree (2)
- Strongly Disagree (1)
Pre-employment aptitude test
What does the candidate know? Is the candidate a quick learner? Aptitude tests might show you what the candidate knows and how well they can pick up on new tasks.
You might think of aptitude tests like standardized online quizzes that ask candidates math, reading, and writing questions.
Aptitude tests could show you how a candidate will perform on the job when it comes to problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
Pre-employment drug and alcohol tests
Pre-employment screening tests for drugs and alcohol are standard across many companies. According to one report, 90% of hiring managers conduct drug and alcohol tests before placing a candidate.
A drug screening tests whether a potential employee has drugs in their system. An alcohol screening determines if an individual has alcohol in their system.
Generally, you might conduct a drug and/or alcohol test after you extend an offer to a candidate, with their offer being contingent on the results of the test.
The majority of companies (71%) screen current employees for drugs and alcohol. You might let candidates know that they could be subject to random testing if employed at your client’s company.
Pre-employment background check
An employment background check is a common pre-employment assessment test. Conducting background checks help prevent negligent hiring claims.
Background checks can be used to further examine an applicant’s honesty, integrity, and personal and public records.
Background checks may include employment history, education history, criminal history, credit history, driving history, and reference checks.
Before conducting a background check, you must obtain written permission from the applicant. If you or your client finds something in the background check that prevents your client from hiring the candidate, you must let them know why and give them a copy of the report.