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by Josh Tolan, Founder and CEO of Spark Hire

To give you the best insights on your candidates, pre-employment tests are the way to go. These tools date back to the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE), but today’s pre-employment assessments are standardized and can measure a candidate’s skills, intellect, personality, and other defining characteristics.  

These tests deliver concrete credibility when you present candidates to clients. It’s a measurable way for them to understand and compare your candidate showcase. These numbers and descriptions also give you deeper insight into the optimal job for your candidates, improving your placement and retention rates.

Today’s pre-employment assessment tools

Tools around today must be job-related and based on specific qualifications. Current tools have moved from paper-and-pencil tests to online assessments. Using online assessments works to your advantage because candidates can complete them anytime, from anywhere, and get you the results fast. Better results faster means a deeper understanding of which client would be best for the candidate, and allows you to get that candidate in front of your clients before any other firm. 

Pre-employment assessments have many different purposes and can be used differently depending on the position you’re working to fill. Many staffing pros use pre-employment assessments to measure not only job-specific skills, but also to get a better idea of a candidate’s cognitive ability, personality, competency, and even cultural fit. While these tools have a flexible implementation, many pre-employment assessment tools take into account the vast amount of information you need to consider when screening talent. Here are a few top tools from Capterra’s pre-employment assessment software list: 

  • HireSelect by Criteria Corp: Features a comprehensive suite of aptitude, personality and skills tests
  • Berke: Uses data-driven insights to predict hiring success by measuring personality traits and problem-solving skills and compares candidates to job benchmarks customized for your client.
  • eSkill: Create job assessments using your questions or those from eSkill’s library. You can also include questions that simulate job-related tasks applicants would encounter on the job so they can measure how candidates would perform. 
  • Kandio: Offers assessments authored by authorities across many different skillsets. You can test anything-from JavaScript to LinkedIn Marketing through their strictly curated assessment marketplace. 

Combining assessments with video interviews 

It’s tempting to send candidates many assessments, all for different types of positions you think they’d be suited for. However, the candidate experience must be taken into account. While you could get a near-complete idea of every candidate using many tests, candidates will not want to work with you in the future because too many assessments may feel like “busy work”.

When using pre-employment assessments, the candidate experience is impacted by what assessments you perform, when you perform testing and your next steps. For example, explaining to candidates why you use specific assessments during the application process will help candidates understand you’re assigning them for the candidates’ benefit 

Combining assessments with the staffing process increases your ability to quickly, consistently, and transparently evaluate talent. Additionally, many staffing firms have found they can beat their competition with the efficiency gains they make from adding video interviews to their process. 

Pre-employment assessments and video interviews provide an understanding of your candidates with an extra degree of objectivity, since the assessments are consistently graded and video interviews allow you and your clients to learn about the candidate in their own words. Candidates experience a more personal early assessment with a unique opportunity to reveal more than what will show on a resume or during a phone screen.

During final hiring rounds, these same assessment responses can guide your clients’ job-related interview questions. For example, if a personality test revealed the candidate struggles with confrontation, an interviewer may ask them to detail how they’d handle a specific scenario with a co-worker. 

Pre-employment assessments hold incredible power. They determined immeasurable skills, personalities, and traits to predict how candidates will perform in a countless number of roles and industries as part of an already established team. With so many possibilities, assessments will improve your staffing accuracy, as well as your candidate and client satisfaction.

About the Author

Josh Tolan is the Founder and CEO of Spark Hire, the world’s leading video interviewing platform with more than 5,000 customers in over 100 countries. Since Spark Hire’s launch, Josh has become an influential member of the HR and recruiting community. He shares his knowledge and thought leadership on recruiting as a contributor on a wide range of outlets including Mashable, FastCompany, The Huffington Post, ERE.net, Recruiter.com, TechCrunch, and more.

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