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Can You Make a Candidate Take a Pre-Employment Assessment?

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With unemployment hovering at 4 percent, it’s a candidate’s job market, which means there’s sometimes less incentive to participate in what some job seekers perceive as extra or unnecessary steps in the hiring process — like pre employment testing and other assessments related to making better hiring decisions.

As a business owner or hiring manager, you still need to make sure that you hire the best possible candidate. How can you find the perfect fit without losing good people in the process? It’s a tough situation to be in, but one that needs to be addressed.

Understanding a candidate’s mindset and any potential objections to taking pre employment tests can help you better overcome their hesitation and allow you to collect all the information you need to make informed hiring decisions.

Barriers to Completing Hiring Assessments

In a tight job market, talented candidates have a lot of choices — especially in hot industries like data science and cyber-security. Even mediocre candidates often have multiple interviews happening at the same time.

As we’ve previously written about, younger candidates are more likely to ghost a potential employer and drop out of the hiring process. If the only differentiating factor between your company and a competitor is completing a hiring assessment, then the competitor might win out because they offer the path of least resistance.

In a smaller number of cases, you might encounter a candidate who says that their experience speaks for itself or feels it is beneath them to take a pre-employment test. You might also see candidates who are suspicious about giving their information away, but again, those are usually few and far between.

How Much Should You Push A Candidate?

If you have a great candidate who does not want to complete the assessment, your job is to figure out how to get the information you need without losing your potential hire. The first step in doing this is to understand where the candidate is coming from so you can meet them where they are.

You might remind your stubborn candidate that the hiring tests are used to affirm positive hiring decisions, not give companies a reason to say no to someone. You can also tout the other benefits of your organization that might make you stand out over a competitor.

If someone does not seem like they are willing to budge after an initial discussion, determine if there’s another way you can get the information that an assessment would typically collect. Can you have a follow-up interview? Or ask them to send you some information via email?

Beyond that, you need to consider what not completing an assessment says about a candidate. It could be an indicator of problems down the road. You might decide that it’s best to part ways and move on to your next option for whom you have a completed assessment.

Again, this will depend on the specifics of your situation, but remember that the best way to determine whether someone has the right personality or the right skills for the position and your organization is through an employment test.

The Big Question

In the end, you cannot force someone to complete a pre-employment assessment as part of the hiring process. You can encourage them and work with them to get past objections, but you should not have to go out of your way to justify why the assessment is important.

If you find yourself face-to-face with a stubborn candidate, consider how much you want that person as part of your organization and whether it’s worth sacrificing the potential red flags that an assessment will capture.