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Everything you need to know about pre-employment testing.

The Complete Guide to
Pre-Employment Testing

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What is Pre-Employment Testing?

Pre-employment tests are a set of assessments that aim to measure a person’s behavior, personality, reasoning, competence, integrity, skills, and cognitive ability. Measure these things in candidates can help with identifying the behaviors and natural inclinations of candidates that are linked to job satisfaction, retention, and engagement over long periods of time. Knowing this and other information measured with traditional assessment tools before hiring a candidate is helpful in making significantly more effective hiring decisions.


Job Satisfaction





Types of Assessment

There are several types of pre-employment screening tests on the market that assess for nearly everything possible. As mentioned, when selecting your assessments, it’s important to consider the role and ensure that the testing you choose is strategically matched to that role so you avoid any discriminatory practices.

The following pre-employment assessments are the most common types used for pre-employment screening:

How Pre-Employment Testing Benefits Your Talent Acquisition Efforts

The benefits of using pre-employment tests as part of a solid talent acquisition strategy are endless. From saving money and time to streamlining the screening process, using pre-employment testing to measure skills, competence and personality can help address and improve a host of business challenges.

The following are just a handful of challenges testing addresses in your talent acquisition process:

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Predicting Candidate Outcomes with Pre-Employment Testing


Pre-Employment Testing Predicts Employee Engagement

Utilizing employment testing in your hiring process helps contribute to overall employee engagement by ensuring the job is a good fit for the candidate in terms of personality, behavior preferences, and work style, before hiring. Nobody wants to be in a job they don’t like, aren’t good at, or can’t be successful in. In this way, pre-employment tests help candidates uncover the likelihood of whether a job will be a great fit for them by measuring key traits of a candidate and matching them to the activities of the job in order to estimate the level of long-term job satisfaction and employee engagement.


Pre-Employment Testing Predicts Employee Retention Rate

Just as is the case with employee engagement, using pre-employment assessments helps improve an employer’s retention rate. By assessing candidates in the screening process for skills and characteristics that are tied to their success on the job, their ability to retain employees and reduce their company turnover increases.

The predictability of assessments in measuring candidate personality and aptitude, for example, lend insight that an employer can use in placing the candidate in the best position for their type and interests. Going through the process of hiring and onboarding only to result in quick turnover has huge hidden costs to businesses. Hiring and onboarding talent often takes a substantial amount of time and the time dedicated to this process is extremely costly, especially when a hire doesn’t work out.


Using Pre-Employment Screening to Gain Insights About Candidate Skills

Identifying qualified talent can be tricky in this tight labor market. With highly specialized skills required for many jobs, it’s even harder to find qualified candidates. And how are we supposed to know whether a candidate who applies for our position truly has the working knowledge to execute the tasks required of them on the job?

Using skill tests in the screening process, either before interviewing a candidate or during another phase in the hiring process to identify specialized job skills can make the candidate evaluation process faster and more meaningful for all involved.

Using personality tests or aptitude tests to identify core behaviors and natural inclinations that may indicate success on the job is one way to narrow down your candidate pool to distinguish the top performers from those who are not.

Likewise, using tools like an ability test to measure logical reasoning, cognitive ability and interpersonal skills and strengths related to job skills is also a great way to identify high potential talent for development when specific trained skills are still underdeveloped.

How Validity Affects the Predictive Quality of Assessments

Assessment validity is essential to any pre-employment testing program because it assures three things that should be present with any assessment being used to aid in making hiring decisions. They are:


The test is actually measuring something

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The test is specifically measuring what you want to measure

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What the test is measuring can predict an outcome

To provide a quantifiable way of verifying that an assessment possesses validity, formal processes have been developed by researchers over the years. The following are different types of validity used to determine the efficacy of pre-employment tests as they relate to our testing:

Best Practices for Using Pre-Employment Testing

When implementing screening tools in your screening process, you’ll want to follow a set of hiring best practices to ensure you get the most from the experience and the results your testing provides. One of the most crucial considerations right now is the labor market and how this affects your candidate’s likelihood of completing testing.

Choosing the Right Pre-Employment Screening Services

Choosing the right pre-employment assessments for your business will ultimately depend on the type of roles you are looking to fill and what you are looking to measure in your potential candidates. Before selecting your pre-hire assessments, it’s necessary to take an inventory of several items:

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Evaluate the Position: What are the most important skills.


What candidate will successfully fill the role?: What kind of traits do they exhibit?


How will performance be measured?: How will you know if they're successful?

About The Hire Talent and Our Research

We’ve been assessing the likelihood of success and potential in candidates through the implementation of hiring best practices and, ultimately, our predictive pre-employment assessment tools for the last three decades. Backed by hundreds of thousands of interviews with candidates, tireless efforts to analyze, classify, and evaluate the feedback we’ve been provided by our clients, and a sheer tenacity to be the best provider of pre-hire assessment tools, we have established ourselves as one of the leading providers of talent assessment testing available on the market today.

Legal Considerations For Pre-Employment Testing

In the age of litigation, we want to ensure that the pre-employment testing and screening methods we use and recommend are legal and compliant. In general, pre-employment testing is legal as long as it doesn’t discriminate against any group in terms of age, gender, race, religion, national origin, or disability. Along those same lines, assessment testing should apply and be relevant to the job applied for. It should not be used to exclude anyone and be consistent in the way that it is administered.

Following these steps will ensure that when using pre-employment testing for screening candidates in the hiring process, you are remaining compliant and fair, and are following best practices for staying legally compliant.

Interested in learning more about pre-employment assessment tools and how they might fit into your hiring and recruiting process? Feel free to reach out to us with any questions you have about improving your hiring process, reducing turnover, or increasing employee engagement.