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The When, How, How Often and Where of Assessment Tests
When to Use Assessments
Assessments used in the hiring process can take many forms. Companies will have to decide what works best for them and may decide to use these screening tools in different ways depending on the role and needs of the business.
A great way to use a skill test as a screening tool is before any significant contact with a candidate. For example, consider you’re hiring for an administrative assistant or customer service representative. Chances are that you’re going to get a lot of applicants and will have a ton of resumes to evaluate. Once you’ve identified the candidates who look to be a potential fit in terms of ability and work experience, you can utilize a skill test that measures attention to detail, typing speed, or other important skills to help you narrow down your candidate pool of candidates that you’ll move onto the next phase in the process.
Once the initial screening and interview process is over, we recommend using more in-depth screening tools, like people and logic ability and aptitude tests to measure competency and work style once you’ve identified that your candidate seems to be a good fit otherwise.
This helps to streamline and keep your process flowing smoothly while ensuring you adhere to candidate experience best practices as well.
How (and How Often) Should Assessments be Administered?
Ultimately, you should be making use of pre-employment assessment testing as both a screening tool before and after interviewing candidates. These tools should be a part of your greater screening and assessment process that also includes behavioral interviewing, reference, background, and credit checks, work samples, job shadowing and ride-alongs in order to vet your candidates fully.
Pre-employment assessments help your business make better hiring decisions by assisting hiring managers in identifying important candidate traits often exhibited in a working environment that relate to success on the job. With this in mind, testing should follow the same protocol each time you use it. This means that if you plan to use assessments for a certain position, you should send all candidates who are in contention for that role the same assessments.
There is no set rule on how often you should or shouldn’t test candidates. In fact, there really are no rules on testing candidates aside from complying with EEOC and ADA guidelines. As a best practice though, the testing process should follow and match with your objectives and the tests should relate to and match the job.
Where Assessments are Administered
Where your assessment testing is administered is ultimately up to you as the employer. Most assessments are based online, making it easy to distribute to handfuls of employees at a time, and at any phase of your screening process. Still some employers prefer to have candidates come into the office to take their assessments.
There are pros and cons to each way of distributing screening tools. The obvious benefit to administering testing online is that it’s easy to do in volumes. Testing links can be sent to candidates at any stage of the process, including during the application process, after an application is received, post interview, in the middle of the night, whenever. It’s appealing to the candidate too, since they have full freedom as to when they take the assessments. The drawback to this is possible cheating or getting help with the answers of an assessment. Most testing contains checks for this kind of thing though, so it’s pretty difficult to cheat an assessment.
Yet another method for administering testing is in your office. This allows you to meet with the candidate and control the environment in which your candidate tests. This might provide a peace of mind against candidates cheating, but clearly takes up more time and resources.
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