The role of pre-employment assessments in hiring

“Acquiring the right talent is the most important key to growth. Hiring was – and still is – the most important thing we do.”
– Marc Bennioff

An open job attracts heaps of applications. Recruiters have thousands of resumes at their perusal. Would they have the bandwidth to go through each of them to check for correctness of facts? It may not be practically possible to verify whether the information given on every resume is accurate. Imagine bringing on board candidates who claim to know a certain programming language but in reality may not be proficient enough in it? Would an organisation want to hire candidates who have listed effective presentation skills as a highlight on their resume but can’t get a single coherent sentence out in front of an audience? Hiring is an effort, one that can be minimised with the right strategy and plan. Organisations that go the extra mile to ensure that they make good hiring decisions are ones that have higher productivity rates. Hiring the wrong people can negatively impact productivity, cost and time of the organisation. How can organisations be sure that information presented on resumes has not been casually thrown in to impress the recruitment panel? Here is where pre-employment assessments can help.

A great way to validate a resume is to check the candidates’ skills using pre-employment assessments. These targetted assessments will help minimise hiring time and ensure the right pick for the organisation.

What are pre-employement assessments?

Pre-employment assessments are a gamut of standardised tests designed to objectively assess candidates’ technical and functional skills that are necessary for a particular job role. These tests are configured in various forms to help recruiters gauge candidates’ programming, problem-solving or cognitive abilities. They offer a deep insight into the skills of potential candidates and help recruiters pick the right ones that are the best fit for the job role and the organisation.

Pre-employment assessments are particularly useful when hiring for technical positions, given the dearth of technical recruiters. Coding assessments and pair programming are types of pre-employment assessments used by organisations to test the technical acumen of candidates when hiring for technical roles. This is one of the many types of assessments available in the market. There are other types of assessments that organisations can use in tandem to test a candidate’s overall fit for a job role.

What are pre-employement assessments?

Types of pre-employment screening

Pre-employment assessments are of various types, and the type of assessment an organisation chooses to employ to test its candidates depends on the skills that a particular job entails. Assessments can test the technical skills of a candidate, such as knowledge of a particular programming language, or their soft skills and aptitude, such as problem-solving capabilities or negotiation skills, or even the integrity of the candidate. Pre-employment assessments are important because it helps test the practical knowledge of a candidate along with his or her theoretical knowledge. Here is a list of types of assessments generally used by organisations as part of their recruitment process.

  • Job knowledge tests: A job knowledge test assesses a candidate’s proficiency in the technical skills required for a particular role. These assessments challenge a candidate’s actual knowledge of a particular subject. A recruiter may ask a candidate to take a test to evaluate his or her prowess in a specific programming language, which the candidate mentioned in the resume.
  • Personality questionnaires: Personality questionnaires help recruiters assess a candidate’s personality traits such as assertiveness, patience, confidence etc. These questionnaires could also test the integrity of the candidate. Integrity tests focus on ethical questions and the responses of the candidates.
  • Culture fit assessments: A candidate may fit a job role well, but will he or she be a good fit for the organisation? If a hired candidate does not fit well with the overall culture of the organisation, it could spread dissatisfaction not only in the candidate but in other employees as well, and lead to increased attrition. Culture fit assessments gauge the candidate’s preference in terms of organisational culture. It will help determine whether the candidate’s values align with the overall organisational values and culture.
  • Cognitive ability assessments: Cognitive ability assessments help evaluate candidates’ ability to apply their mental processes by testing their verbal, logical and numerical reasoning skills. Organisations have to deal with tough challenges that require their employees to think on their feet and find viable and effective solutions to the problems their clients face.
  • Soft skills assessments: Soft skills are very important non-technical skills that stand out in a business environment. Soft skills assessments test candidates’ communication, problem-solving and interpersonal skills. For a role that requires client facing, the candidates are expected to have exceptional soft skills, which may be evaluated with the help of soft skills assessments.
  • Situational judgement tests: Employees of big organisations may have to face different scenarios on a day-to-day basis — tight deadlines, tough clients or sticky situations. Situational judgement tests assess a candidate’s ability to wade through these challenging scenarios at work.
  • Language assessments: Owing to the global nature of businesses today, candidates may be expected to take up language assessments to test their language skills before they are onboarded.

Why use pre-employment assessments?

Why use pre-employment assessments?

Pre-employment assessments could give better insights into a candidate’s profile than a resume or a face-to-face interview. It is impossible to gauge a candidate’s technical prowess, personality traits, soft-skills, ambitions and aptitude in the short span of 20 to 30 minutes that a hiring manager spends with the candidate in an interview session. It puts immense pressure on recruiters and hiring managers to find the right fit for a job role, as the cost to replace bad hires could be quite high. Contrary to some arguments, pre-employment assessments save time and cost for the organisation by helping narrow down the best fit candidates. Here are some advantages of using pre-employment assessments to test applicants for a specific job role.

  • Streamlined recruitment process
  • When used effectively, pre-employment assessments can help streamline and speed up the recruitment process. With the latest technology enabling automation in pre-employment assessments, evaluating candidates becomes automatic. With manual evaluation of candidates out of the way, the entire process of recruitment quickens and becomes more efficient than before.

  • Enhanced quality of hires
  • Pre-employment assesment ensures selection of candidates best suited overall not only for the job role but for the organisation as well. This results in improved quality hires who bring better productivity, which, in turn, positively impacts the growth of the organisation.

  • Reduced hiring bias
  • One of the biggest problems in recruitment today is the presence of unconscious bias. Organisations have strived to put away any sort of bias in the recruitment process. Pre-employment assessments help eliminate bias in the process by screening out candidates based on their skills and capabilities alone, not taking into account any demographic or background information.

  • Improved legal defensibility
  • Pre-employment assessments are objective in nature and, thus, help improve the legal defensibility of the organisation’s hiring process, provided the assessment is being used only to test skills related to the job. Use of a good assessment software streamlines the process and makes it consistent, putting organisations in a better place to defend their recruiting process, in case questions arise on the legality of their hiring practice.

  • Bettered candidate experience
  • In the process of streamlining the recruitment practice, pre-employment assessments pave the way for candidates to gain insights into the organisation and discover the strength of their skills. This leads to better candidate experience. Also, a positive experience during the recruitment process and a better fitment to the job role results in better employee retention. It further reduces the cost related to employee turnover. A lower employee turnover results in better employer branding, which, in turn, attracts better hires. A win-win situation for both employees and the organisation.

Good to remember…

When implemented effectively, pre-employment assessments can be of immense help in streamlining the hiring process. Organisation leaders, along with hiring managers, can take to the board room to discuss the types of pre-employment assessments that might suit the requirements of the organisation, and help zero in on the right candidates for the open positions. The aim of a pre-employment assessment is to gauge the capability of candidates to do the job that an open position requires. But, it is not the only ticket to best hires. Pre-employment assessments are only a part of what should be a well-thought-out and implemented hiring process. What an organisation needs, over and above the use of pre-employment assessments, is a holistic hiring strategy that can ensure it hires the best candidates from the available talent pool.

HirePro’s AI-enabled coding and functional assessment technology offers an exhaustive bank of questions that can be used to create custom assessments. It enables organisations to screen and pick the best candidates from the applications received for the job role. Send your queries to to know more about our automated assessment technology.