Choosing the right candidate out of an applicant pool can be a decision that has far-reaching effects on your organization. Nearly three-quarters of companies admit to hiring the wrong person for a role, and each bad hire costs companies an average of $14,900, plus indirect costs in the form of lowered productivity, poor quality of work and a repeat of a rushed recruiting process.
Having a solid pre-hire assessment process in place can help you avoid making bad hires, and help you find the best talent for your open position. With the right hires in place, you can focus on growing your company instead of an endless cycle of employee turnover and recruitment.
What is the pre-hire process?
The pre-hire process is typically defined as any contact with a candidate after a call has been put out about opposition, but before any offer is made. The pre-hire process includes standard steps like identity, education, certification, and employment verification, and may also involve a background check and a drug test. These steps help to establish that a candidate is who they say they are, has the qualifications they say they have and are free from legal or lifestyle entanglements that would make them a poor risk. Once these steps are accomplished, pre-hire assessments can begin.
What is a pre-hire assessment?
A pre-hire assessment is used to evaluate each candidate to ascertain their suitability for the specific role being hired for. These assessments can cover a broad range of factors, from the personality and work style of the candidate to their mental acuity and problem-solving skills.
Pre-hire assessments can include tests administered directly to a candidate, reference checks provided by former coworkers or managers, exercises, work samples, and interviews (either in person, via live phone or video chat, or as a prerecorded reply from the candidate in response to a list of emailed question.
The most common pre-hire assessments
These pre-hire assessments are among the most common. However, don’t expect candidates to sit through every single one; this delays hiring and can lose you, top-quality candidates. Time is of the essence, so choose one or two assessments and aim for a more candidate-driven process rather than setting up multiple hoops for them to jump through.
Job-knowledge pre-hire assessment test
A job-knowledge test can help a hiring manager measure a prospective candidate’s expertise and ability to apply their knowledge to real-world situations. This test can be written, verbal, or interactive. In some cases, the test may be presented in the form of a task, such as an engineering or coding problem that the candidate is asked to solve.
Integrity pre-hire assessment test
One of the most objective tests employers can administer is integrity or ethical test. The answers given about how to react or respond to different workplace situations can help an employer gauge if the candidate has the correct ethical compass and core values they are looking for.
Cognitive ability pre-hire assessment tests
Cognitive ability tests help employers predict candidates’ potential job performance by learning how they handle complex challenges. There are several cognitive tests that are commonly administered as part of the pre-hire assessment process. The GAT (General Aptitude Test) and the G+ (General Ability Test) contain verbal and quantitative problems to gauge a candidate’s ability to use logical, verbal, and numeric reasoning to approach tasks. Critical thinking tests such as the Watson-Glaser and problem-solving tests like the Wunderlic tests are also frequently used as pre-hire assessments.
Personality pre-hire assessment tests
Personality tests can help indicate if a candidate will fit within the company's culture, and can be used to anticipate engagement levels. However, most of these tests are not a clear indicator of future performance, and many are not recommended for use as a primary recruitment tool.
Personality tests include:
- The Caliper Profile - measures an individual’s personality characteristics and individual motivations in order to predict on-the-job behaviors
- The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - identifies if an employee's personality leans toward one of two tendencies in a variety of groupings
- The SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire - designed to give companies a picture of how certain behaviors might influence a candidate's work performance
- The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) - a tool used to evaluate an individual's temperament and how it matches the demands of a given role
- The DiSC Behavioral Inventory - measures a candidate's primary traits based on four personality types to provide a “temperament” assessment
Emotional intelligence pre-hire assessment tests
Emotional intelligence tests are geared to analyze a candidate’s relationship-building skills and self-awareness when it comes to their emotions by assigning an emotional quotient or EQ. A high EQ is typically associated with an ability to defuse conflicts in the workplace and may indicate that a candidate has leadership potential in constantly evolving situations. Skills an EQ test are designed to identify include:
- Teamwork - the ability to collaborate effectively with coworkers of different backgrounds and personalities
- Adaptability - the ability to change priorities as needed to meet company or client expectations
- Empathy - the ability to understand the feelings of others in a given situation
Skills assessments allow hiring managers to preview candidates’ soft and hard skills. This may include writing skills, verbal skills, or leadership skills, and often requires an activity to be performed such as a set task or a challenge. Computer skills are rapidly becoming some of the most tested for types of skills, although soft skills tests are gaining ground. How candidates perform on their skills assessments can be factored into the hiring decision.
Reference checks provide a broader understanding of who the candidate is. These checks allow hiring managers to find out more about their leadership skills, collaborative abilities, and unique strengths and weaknesses. A reference check can help clarify whether or not an applicant is likely to thrive at a company or organization, based on their unique skill sets and personal work history.
Crosschq 360 digital reference checks allow candidates to have a voice in the hiring process, from a self-reference option that lets them rank themselves against the same metrics their references will be provided with, and complete surveys developed by IO Psychologists to find out if they are likely to be a good fit. This data-driven, digitized solution for reference checking can streamline the process, significantly shorten time to hire, and help remove unconscious bias.
To learn more about how Crosschq can be leveraged for your pre-hire assessment needs, contact us to ask for a free demo today.
Get started and see how you can optimize your hiring process, improve Quality of Hire and drive real business impact today.
- Increase Quality of Hire by 34%
- Boost recruiter efficiency by 28%
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