Pre-Employment Skills Testing: The Benefits

Pre-Employment Skills Testing The Benefits to employers types of skills test available

Why Should Employers Use Pre-Employment Skills Testing

Pre-employment skills tests can play an important role in the recruitment process. However, it is a step that many employers neglect. It can give you an insight into the way that the candidate thinks, their skills and their fit into the business. As well as helping to narrow down the most suitable applicants, by disqualifying those who do not meet your criteria.

There are many different types of tests that you can use and each have their own strengths and weaknesses. However, this can make it difficult to know which test to use, so we have complied a list of top testing methods:

Psychometric Testing

These are all-encompassing tests that covers a candidate’s aptitude, skills and personality. Typically, these are implemented as a series of numerical, verbal or logical questions. All of the questions should be targeted to assess the specific requirements to the role.

Skills Testing

Skills testing is very useful, as it assesses a candidate’s ability to complete a task. It can be broken down into testing soft skills, such as attention to detail, or hard skills like typing speed or packing speed. Sometimes, you can include things like manual handling understanding within skills test.

However, these tests can also establish how quickly candidates can pick up new skills. Which is a skill that is becoming increasingly important for growing businesses.

Personality Testing

Personality tests are often the hardest to implement and interpret. For this reason, many employers simple use an Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ). This covers 3 sections:

  1. Relationships
  2. Thinking Style
  3. Feelings and Emotions.

The style of the questions force candidates to pick a response that is ‘most like them’. So, it is never a true reflection of their personality. However, it can be used as a base judgement to establish if they are suitable for your business culture. Many employers interpret these tests by using an ‘exemplar’ results from an internal employee.

Aptitude Testing

These are tests that focus on skills that are universally needed in all roles, like numeracy and literacy understanding. They aim to test the applicants basic understanding of that subject.

Sector Knowledge Tests

This is one of the most used tests of the recruitment process. These aim to measure a candidates technical or theoretical expertise in a field. Employers frequently implement these test when a base-level of understanding or experience is required in order to be successful in the role.

However, an issue with this type of testing does not assess an applicants learning potential. Which can cause potential problems as an individual may have great sector knowledge, but it unwelcoming of change making them difficult to work with.

Physical Ability Test

We are noticing that more employers are starting to implement Physical ability test. This assess the strength, stamina and more of a candidate. Which can be particularly useful if candidates are doing a lot of heavy-lifting or are on their feet for most of the day. Implementing this type of test can potentially reduce work-place accidents and improve productivity.

If you are thinking about implement Physical ability tests, then it is important to allow for differences in gender, age and even ethnicity when reviewing results. This is to avoid employment discrimination.

The Benefits Of Pre-Employment Skills Testing

Ultimately, skills testing will save both money and reduce the time to hire.

With the numerous ways of delivering test (online or on paper) it will free up some of the hiring managers time, as less suitable candidates will be quickly filtered out. So, you only interview the best of the best. This will reduce the time to hire.

They can save you money as they increase the likelihood of making the right hire the first time. As the tests can predict future success, whilst still ensuring that the candidate is capable to undertake the responsibilities. Furthermore, they also assess if the candidate will fit in with the workplace culture. Which will improve long-term team cohesion and employee morale.

Finally, having a set testing process will create a consistent and transparent recruitment process. Which can significantly improve a candidates perception of your business.

Some of the limitations of Pre-Employment Tests

Although testing will reduce the overall cost-to-hire. There is often a high cost associated with the set up and implementation of skills testing.

Companies will often try to create tests in-house, resulting in key members of the team being taken away from their core business function. Reducing productivity in that area and ultimately adding costs to the recruiting processes (with their salary). Even if you use a stand-alone testing system, these are often expensive to use – especially if you infrequently recruit.

Finally, tests act as a guideline or indication. Relying too much on what the score is can further hamper the recruitment process, as you will lose potential talent that can grow with the business. Also, with so many tests it can be difficult to know what to do.

What Should I Do Next?

The recruitment process is long and intricate. We would never advise that you only use skills testing, as potential talent will slip through the process. As such you need a all-round approach that covers both ability and capability. This is something that we can help you with.

At Regional Recruitment Services we use ISV skills testing to assess our candidate’s aptitude and skills abilities. These are incredibly useful as it is online and they have pre-made tests for a range of skills, Including; customer service, Excel, manual handling and health and safety. Furthermore, we provide this free of charge as part of our Assessment Centre service.

In addition, we can free up additional time by taking a lot of the strain off of managements shoulders. Handling candidate screening, interview and onboarding!

Get in touch with us to find out more about our candidates and how we can help you recruit the best people for your business.

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