If you are you an employer then you already do some sort of Pre Employment Testing. Pretty much everything from the advert to the interview is testing candidates.

If you want to make better, less risky hiring decisions then you need a robust pre employment testing regime in place.

I should point out that using a recruitment agency is not sufficient. Although we would all love to outsource all of our recruitment issues, the reality is that as employers, we have to take responsibility and ownership of it.

So this post applies to you, whether you use an recruitment agency or not.

Why do Pre Employment Testing?

This is all about eliminating risk and making better hiring decisions. Recruitment mistakes are very expensive mistakes. They can take years to rectify and sometimes you never fully recover from them.

Types of Pre Employment Testing

pre employment testingThere are a bunch of pre employment tests you can do as an employer. Chances are you will not do all of them. Some will be more important and relevant to you than others, depending on the nature of the vacancy.

For instance if your staff are likely to work with children at all then you will need to consider police checks.

If your staff are handling cash then you may want to know if they have a criminal record for theft.

Pre employment drug testing may also be relevant to you. Again you need to consider how long do you actually expect this person to stay with you. Many of the practices presume the person will work with you indefinitely, where in actual fact it’s more likely to be for three years. Please also note that the pre employment drug testing laws vary from one region to another.

Be realistic as there is not point carrying out large expensive pre employment testing in all cases.

The following are the essential. These are affordable and quick;

  • pre employment personality test
  • Check references (Background checks)
  • Telephone interview
  • Face to face interview

In addition to these you should consider a practical. This a good way of seeing how someone looks in the role. There is no substitute for putting someone in the role for a few hours to see what happens. It’s not always possible but there is a lot of value in seeing the person in the actual work environment. Tests can only tell you so much. You can’t leave it all to tests.

It may be that they are merely shadowing someone for a few hours but in that time you will get feedback from the staff member and get a feeling for the candidate. Field tests are informative.

Pre Employment Testing Examples

Personality Test

Often only carried out on the short list as it can be expensive, however you can get personality reports for as little as £5 so there is no excuse for not using them more often. Use it on your long list. Even a short personality test will tell you more about a candidate than an hour of interviewing.

Check References

It’s not completely reliable but often references are not checked until after the offer is made. This is too little too late. Be the exception call up the references and ask them some prepared questions. Make the questions objective not subjective. Go for facts rather than feelings. Test specific claims.

Telephone Interview

Used more widely these days but often poorly. Be very specific about what you are trying to achieve over the phone. Keep it short and specific. Better to have three short telephone interviews than one long one. Have each call dedicated to a specific issue.

Face to Face Interview

These can be very time consuming tests. They are often carried out by the senior manager. You could try and get more employees involved in the face to face interviews. After all, it is the employees who will have to live with the hiring decision. The employee does not need to be the only person that interviews, nor does the employee get the final say, as that may still be retained by the manager but getting employees involved that know the role, is a smart move.

Being in charge of a test gives the employee a boost. Your employees will feel a sense of importance and be invested in hiring the best candidates. When employees are involved in the candidates scores, they make a better job of it. How an employee scores a candidate may surprise you and be good for the company.

Every company employee who is interviewing candidates should get some training. Rarely is an employee ever trained on interviewing. There is a lot of psychology at play in an interview and some training in personality psychology is essential to conduct meaningful, low risk interviews. Your company should train every employee involved.

Predict Behaviour

You are essentially trying to predict an applicants behaviour before you hire them, which is why you should always include a personality test. An assessment of their abilities is one thing but a personality benchmark will reveal more important things and help improve your companies assessments.

Test as much as you can before you make a hiring decision. Pre employment testing of potential employees against the job and the environment will result in better hiring decisions..



Further Reading.

This has been an article about Pre Employment Testing but you may also want to read – psychometric test the essential guide.

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