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How Pre-Employment Assessment Tests Help You Build Strong Teams?


In the cutthroat world of recruitment and talent acquisition, where every decision matters, conducting pre-employment assessment tests emerges as a crucial and game-changing step.

These tests are valuable in ensuring your company doesn’t have to pay the price for a bad hire.

Did you know a bad hire can cost companies as much as $240,000? This staggering figure highlights the importance of finding the perfect fit for every company role.

That’s why recruiters and hiring managers are constantly looking for ways to optimize the hiring process and identify top-performing candidates more efficiently.

This is where pre-employment assessment tests come in.

Pre-employment assessment test provides invaluable insights into candidates’ abilities, skills, and suitability for specific roles.

By seamlessly integrating online pre-employment assessment tests into your hiring process, you can unlock a powerful advantage: the ability to make well-informed decisions, mitigate hiring risks, and pave the way for long-term success.

Let’s discover the significance of the pre-employment assessment test, its diverse types, and myriad benefits, and embrace the best practices to streamline your hiring strategy like never before.

What Is a Pre-Employment Assessment Test?

Pre-employment assessment tests are standardized questions that help gather relevant data on candidates during the hiring process. They are a reliable means of gaining insights into the capabilities and traits of prospective employees.

These tests have become wildly popular in recent years as businesses that use online assessment software have a leg-up against those that don’t.

That is because a pre-employment test includes (but is not limited to):

Assessment tests help you get a holistic view of your candidates and, most importantly, a data-based ranking system. So, you don’t make the hiring move only based on your gut feelings!

Read: How to Create a Skill Assessment for Hiring

Types of Pre-Employment Assessment Tests

Depending on the type of test you use, pre-employment assessments can help provide data that you can use to determine a candidate’s ability to perform in the workplace. The most commonly used types of pre-employment tests are:

Cognitive Aptitude Test

Cognitive aptitude tests predict how a candidate will perform on the job with their cognitive abilities.

With the candidates’ answers in the test, you can learn how they can handle and respond to challenging situations.

The General Aptitude Test, commonly known as GAT, is a perfect pre-employment assessment test example used to assess a candidate’s logical, verbal, and analytical ability.



Skills & Knowledge Test

Skill tests and knowledge tests are used to assess if the candidate has the essential skills and knowledge required to perform a particular job.

With a skill test, you can assess the level of knowledge and skill the candidate has mentioned on their resume.

For example, you want to hire a candidate for the role of social media manager. In that case, you can use a social media marketing skills assessment to assess your candidates’ social media management.



You may also like: How to Create a Twitter Quiz for Your Business

Personality Assessment

Personality assessment or personality tests are commonly known to assess if the candidates fit within the company’s culture.

You can use this assessment to see if the candidate has traits like extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness to experience, and neuroticism.



These are some of the most popular pre-employment personality tests used by employers:

  • The Caliper Profile
  • The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • The SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire
  • The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)
  • The DiSC Behavioral Inventory

Emotional Intelligence Tests

An emotional intelligence test assess the candidate’s ability to understand other people’s emotions and their own.

Emotional intelligence forms the core of successful teamwork thus, is an essential trait for leadership and managerial roles.



Soft Skills Assessment

Hard or technical skills aren’t the only skills you want to assess when hiring someone. You must also test soft skills like communication, time management, etc.


Assessing soft skills enables you to hire candidates who not only possess the required knowledge for a position but also have the characteristics to collaborate effectively and be consistently productive.

Here are the top soft skills you need to look for in candidates:

  • Workplace communication
  • Time management
  • Change management
  • Leadership skills
  • Email etiquette
  • Conflict resolution
  • Business etiquette
  • Project management
  • Social skills
  • Negotiation skills


Safety & Compliance Assessments

Training new employees on compliance regulations and matters related to workplace safety & health makes for a key component of every employee onboarding program.

Considering how important it is to ensure safety and compliance in business, hiring candidates with good knowledge of these subjects is best.



By doing this, you can reduce training time for new employees and onboard people who are safety-minded and follow the law, making them a part of your compliance culture quickly.

Conflict Management Style Assessment

A conflict management style assessment lets you determine a person’s way of dealing with workplace disagreements.

You can include this assessment as part of your recruitment process to enable leaders to manage new employees better and train them on conflict resolution skills according to their conflict style.



Tip: Learn how to create a conflict management style quiz

Integrity Tests

Integrity tests are used to determine how reliable an applicant is regarding integrity and ethics. For example, an integrity test may include the following questions:

  • What would you do if a manager assigned you a task that breaches company policy?
  • Is it okay from an ethical standpoint to publish work samples on one’s website?
  • Have you ever lied to a reporting authority in a previous job?
  • Would you do something illegal to satisfy a client?

You can conduct an integrity test in a couple of different ways:

Conduct a video interview quiz and ask the candidates to give a comprehensive answer to your questions by recording videos.



Conduct an assessment test to check candidates’ knowledge about integrity, ethics, and business conduct.



So these are the types of pre-employment tests you can create with online assessment software. Now let’s understand why you must use these different types of pre-hire tests.

How Do Pre-Employment Assessments Benefit the Hiring Process?

An online assessment system provides much more value – and saves you much more time – than trying to create, administer, and score tests manually. These are some of the major benefits of using one:

1. Increased Efficiency

Do you know hiring professionals dedicate an astonishing two-thirds of their precious time to the arduous tasks of interview scheduling and candidate hunting? It’s time to break free from this inefficient cycle and discover a smarter way to streamline your hiring process.

The large pool of applicants makes it increasingly difficult for managers to handle the flow and identify the best candidates. Using pre-employment tests can streamline the hiring process to a great extent.

Here’s how:

  • These tests can save you time when placed at the top of the hiring funnel.
  • With the help of AI-enabled test results, you can easily weed out underskilled candidates from the pool.
  • Candidates who score high and complete the test are those you need to move forward.
  • Setting a minimum cut-off score will help you narrow down the number of candidates to select for personal interviews.
  • You can limit your hours on repetitive, time-consuming hiring activities and easily discover suitable candidates for the job.

What’s more, you can even get to know your candidates by creating video interview questions and adding them to your skill assessment tests.

Watch: How to Create a Video Interview Question

2. Quality Hiring

People differ in terms of physiological and psychological characteristics. But these differences can’t be seen or heard. You can only see their impact on other variables.

For instance, you can’t observe strength, but you can observe people with heavy lifting abilities, which is an indicator of strength. Similarly, you can’t observe analytical aptitude but measure it with a test.

Such differences in characteristics among people have important implications in the employment context.

Candidates who apply for a job role may vary widely in their knowledge, skills, abilities, interests, work styles, and other characteristics.

You can’t assess their skills or abilities by looking at their resume. But with a well-validated employment test, you can gather accurate information to determine if the candidate possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities to excel at the job role you’re hiring for.

For example, applicants’ mechanical skills assessment test score will reflect their mechanical skills, knowledge, and ability.

You can use this score to predict how well that applicant is likely to perform in a job requiring mechanical ability, as demonstrated through a professionally conducted skill assessment test.

3. Increased Employee Retention

Pre-employment testing ensures that the candidates you hire have the adequate aptitude and skills required to perform the job well, along with a personality that will help them thrive in your organization.

These factors contribute to the candidate’s performance prediction in the long run and may reduce the likelihood of them being let go and quitting the job.

4. Avoid the $240,000 Hiring Mistake

One of the most important reasons you should use a skill assessment test is to avoid the cost of bad hiring.

The cost of hiring and letting go of the wrong candidate includes hiring costs, total compensation, eventual severance pay, and other factors, such as legal fees.


Since a pre-employment assessment involves an assessment of core traits and skills, it’s easier to hire the best candidates.

No matter what industry you’re in, seeing an increase in your company’s turnover will probably cause a spike in your blood pressure. Hiring and then replacing employees is costly and can result in more expenditure than the actual salaries.

Given the cost that high turnover rates can inflict on your business, you must seek effective methods of reducing them.

Resumes provide limited information, which isn’t enough to evaluate the true potential of candidates’ on-the-job performance.

On the other hand, a well-designed pre-employment test can provide you with much more accurate, objective information to evaluate your candidates.

You can assess their knowledge and skills accurately and determine how well they match with the job role, which in turn, will increase the odds of you hiring the right person for the job, ultimately reducing the turnover rate.

5. Easy Remote Hiring

Using online assessment tools to conduct pre-hire tests and video interviews can make hiring people remotely much easier. That’s because online assessments are flexible. Candidates can take your assessments at a time and place that best suits them and don’t need to visit your or your staffing firm’s office.

While streamlining the remote recruitment process, an online assessment test also widens your candidate pool by enabling you to hire from any time zone.

6. Smoother Onboarding

The role and importance of pre-employment assessments aren’t limited to hiring. Conducting these tests also lets you onboard new employees efficiently, giving you a fair idea of a candidate’s personality, current knowledge level, and immediate training needs.

Armed with the knowledge of new employees’ skills and personalities, leaders and corporate trainers can craft more personalized onboarding and training programs to save time and money while improving the new team member’s experience.

7. Objective and Standardized Evaluation

Conducting a pre-employment test helps you make objective hiring decisions for fair and unbiased candidate selection. You can also standardize your selection process with the pre-employment tests and reduce subjective biases.

More so, the tests provide measurable data points for evaluating candidates against job requirements. Objective indicators of knowledge, skills, abilities, and cultural fit are prioritized, ensuring the selection of the most qualified candidates.

Objective hiring promotes transparency, equity, and diversity, enhancing the integrity of the recruitment process.

8. Predicting Job Performance

Pre-employment assessment tests are valuable tools for predicting job performance. These tests evaluate job-related skills, cognitive abilities, and personality traits that are indicative of success in a particular role.

By assessing these factors, employers can gain insights into candidates’ potential to excel in tasks, adaptability, and job fit. Cognitive ability tests measure mental agility and problem-solving skills, while personality tests reveal behavioral tendencies and interpersonal skills.

These assessments allow organizations to establish benchmarks, compare candidates, and make informed hiring decisions. However, using these tests in conjunction with other hiring methods is important.

9. Rule Out Misrepresentation

Often hiring managers hire candidates only because they have great skills mentioned in their resume. But do they possess those skills? How do you find out?

Business Insider found out in a survey that 72% of people lie on their resumes. So naturally, you can’t rely on the information candidates provide. But, what you can
do is use a skill assessment test to see if they really possess the skills and knowledge mentioned in their resume.

Also, you can configure settings to prevent cheating on the test, and hence, rest assured that the candidates aren’t scoring using unfair means.

10. Narrow Down the List of Candidates

By gathering sufficient data on applicants, you can use the results from the test to ask candidates specific questions related to their skills and work experience.

This exercise will help you quickly narrow down the number of applicants you’re going to hire, especially if you have a lot of resumes to sort through.

CASE STUDY: John Baker Sales

John Baker, the owner and founder of John Baker Sales, uses pre-employment testing to hire smart people.

John had earlier revealed that he struggled with finding candidates that matched their hiring criteria, and asking them to take paper-based tests was a time-consuming process. But, using pre-employment tests created with an online test maker has made their hiring process much more efficient.

In his words, “as a part of our pre-screening process, we send them a link to the same test that we create, and if they don’t meet our minimum score requirements, they are eliminated from a face-to-face interview. This approach has saved us countless hours over the past five years.”

To keep it simple for you to understand, we’ve summed up the benefits of using the pre-employment tests in our next section.

Now that you’re familiar with the benefits of using a pre-employment screening test let’s look at some of the best practices for using pre-employment testing.

Best Practices for Implementing Pre-Employment Testing

Before you create a pre-employment test and implement it into your hiring process, you must learn how to get the most out of it. Below we’ve shared some pre-employment assessment test best practices that will help you make the smartest hiring decisions:

1. Choose the Right Test

You can’t use the same test for every job role you’re hiring for. Every job role requires a specific set of skills and knowledge. That’s why you must choose the proper test to assess your candidates.

Ensure that the test you choose has a range of questions that help you narrow down the focus of your assessment. You should test for skills, learn if they have the desired knowledge, and get to know them.

2. Validate the Test

Ensure the validity of the test you’re going to use before you share it with the applicants.

Ask yourself:
Does the assessment include questions covering all the pre-employment testing aspects?

Does it include any unnecessary questions?

Eliminate any questions that do not serve your purpose to ensure the test you use for skill assessment is valid. The questions used in your assessment should help you evaluate the desired skills and predict the extent to which the candidate can perform the job.

3. Test at the Right Time

Timing is everything, especially when adding a skill test to your hiring process.
The candidates you interview are often not as technically skilled as the job role requires.

That’s when you realize all the time spent lining up the candidate for the interview has gone to waste.

So, when you create a skill test, you screen candidates in, not out.

If the volume of candidates is huge, filter the highly skilled candidates using smart reports and statistics.

This way, you can ensure that only candidates with the right skills for the job role progress further through the selection stages.

5. Track Completion Rates

With the job market at an all-time low, people spend an average of 11 hours scouting for a job to apply to. So, it’s quite natural to get burned out.

When conducting a pre-employment test, you’re also allowing the candidate to take a break from the stale interview experiences, rise above their resume, and showcase their personality.

While the candidates take their test, it’s your job to track the completion rates.

With higher completion rates, you can expect to have a positive recruiting experience. Only the candidates genuinely interested in applying their skills to the job role will be moving forward.

You can also track the progress of your candidates and assess the difficulty level of your assessment by seeing the questions that were skipped the most by candidates.
Accordingly, you can change or modify the questions in the test.

6. Fair Evaluation Criteria

Fair evaluation criteria ensure all candidates are assessed using consistent and unbiased standards. These criteria are based on job-related factors such as qualifications, skills, experience, and performance indicators.

By employing fair evaluation criteria, you can avoid discrimination, favoritism, or subjective biases in the hiring process and promote a transparent and merit-based selection process.

7. Establish Minimum Cutoff Scores

Establishing a minimum cutoff score can help minimize the chances of bad hires.
That is because the higher your cutoff score is, the more likely it is that candidates scoring above the cutoff will have the skills to excel in the job.

But how do you determine the correct cut-off score?

For that, we advise you to consider the specific dynamics of your hiring process, such as the size of your candidate pools, your applicant-to-hire ratio, and other factors.

But you must avoid setting it too high because it’ll probably filter out too many qualified people.

8. Provide Clear Instructions to Avoid Misunderstandings

You can avoid misunderstandings if you give clear instructions at the beginning of the pre-employment tests. Doing so ensures the recipients understand the expectations, requirements, and steps involved in a task or process.

Providing concise and specific instructions minimizes the chances of misinterpretation or confusion. This clarity promotes effective communication and allows individuals to follow instructions accurately, resulting in improved productivity, reduced errors, and a smoother workflow.

9. Use the Best Pre-Employment Testing Software

Well, this should have been listed at the top of the best practices, but here we are. We recommend using the best online assessment software for creating and sharing pre-employment tests.


Because it’ll help you do the following:

  • Create assessments in minutes
  • Shed the burden of writing down the right questions
  • Help with automatic grading or scoring
  • Provide detailed and insightful reports to speed up decision-making
  • Test candidates no matter where they are and what device they use
  • Make hiring more objective
  • Manage candidate data by integrating with your HR software to keep the hiring process on track

Watch: How to Choose the Best Assessment Software

10. Collect Regular Feedback on Your Process During Onboarding

Regular feedback on your onboarding process is crucial to ensure a positive experience for candidates and new hires.

You can ask participants for feedback on the hiring process and pre-hiring assessments to gain actionable insights.

This feedback enables you to identify strengths and weaknesses in your onboarding process, address potential issues, and refine the program to meet the needs of new hires better.

Another way to approach this is by monitoring and analyzing test results and job performance data.

Bonus read: 10 Best Online Assessment Tools for 2023

Effectively Weed out Unsuitable Candidates to Get the Best Talent

Pre-employment assessment tests offer a valuable solution for modern recruiters and hiring managers to optimize their hiring processes and secure top talent.

By leveraging various pre-employment assessments, organizations can make informed decisions and avoid costly hiring mistakes, like the $240,000 price tag of a bad hire.

These tests streamline the candidate selection process and ensure fair evaluation criteria, narrow down candidate lists effectively, and improve overall efficiency.

But there’s a catch— you need the feature-rich online assessment software to help you create effective pre-employment screening assessments.

Ensure that the tool you choose offers customization, scalability, data security, and streamlined communication with candidates.

By adhering to best practices and leveraging the right testing software, you can harness the power of pre-employment assessments to make strategic hiring decisions and drive long-term success.

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About the author

Michael Laithangbam is the senior writer & editor at ProProfs with 12 years of experience in enterprise software and eLearning. Michael's expertise encompasses online training, web-based learning, quizzes & assessments, LMS, and more. Michael’s work has been published in G2, Software Advice, Capterra, and eLearning Industry.