When making a hiring decision you’re making an investment so naturally, you’re looking for candidates who possess qualities such as learning agility and adaptability.  Or put another way, you want to evaluate a candidate’s potential in addition to knowing their current qualifications.

The rising importance of soft skills among today’s employers is a driving factor for the increasing use of pre-hire assessments. A recent survey of 2,000 adults conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of recruitment-outsourcing firm Yoh found that, if hiring for a job and the perfect candidate didn’t exist, 75 percent of Americans would most likely hire a job candidate who has soft skills vs. the right experience or qualifications.

Pre-hire testing can help your HR team reduce hiring time and select the most qualified individual who is also the best fit for the organization. Common pre-hire assessments focus on motivational, and experience-related aspects of the job. 

Knowing if the candidate has the right hard skills can also be tested. For instance, the IBM Kenexa Assessment can assess a candidate’s proficiency in computer programs such as Excel, Word, QuickBooks.  It can also measure their speed and accuracy for Data Entry and typing. More advance testing options include skills assessments for specific occupations such as medical assistants or mechanical engineers. 

So which pre-hire assessments should you use to screen candidates? First, you need to identify the types of assessment tests that are best for your type of business.  

  • Cognitive ability tests measure intelligence. The most common types, IQ tests, measure general mental ability. Other tests gauge verbal ability, math skills, spatial perception, or inductive and deductive reasoning. Simulators allow candidates to demonstrate how well they can perform the job. 
  • Physical ability tests measure strength, endurance, and muscular movement.
  • Aptitude tests measure an applicant’s ability to learn a new skill.
  • Personality tests measure characteristics such as attitudes, emotional adjustment, interests, interpersonal relations, and motivation. (Employers frequently use these tools, but critics say they are an invasion of privacy and unrelated to job performance.)
  • Honesty and integrity tests measure an applicant’s inclination toward undesirable behaviors such as lying, stealing, taking drugs or abusing alcohol. 

Be sure you can demonstrate the skill or competency being measured is required for the job and not a personal preference otherwise you risk the possibility of a lawsuit if a candidate challenges your criteria selection. 

Mobile-enabled assessments using gaming and artificial intelligence have greatly improved the candidate’s experience and gives your company faster access to a diverse talent pool. But be sure to follow up on a candidate’s skill and motivational testing by asking behavioral questions during the interview. 

How do you select the best test? This free webinar gives you more insight into how to choose the correct pre-hire assessment tools and vendors. 

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