Pre-hiring Tests Takes Centre Stage In The Hiring Process

Skilled labor is hard to come by- especially good skilled labor. It is a costly process to find the right candidate for a particular role in the organization. Even so, the first thing that comes to mind when applying for a job is the rigorous interview process. An interview should help employers gauge the prospective employee’s functionality. While hiring employees based on a couple of interviews might be the norm, the current trend of pre-hiring tests, a method for testing a prospective employee by making them work in the same role as they would be hired to do, is gaining momentum.

Previously, interviewers formed an opinion of the candidates in the first five minutes itself. Research has revealed that most of the time candidates do lie on their resumes claiming credits for projects probably without even their involvement in it and exaggerate their skills and accomplishments. Thus the likelihood of anyone getting selected for the particular role leaving the most deserving one behind is very high.  Screening candidates at the initial stage of hiring helps ease the hiring process and also optimize the recruiting process.

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Technology has reached its peak in all sectors be it work or others. Organizations across the globe are always on the lookout for innovative approaches to stay ahead of their counterparts. The use of pre-hiring tests is on the rise with companies adopting new policies related to recruitments. As opposed to the previous recruiting process, the first step these days is the pre-employment testing. As per the job requirement, screening of candidates for the relative jobs is done on a variety of factors like cognitive ability, personality, organizational skills, and motivation. 

Survey has revealed that around 80 per cent of companies, big and small, have begun adopting hiring assessments for a more quantifiable way of evaluating candidates. Pre-hire assessments help reveal candidates that are just right for the required role and fit in with the company culture too. These new screening tools help test for personality traits and the all-important soft skills in the hiring process.

Importance of pre-hiring tests

One is compelled to think about the importance of using these new hiring trends and their ultimate goals. The best reason that comes to mind is that by adopting these techniques we end up choosing the best and most suitable candidate and not the best interviewees.  Earlier, the standardized selection processes involved rounds of telephonic interviews and in-person interviews which were not enough to verify the candidate’s actual qualifications and personality traits. Besides not being fool-proof, these hiring processes were unable to reveal the overall picture of the candidate whether he/she would be able to survive for a longer duration upon selection.

On the other hand, pre-hire assessment is a great tool to test a candidate for a range of applicable skills and personality traits such as leadership qualities, confidence, positivity, organizational skills, empathy, honesty, helpfulness and collaboration to name a few.

Right selection lowers turnover rate

The second essential step that goes in the job selection procedure is to make sure you pick the best suitable candidate who is enthusiastic and raring to go on the job front. If by any miscalculation the selected employee does not appear fit for the job that would lead to many repercussions. The very first impact would be lower job engagement wherein working without interest which would lead to lower productivity, high turnover, and ultimately high costs for the company. It is no hidden fact the cost and the time incurred to hire, train and find a replacement in case of a bad selection of an employee. Survey has indicated the cost of replacing a bad hire is almost twice the employee’s yearly salary and benefits.

The top priority of all organizations is to preserve their company culture and improve it to stay above the rest.  Pre-hiring tests goes a long way in selecting candidates that are most likely to add to the existing culture and help create the culture that the company is striving for. 

Hiring for managerial posts and other heads of the department is a different ball game altogether.  A bad choice in the selection of managers can affect the overall retention of the rest of the employees. The leader as they say is a guide for his team, but if someone proves a misfit for the job at hand, then the morale of the department takes a beating. Besides, work productivity also is not up to the mark. This would reflect badly and is not what the organization would want at any cost.

The importance of psychometric/aptitude tests

To evaluate a prospective candidate’s knowledge of a particular subject, determine their ability to perform specific tasks, and check for the basic on-the-job skills objectively, the psychometric/aptitude test is the right choice that would be effective in shortlisting the deserving candidates making the tedious hiring process a tad easy. Assessing the prospects for their personality trait is another important area that also needs to be looked into. For instance, the level of patience a candidate has to be calm and focussed at all times are some of the unique qualities that go into making a perfect personality. Honesty, integrity and propensity towards anger and any type of abuse and violence include some of the pre-employment tests that need to be questioned to the job seekers as these are the key behaviours that would adversely affect the business.

Using these psychometric tests, employers will have an added insight to the candidate’s psychology which is much more useful than their resume when it comes to hiring. These tests are cost-effective as well as time-saving and will help employers choose the best candidates for further rounds of interviews. The best part about pre-hiring tests is that they can be created to suit specific job roles while focusing on key questions and a certain set of skills or behaviours, thereby shortlisting employees most suited for the vacancies.

If companies all over the world adopted psychometric testing at the beginning of their hiring process it would help streamline the entire process and reduce costs by multifold. Interviewing candidates before performing aptitude tests reverses the hiring process and can result in bad hires as not all candidates who interview well turn out to be the best candidates for the job.


  • “Using Pre-Hire Testing & Assessment When Hiring” by Team Paycor on March 25, 2020
  • “Screening utilizing Pre-Employment Testing” by SHRM September 10, 2018
  • “When Hiring, First Test, and Then Interview” by John Bateson, Jochen Wirtz, Eugene Burke and Carly Vaughan in November 2013

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