Theoretical knowledge and applied knowledge are two separate things.
When reviewing a candidate’s resume, you’re assessing them based on their own claims. For the first stage of the hiring process, it’s effective for identifying serious applicants by checking if they match your job description.
But, it’s not the most accurate approach if it’s your sole method of recruitment.
After all, it’s common for candidates to lie or over-exaggerate their ability. On top of that, you have limited context about their professional background.
What’s important is to quantify their skills to ensure a positive quality of hire. This is where the 7 types of pre-employment tests come in.
What is a pre-employment test?
A pre-employment test is a short exam given to candidates to determine how well-qualified they are for the position they’re applying for.
However, it’s not the same as an academic exam since it’s more focused on testing their practical ability as opposed to their educational knowledge. That’s because it pinpoints their areas of expertise and qualities about them such as:
- Cognitive ability
As each test is standardized, it means that there’s a standard answer to every question in the test. Therefore, answers remain consistent so that it’s easier to make comparisons between applicants to see who’s the best fit based on performance.
Is there a difference between pre-employment tests and talent assessments?
Pre-employment tests and talent assessment methods are used to help you find the best candidate for the job.
Although they’re similar to each other, the subtle difference is that one focuses more on the candidate’s professional value whereas the other focuses on how well their capabilities fit in your organization.
With a pre-employment test, it helps you evaluate the candidate’s level of ability. It’s also used to do a background check to get a better understanding of their knowledge and work history. On the other hand, a talent assessment method evaluates if they have the competence for both the job vacancy and company culture.
However, it’s almost the same thing since you’re observing their job skills.
Both of these are objective methods to measure an applicant’s skills and expertise. With that in mind, an effective hiring approach combines both aspects to:
- Hire the candidates who can fulfill the job responsibilities to a high standard
- Make sure they’re a good fit for the company culture
- Select the job seekers with potential and long-term value
Before diving deeper into the cultural fit aspect, it starts with narrowing down your initial list of applicants, i.e. resume verification. The second round of applicants gets narrowed again by giving them a short assessment to complete.
For those that make it past both stages and reach the interview, that’s your opportunity to get a deeper insight into their attitude and mindset.
7 types of pre-employment tests to identify the best technical candidates
The pre-employment tests listed are applicable for different job positions, especially for tech-based roles. After candidates complete each of these, it helps you make a better hiring decision since you’ll have a more adequate understanding of their capability.
It also gives you insight into their personality by seeing how they approach different workplace scenarios.
One of the most important factors is knowing how to use what you know to solve a problem.
A skills assessment enables you to get insight into how well the candidate would succeed in carrying out the job responsibilities. This helps you ascertain their ability and if they’re capable of taking on the role.
But, there are different types of talent assessments you can use.
Job knowledge tests
Although practical ability is what you’re testing the candidate for, it’s still good to get an understanding of how up-to-date they are with industry trends.
This type of pre-employment test is useful when assessing their knowledge as you’re seeing the concepts or frameworks they’re familiar with, as well as how far back their academic knowledge goes.
To put it another way, you’re seeing how well they understand the role of the specific job title they’re applying for.
A good hire isn’t just based on the candidate’s skills. It’s also about their attitude and how they approach their work.
That being said, an integrity test is used to ensure you’re hiring honest professionals.
Otherwise, it doesn’t make them a reliable asset since they’re not someone you can trust. In terms of the bigger picture, you can observe their personality and ethics in the corporate environment. It’s also a good indicator to identify those that are a good cultural fit and can align with your company values.
The workforce has become more dynamic, especially since there are more remote job opportunities and hybrid workplaces. So, it’s important to have a strong learning mindset to adapt to different environments and situations.
When prioritizing learning agility, it’s a factor in building a self-driven talent pool and high-performing teams.
Cognitive Ability Test
Cognitive ability refers to how well an individual can process information. This helps with seeing how they overcome an unexpected or challenging problem in the workplace. Across different levels of responsibilities, it’s a method of assessment used to predict how they would get on with the position.
In other words, assessing their job performance and thought-process.
Language proficiency tests
A language proficiency test is used to measure a job seeker’s fluency in using a language in different situations to communicate with others. For instance, you’ll be assessing their written and verbal language skills.
If English isn’t the candidate’s first language, it’s advisable to see how much they know.
This is especially important for roles where good communication is required, e.g. emailing stakeholders or key managers.
As we get into recruitment for tech-based roles, programming languages are important to be familiar with. This way, you’ll evaluate how well they can code, their strongest areas of expertise, and where the skill gaps are.
In some cases, there may be another role that suits others more than the one they’re applying for.
Here are some examples of common types of programming skills:
Customize your pre-employment test to minimize the probability of mis-hire
The main types of pre-employment tests and skills assessments include the following:
- Cognitive ability
- Programming skills
- Role-specific skills
- Software skills
- Situational judgment
Fortunately, all of these can be accessed in one place via Testlify’s test library. They’ve got you covered with a range of assessment tools to hire the best technical talent.
Moreover, you have the opportunity to customize each test to make it your own. So rather than simply using a ready-to-use assessment, you’re able to test for certain skills or qualities to find your ideal employee.
Qualifying applicants is essential for closing the gaps of uncertainty.
After implementing each of the 7 types of pre-employment tests we’ve discussed in this article, you’ll get more insight into the job seeker in terms of:
As a result, you’re more likely to hire someone that’s a good fit for the business culture and easier to retain for the long-term. Besides improving the quality of your decision-making, it helps with optimizing the workflow for a smoother recruitment process with less friction.