How Best to Use Pre-Hire Assessments in Recruiting

Pre-hire assessments (also known as pre-employment assessments) are a common feature of job applications. However, there are a lot of different assessments to choose from. Which type (or types) should you use? How many assessments should you present to candidates? What makes a good pre-hire assessment? Is there a way of combining assessments in one powerful recruiting tool? This post should help you to answer common queries like these.

What are pre-hire assessments (and why do recruiters love them)

As the name suggests, pre-hire assessments are tests or exercises which are presented to job candidates before deciding whether or not to move them on to the next stage in the process (usually either an interview or another assessment).

You will probably not be surprised to know that there are a huge number of assessments out there so it helps to organize them into different categories. These include:

  • Personality and soft skills assessments (e.g. SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire, DISC and EQ-i)
  • Skill-based assessments (e.g. typing, multi-tasking, time management, etc.)
  • Competency-based assessments (e.g. job simulations, 360-degree feedback, etc.)

There is one very simple reason why recruiters like to include pre-hire assessments as part of their toolkit: they work! At least, the ones that pass the three validity tests do.

What are the validity tests? They make sure that the test appears to measure what it claims to measure (face validity); supports the conclusions of an existing valid test (construct validity) and tallies with real-world outcomes (predictive validity).

Valid assessments even outperform interviews so recruiters use both wherever they can (we’re not great risk-takers).

Best practice guidelines

Before you rush out and equip yourself with an armful of assessments, there are some best practice guidelines that are worth following.

First, you should always fit your assessments to your goals, not the other way around. For example, the established SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire takes around 25 minutes and includes more than 100 questions. This tool might be helpful if you are recruiting to a permanent position where cultural fit is important but could be overkill for a temporary position.

Therefore, a good first step in designing your candidate journey is to be clear on your recruitment goals and which skills, qualities and traits you need to measure most.

It may be tempting to think that setting as many assessments as possible can only be a good thing. However, bear in mind that candidate experience is a critical metric for recruiters. If an applicant feels they are being asked to carry out multiple irrelevant assessments, they are more likely to drop out of the process and less likely to favor you in the future. The process will also last longer, increasing your time to hire metric. Therefore, you should always balance data quantity with other aspects of the hiring process.

Tests should also be reasonably interesting. Video-based assessments are great as are tests which provide instant feedback. Gamification is a popular technique in many areas of work (and life) so assessments which involve chasing targets and competing on leaderboards can be very engaging and enhance the candidate experience.

How InsightIQ can streamline your assessment process

A great way to access the benefits of multiple types of assessment while enhancing the candidate experience is through our InsightIQ technology. InsightIQ provides recruiters with a powerful tech-enabled platform and a smart methodology to eliminate guesswork and maximize the chance of finding a perfect match for your open positions.

InsightIQ includes a recruiter assessment function to enable us to benchmark your ideal candidate and only pass those candidates who meet or exceed this on to the interview stage. In addition, IQ provides a range of assessments to ensure we capture as much data as possible. These include:

  • behavioral assessment
  • competency based assessment
  • skills based assessment
  • video assessment

How assessments can boost recruitment success

Every piece of data you can gather from a candidate is another layer of information that will help build up a fuller picture of their strengths and weaknesses, including how well they might fit in with the culture of your business.

Next generation hiring systems like InsightIQ make hiring quality candidates easier by extracting more data than individual assessment tools while continuing to provide a positive user experience for the candidate. Combined with effective benchmarking, these tools lead to hires that stay longer and are more engaged. That’s how Insight Recruitment can offer a 12-month guarantee on placements.

As an experienced recruitment agency with cutting edge recruitment tools like InsightIQ to hand, Insight Recruitment can work closely with you to help track down that star hire. Contact us today.

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