Pre-employment assessment tests are being integrated into the hiring process of many organizations at an exponential rate. While they help contribute to impressive improvements in reducing turnover and improving productivity, a dose of caution should be included. Here are 4 pre-employment testing tips to help make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck when using pre-hire assessments.

Avoid Doing These 4 Things When Using Pre-Employment Assessment Tests


Never use pre-employment assessment tests as the only criteria to hire or reject a candidate.

Tip: The ideal scenario weighs past experience/education, the interview, and assessment test results evenly (1/3 – 1/3 – 1/3). A validated and proven pre-employment assessment offers the opportunity to explore a candidate’s “hard-wiring.” The best pre-hire assessments reveal how a candidate will perform if he has no experience in the job (recent college grad) or industry or if he has not developed additional skills (20 year industry veteran who has doesn’t believe in coaching or training). For example, what happens when a new competitor disrupts the market and 20 years of experience becomes irrelevant? How will the candidate approach learning about the competitor and how to sell against it? Will he take the initiative or expect the company to keep him informed?

Don’t focus on one trait (such as extroversion or conscientiousness) as a knock-out factor.  

Tip: If a single trait was the magic formula for success, then every extrovert would be a top-performing salesperson and every introvert a shoe-in for employee of the year in engineering and accounting. Interview for other traits (like conscientiousness and stability) or life skills that might compensate for a single outlier. Our behavior is the result of multiple traits and other criteria interacting with each other to create a suitable response to an environmental trigger.

Don’t rely on just the job fit score to make a yes-no decision.

Tip:  Many pre-employment assessment tests provide a percentage fit or even a hire/avoid score. While helpful to sort applicants, you should always glance through the report too. Pay special attention to the individual scales on pre-hire assessments. A candidate with a 90% score may be a good fit in 5 out of 6 scales…but the 6th one might suggest a vulnerable quality or poor fit in the culture. For example, an extrovert might be very capable of doing the job but his outgoingness and talkative nature might be quite annoying and disruptive to a team of more reserved, quiet introverts. Just picture the fraternizing salesperson working side by side with a group of quality control chemists or accountants.  In other words, job fit does not always mean culture fit. (Fortunately a pre-employment assessment test helps evaluate both job and culture fit.)

Don’t ignore results you don’t like because the individual has been successful in the past.

Tip: The reliability of validated pre-hire assessments is extremely high, many times better than the success of an interviewer (and even a team of interviewers). Use the gap between an employee’s track record and the results of his/her pre-employment assessment test to explore how the candidate will approach working on a new team, with new products, in a new industry, or just working in a more competitive marketplace. Past success is only a good indicator of future success when the environment in which he works is exactly the same … and with exponential change occurring in almost every aspect of our lives, past experience is becoming less relevant.

Want to learn some more pre-employment testing tips, or learn more about how our job assessment tests can help your organization hire smarter? Call us at 800-803-4303 or click here for information about our pre-employment assessment tests.