More and more companies, including small businesses and non-profits, are starting to use pre-employment testing to screen out high risk applicants and select the right employees.

The most popular employee tests are skill, personality and aptitude. These tests are used to assess general mental abilities, attitude, and job fit.  When properly selected and used, these tests allow managers to evaluate job qualifications, team fit, and even employee engagement. Numerous long-term studies have confirmed that strategically selected employee assessment reduces hiring mistakes and minimize the cost of a new hire. It also speeds up the hiring process, by eliminating interview and scheduling time wasted on unqualified candidates allowing managers to get to the qualified applicant faster.

A combination of aptitude tests and personality tests can help assess a candidate’s competence for decision making,  problem solving, work completion, and relationship management.

General mental ability tests can also indicate how quickly a new employee can learn new skills. Unlike the traditional IQ test, a mental aptitude test indicates how quickly and easily a person can assess new information, come to some conclusion, and apply it to make good, real-time decisions. These tests determine how easily one can turn data into useful information, and then use that information to solve the problem at hand. As good as these tests sound, caution and due diligence should be taken before jumping into using them. The proper and legal use of these tests are very dependent on the job in question, which is why they should be coupled with behavioral interviews, and reference checks.

Personality tests, on the other hand, examine specific areas about the candidate prefers to approach the job. For example, if hired will the new employee be able to keep up with the pace, multi-task, be attentive to details, and keep his or her cool under pressure. Many personality tests also look at adaptability, work organization, motivation, competitiveness, and interpersonal communication skills.

What is important to note is that there is no right or wrong on personality tests.  Being somewhat restless could be a perfect fit for one culture, and a terrible fit for another. What personality tests do is give the organization a personality profile about the candidate, a user’s guide for the manager, which can be compared to the requirements of the job.

In addition to current openings, pre-employment testing allows companies to build a talent pool of qualified candidates for future openings in the same or different roles. This adds to the savings and efficiency by helping companies avoid the cost of placing job advertisements for future jobs, hiring headhunters, and the expensive and time consuming process of employee screening through phone and face-to-face interviews.

The key is building a successful business and organization is finding the right people and placing them in the right roles at the right time. Pre employment testing is an exceptional resource to help hire right the first time.

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