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The Latest in HR Technology and Pre-Employment Testing

Why You Should Administer Pre-Employment Tests to Executives

Written by Alex Namba

Recruiting for executives is no easy task. While hiring for any role comes with its challenges, at the executive level that decision becomes monumental and the potential repercussions much vaster. That said, it is so much more crucial to exercise extreme care and diligence when evaluating these candidates. Otherwise, if done wrong, the cost of a bad hire could be enormous.

A common tool that companies use to practice greater caution and prevent such bad hires is pre-employment testing. With these assessments you can obtain relevant, unbiased information of any given candidate to help you evaluate them in a fairer and quantifiable way. The results also give you a greater sense of ease by providing an additional data point for you to support, justify, and formulate your final hiring decisions.

While many companies experience great benefits from pre-employment testing, they more frequently administer tests for entry- to mid- level roles. While this might make sense on a certain level – after all, tests are especially helpful for evaluating job candidates who don’t have that much experience on their resumes – it doesn’t make as much sense to not ALSO test executives, especially considering the potential impact of their role. Though there are numerous reasons why you should consider incorporating testing into your executive hiring process, here are a few key points.  

 

The Stakes are Greater

Hiring an executive is a big deal, a decision that will undoubtedly impact the whole organization for better or for worse. However, in a pool of executive candidates, where personable interviewers, stellar resumes, and impressive applications are expected, it’s especially difficult to a) sift through numerous candidates and b) resist formulating some level of bias along the way. Luckily, pre-employment tests are one of the most predictive measures of success for a given role. While traditional hiring methods are often vulnerable to subjectivity, pre-employment tests are well-validated, objective means of obtaining candidate information. Meanwhile, aptitude tests are shown to be twice as predictive as job interviews, three times as predictive as experience, and four times as predictive as education level. So, given such a high-risk situation, why wouldn’t you want to use this powerful tool for the most important role in your company?

 

The Costs Are Minimal

The hiring process for executives is admittedly long. While the average hiring process in the US takes approximately 23.8 days, at the executive level it can take well up to three times that amount . Skeptics may groan at the thought of throwing in another step to this already arduous and lengthy process, and that’s completely understandable. However, pre-employment tests often take as little as 15-30 minutes to complete. After setting aside time for them to be taken, the grunt work is done, and you can then sit back and reap all the benefits.  Meanwhile, at the end of the day, test results could help speed up your decision-making process and allow you to find your candidates faster, with more qualitative support. Though pre-employment tests may be an extra step in the process, it’s a small step, that could save you an immense amount of time and money in the long run.

 

The Results Are Just as Applicable

Candidates at the executive level have potential to be the voice and vision of your company. Therefore, it is that much more crucial to fully understand them aside from what you see on paper or briefly in person. Characteristics such as work style and values detectable through personality tests, are helpful in determining if candidates will be a proper “cultural fit” or be confident in their role and environment. Meanwhile, factors measured through cognitive aptitude tests, such as the ability to learn and problem solve, are helpful in evaluating how candidates will execute their role, grow in their position, and what potential soft skills they could eventually contribute.  While companies may value different skills and experiences for a given position, the innate qualities tested for through pre-employment assessments are applicable to all candidates no matter the rank.

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When recruiting for such a high-stakes position, the company owes it to the candidates, and to themselves, to exercise the greatest amount of care during the hiring process. Pre-employment assessments are designed to be a cost-effective way to do just that and assist you on making those tough, borderline decisions. While they should not replace your entire hiring process by any means, there is information tests can provide on candidates of all ranks that traditional hiring methods cannot always capture.

 

Alex Namba

Written by Alex Namba

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