Candidate experience is an increasing focus for a lot of hiring managers, and part of fostering a positive candidate experience involves communicating with job candidates about what they can expect out of the hiring process. When it comes to pre-employment testing, some applicants may be new to job assessments and may have some questions. Here are some tips for how companies can communicate with their candidates about the testing process.
1. Explain why you’re administering the tests.
You don’t have to go into detail, but candidates like to know why they’re being asked to take assessments. Many job applicants may feel a little nervous (understandably) about taking a test; helping them understand what these tests are for can calm some of the nerves. We typically recommend that you let candidates know that the tests are just one element in the hiring process, and that it helps you get a better overall picture of their potential for the role.
2. Tell them how long it will take.
Make sure to communicate how long the test (or tests) will take. This helps set expectations so that the candidate can clear their environment of any potential distractions, or so that they can set aside the test for another time when they can fully commit to the task.
3. Share some basic test prep tips.
When taking a pre-employment test, there are a few basic tips that apply to nearly every type of test. These tips aren’t groundbreaking: for example, getting enough sleep the night before, clearing the room of distractions, and reading instructions carefully. We offer some of our own basic tips here. We provide this information because we get a lot of questions from applicants (and we know employers do too) about how to prepare for the tests. Providing more information up front helps candidates feel more at ease with the process.
A lot of highly motivated candidates may go out of there way to find ways to prep for a pre-employment test. There’s an entire industry that provides expensive test prep courses to applicants who are looking to marginally improve their scores. These courses don’t have much of an impact on score outcomes, particularly for aptitude and personality tests that assess core abilities and traits. If candidates are particularly interested in preparing for a pre-employment test, we recommend that they familiarize themselves with some sample questions on our website so that they feel more at ease, or that they play some brain games to help “stretch” their mind before a cognitive assessment.