Today I’m going to address the most basic question we get about pre-employment testing: What is it? What are pre-employment tests?
Pre-employment tests are an objective, standardized way of gathering data on candidates during your hiring process. All professionally developed, well-validated pre-employment tests have one thing in common: they are an efficient and reliable means of gaining insights into the capabilities and traits of prospective employees. There are many different types of tests, but they generally fall into three categories: aptitude, personality and skills tests.
Aptitude tests measure critical thinking, problem solving, and the ability to learn, digest and apply new information. Since critical thinking skills are vital to so many jobs, aptitude tests can be used in almost any occupational context, but they are especially useful for mid and higher-level jobs. Because critical thinking and problem solving are crucial in so many jobs, it’s not surprising that research shows pretty unanimously that aptitude tests are the single best predictor of job performance.
Personality tests measure behavioral traits. So unlike with aptitude tests, there are no right or wrong answers on personality tests. They measure traits such as extraversion, openness, conscientiousness, and agreeableness. Personality tests can be valuable indicators of job fit, can help you determine if a person’s behavioral tendencies are a good match from a job fit and culture fit perspective. They help answer questions such as: Will someone be comfortable in this position? Do they have behavioral traits that are linked to success in this role?
Skills tests measure job-related competencies; broad ones like verbal, math and communication skills, or narrow ones like typing and computer skills.
To maximize the effectiveness of pre-employment testing, it is a good idea to use more than one type of test. For example, it’s very common to test aptitude and personality, or skills and personality.
By using tests as an objective, reliable source of job-related data, you can streamline your hiring process and make more informed hiring decisions.