Why Do Organizations Use Pre-Employment Tests?


As an employer trying to make informed hiring decisions, you obviously want to gather as much relevant information on candidates as possible. The problem is that traditional methods of getting to know candidates – resumes and interviews – often don’t yield much real insight. Resumes are notoriously unreliable, and interviews – especially unstructured ones – are subjective and poor predictors of job performance. On the other hand, properly developed (i.e., well validated) tests are a reliable and objective means of gathering job-related information on candidates. Research shows that cognitive aptitude tests, for example, are twice as predictive of job performance as interviews, and three times as effective as resumes.

So companies use pre-employment tests because they are an efficient, objective way to gather data that predict employee performance. They use this data to make better informed, more defensible hiring decisions. Tests are really about giving you better raw materials out of which to build your talent management process: getting better data on candidates will lead to better talent decisions.

So what are the results of all this in terms of tangible business impact? Well when we first speak with companies, HR professionals, and business owners, their stories are very different, but we often see two common pain points: organizations are spending way more time than they’d like on hiring, and yet despite this, they are still making more hiring mistakes than they can afford. Pre-employment tests can help directly with both of these: by dramatically reducing the time you spend reading resumes and doing interviews, pre-employment tests will help you reduce your time to hire and costs associated with hiring. And by giving you reliable, objective data that predict job performance, tests should help you increase your quality of hire and reduce the number of bad hires you make. The ultimate effect of this will be bottom line improvements like increased workforce productivity and reduced turnover.