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Pre-employment testing blog is a crucial resource for recruitment and hiring professionals. Job seekers will also find this guide beneficial in improving their chances of acing the recruitment process and getting their dream jobs – a win-win solution for the hiring company and an aspiring candidate.

Industry experts say that a bad hire makes a company lose 30% of an employee’s annual earnings. Unfortunately, the cost of a bad hire can go as high as $240,000, considering the expenses related to remuneration package, retention efforts, and hiring activities. 

This pre-employment testing blog empowers a business to make correct recruitment and hiring decisions, helping them avoid costly bad hires. Employers will appreciate how a well-designed pre-employment test will help them pick the right candidate for the job. 

Applicants will also know why companies assess their knowledge and skill levels relevant to the position, allowing them to take the necessary steps to ensure success in their job hunting.

This pre-employment test blog has several topics to ensure everyone understands pre-employment testing or assessment.

  • Understanding pre-employment assessment testing
  • Types of pre-employment assessment tests
  • Why recruitment managers and hiring managers conduct pre-employment tests
  • What are the stages of pre-employment assessment testing?
  • Career builder for job candidates

Let us begin.

Understanding Pre-employment Assessment Testing

Resumes are inaccurate and unreliable. Three out of four hiring and recruitment managers found resumes replete with unwanted embellishments, outright lies, and exaggerations. Although a recruiter might find a ‘self-enhanced’ CV cute, it does not paint an accurate description of the candidate.

Resumes also court unconscious bias, preventing a recruiter from objectively assessing a candidate. Race, gender, appearances, shared interests, and other applicant factors can sway a recruitment specialist’s decision for or against the candidate.

Although resumes contain information about the applicant, they are insufficient for making valid conclusions. For example, an applicant might have extensive experience but does not offer proof of their competence. 

Pre-employment assessment tests allow a company, employer, hiring manager, or recruitment officer to evaluate candidates objectively for any position. It frees the hiring process of cognitive biases, ensuring the accuracy of hiring decisions.

However, not all pre-employment assessment tests have high reliability and validity. Some are more credible than others. Hence, an employer or recruiter must differentiate the pre-employment test types to determine the best assessment tool for their hiring process.

Types of Pre-employment Assessment Tests

Choosing the best pre-employment test for candidates varies from one company to another. The difference lies in their specific job requirements. Some organizations might emphasize a technical skill or interpersonal competence, depending on the work responsibilities. Human resource professionals must examine their employment needs to determine which of the following pre-employment test types are best. 

Job Knowledge Tests

Companies can use a job knowledge test to evaluate an applicant’s understanding of a work position’s roles and responsibilities. For example, the role of an accounting assistant requires invoice reconciliation, reports management, reimbursement processing, and data input, among others. The candidate must be knowledgeable of these activities. An HR professional can create a test tailored to the company’s requirements. 

Personality Tests

Some hiring managers shun personality tests because they are less objective pre-employment assessment methods. However, a company can still use this test to evaluate a job applicant’s innate attributes, including motivations, interests, interpersonal style, emotional makeup, and preferences. 

Although personality tests are somewhat subjective compared to other pre-employment assessments, hiring managers can validate the test results during interview sessions. 

Culture-Fit Tests

Businesses are like societies with a distinct culture that defines their existence and drive. For example, a company might value individuality and creativity. Hence, the candidate best suited for any job with the organization must also have these traits. Someone who prefers well-established tasks without having to think outside the box might not fit into this work environment.

Employers and HR managers create a culture fit test to evaluate an applicant’s suitability to the organization’s culture. The potential employee must have the necessary values, language, and characteristics existing within the business culture. Companies will only want candidates who espouse the organization’s values.

For example, Amazon uses its 16 Leadership Principles in assessment tests and interview sessions to determine an applicant’s cultural fit.

Cognitive Ability Tests

A company executive interviewing candidates might think an applicant is intelligent based on their answers to interview questions. Unfortunately, this evaluation is subjective. A more objective measure is to conduct a cognitive ability test for all candidates.

Cognitive aptitude tests assess people’s reasoning, perception, verbal, memory, and mathematical abilities. These assessments also clarify an applicant’s problem-solving skill, giving recruiters and hiring managers a better picture of the potential employee’s ability to find solutions to problems.

Hard Skills Assessments

Organizations can also evaluate a candidate’s work-specific competencies by measuring their professional competencies. A pre-employment testing blog describes hard skills tests as necessary tools for evaluating applicants’ demonstrable proficiencies.

For example, the candidate might say they have ten-plus years of experience working as a CAD operator. Unfortunately, the recruiter must validate this claim by giving the applicants a comprehensive test measuring their computer-aided design knowledge and skill. CAD technician applicants might have to undergo rigorous testing about solid and surface modeling, cost estimation, and other inherent CAD activities. 

Soft Skills Assessments

Soft skill is an immeasurable attribute. It is innate in persons and can include openness to feedback, emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, communication abilities, and a team player attitude. An exemplary work ethic, active listening, adaptability, and growth mindset can also set a candidate apart. 

A recruiter must work with the HR department to identify the soft skills required for each position. Companies must recognize that work roles demand different interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies. Hence, a soft skills test must be specific to the job the organization wants to fill.

Situational Judgment Tests

A pre-employment testing blog describes a situational judgment test as crucial for an employer to evaluate a potential employee’s decision-making capabilities. This assessment tool is suitable for supervisory, managerial, and executive roles because making decisions is essential to their professional responsibilities.

These tests often deliver hypothetical situations to candidates. They must rely on experience, analytical skill, and professional competency to make the best decision. Testing managers evaluate the applicant’s decision-making process to understand their cognitive aptitude, including the ability to follow instructions, prioritization, and stress management.

Other Tests

Blog sites also underscore the crucial role of other pre-employment testing methodologies in screening for the best person for every job. For example, criminal background checks can alert HR professionals and employers about the legal impediments besetting a potential employee. It could be misdemeanor or felony convictions, incarceration experience, and pending criminal cases.

Physical ability testing and drug or substance use assessment can also form a business organization’s pre-employment testing process.

Why Recruiting Managers and Hiring Managers Conduct Pre-employment Tests

Recruiting managers oversee many interrelated processes. However, the hiring manager has the final say on who gets the job offer. Regardless, pre-employment testing is crucial to an organization’s recruitment process because of several benefits.

Streamlines Recruiting

Many pre-employment assessment blog sites recognize a streamlined recruitment process as one of the most significant reasons employers and HR professionals use pre-employment assessment testing methodologies.

Although administering and processing these tests can make it seem tedious, companies can use job candidate screening programs to automate the different activities. Recruiters do not need to spend countless hours screening hundreds of applicants for a single position.

Improves Quality of Hires

Administering different candidate test methodologies empowers companies to be objective in landing the best person for every job. A company can rid itself of a costly bad hire by ensuring only highly-qualified persons get the job. An employer will also not worry about clashes with the organization’s culture.

Eliminates Unconscious Biases

Cognitive biases exist in recruiting talent. Unfortunately, letting emotions dictate recruiting decisions can impact the quality of the hire. A well-defined, objective test can eliminate prejudicial and judgmental tendencies in recruiting. Testing allows companies to focus on measurable attributes. 

Enhances Decision Defensibility

Applicants who feel discriminated against during the recruiting stage have the right to air their grievances. Objective testing provides companies with measurable elements for each hire they make. Applicants cannot call the organization unfair because its human resource processes are data-driven. The business can always present valid and verifiable test results to defend its recruiting decisions. 

Reduces Employee Turnover

Many blog sites underscore the varying reasons for employee discontent, leading to turnovers. However, businesses understand that the only reason why they are experiencing a high employee turnover rate is the mismatch between new employees’ work expectations and the organization’s actual work conditions. A well-crafted pre-employment test can solve this issue by ensuring the perfect fit for the job.

Enhances Candidate Experience

Career-oriented blog posts explain that recruiting processes are also beneficial to employment seekers. They learn which companies to trust and avoid. Businesses have recruiting cycles that start with sourcing, attracting, and recruiting potential employees. They also interview shortlisted applicants, hire the best talents, and subject them to onboarding activities.  

Candidates with positive organizational engagements are more likely to reapply for future vacancies. They will also speak highly of their experiences on social media, improving the business’s appeal to other talents.

What are the Stages of Pre-employment Assessment Testing?

HR professionals recognize that a pre-employment assessment test forms the backbone of their recruiting decisions. Hence, HR managers observe three discrete screening stages.


Most companies conduct initial screening interviews to make a shortlist of candidates who can proceed to the next recruiting steps. Interviews can be in-person, via the phone, or through a video conferencing app.

Unfortunately, interviews alone cannot provide employers with a more valid shortlist of candidates. Hence, it is best to add an objective pre-employment test to make the screening more effective. For example, a cognitive aptitude test or a combination of a skills test and personality test can offer a more credible applicant evaluation.

Recruiters can eliminate candidates who fail to meet the minimum criteria for each measurable element of the job description. They can also exclude from the shortlist applicants without a passing test score. Only shortlisted candidates will proceed to the interview stage of pre-employment testing.


This stage allows HR professionals to learn more about the applicant. Interviews also validate testing results, allowing recruiters to evaluate the reliability and accuracy of measures. For example, if testing shows that the applicant has impeccable communication skills, exchanging ideas during interviews should not be a problem.

One issue with interviews is their susceptibility to unconscious bias. HR experts recommend using predefined questions with a rubrics scoring sheet to evaluate applicant responses. The norm-referenced questionnaire allows candidates to answer similar questions. Recruiters only need to grade the answers using a predefined matrix. This technique adds objectivity to an otherwise subjective evaluation. Using a panel of interviewers can also make interviews more objective.

Candidates often undergo a series of interviews, culminating with a department manager or the organization’s chief executive. 


Most candidates think hurdling the interviews is sufficient to get them their dream jobs. Unfortunately, most companies observe a final pre-employment testing approach to ensure they have a good hire. 

Companies take this stage as an opportunity to validate candidates’ references and backgrounds. It is a crucial step before the organization can offer the position and consummate the hire, allowing organizations to verify the prospective employee’s social security number, criminal records, driving records, credit history, drug test results, and other verifiable information. 

Careerbuilder for Job Candidates

Various career blog platforms highlight the value of developing a comprehensive career builder for all employment seekers. A career builder is a portfolio management system that allows people to handle their employment resources. Although it does not guarantee a sure hire, it empowers candidates to seek and apply for competency-appropriate work opportunities.

Career builder files include an applicant’s personal information, job leads, and contact information of people with relevant information about potential work openings. It must also include research about work opportunity listings and career fields. Resumes and draft application letters are also part of a comprehensive career builder.


A pre-employment testing blog is essential for employers and hiring professionals, enabling them to make the right decisions landing the best people for their respective organizations. It ensures objectivity in candidate selection, guarantees high-quality hire, eliminates unconscious bias, defends recruiting decisions, reduces employee turnovers, and enhances applicant experiences. Job seekers can also benefit from such a blog, empowering them to develop a comprehensive career builder and prepare for their new jobs.

HireNest helps companies through smart testing services. We can help you evaluate potential candidates to make the right hiring decision. 

Want to learn more on how we conduct smart pre-employment testing? Book a demo today! 

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