Filling an open position is often a much more complicated process than organizations expect. Even if the hiring manager has a good description of the job, the responsibilities it entails, and a picture of what an ideal candidate would look like, they must still sort through applicants and find the candidates who seem best suited for the role. And that’s before the interview process even begins.
The pressure to expedite the hiring process has led many organizations to turn to pre-employment testing. Used properly, pre-hire assessments can make it easier to manage candidate pools and make the right hiring decisions.
Organizations use various pre-employment testing types to quickly gather information from a candidate that might not otherwise be revealed in an interview situation or by reviewing a resume. The data collected from a pre-employment assessment makes it easier for hiring managers and organizations to decide which candidates would be best suited for a position. Used properly, pre-employment testing can help to reduce bias, identify qualities that might otherwise go unnoticed, and assess development potential.
Of course, it’s always worth mentioning that pre-hire assessments like a cognitive ability test or a personality test for jobs (instead of a more general personality test not designed for business applications) are most effective when supplementing a robust hiring process rather than replace one altogether. While they’re typically administered before the initial in-person interview, these assessments generate data that can be used at every stage of hiring and recruitment.
According to SHRM’s 2017 Talent Acquisition Benchmarking Report, the average organization takes 36 days to fill an open position. Every day a position remains open places more strain upon a company in one form or another. Productivity can suffer as the responsibilities associated with a position are distributed to other people, making it more difficult for them to do their jobs effectively. Key decisions can be drawn out, creating delays elsewhere in the organization. Furthermore, the uncertainty associated with not knowing who will be accountable for a specific role can take a toll upon employees and potentially threaten client relationships.
Pre-employment testing allows companies to streamline and expedite their hiring process in several ways. For example, hard skills and cognitive tests are often used as an initial screening tool for weeding out blatantly unqualified candidates. If someone is applying for a position that requires specific technical skills, it’s important to know whether they’ll be capable of doing the job. While their resume might indicate they have the right experience, that work history might not have prepared them adequately for the work they’d be responsible for (there’s also a possibility that they’re lying on their resume). Administering a pre-hire assessment will provide data-based evidence of whether or not they can actually do the job. If they can’t, there’s no sense in moving them along to the next hiring process phase.
Another advantage of pre-employment testing is its ability to generate data that hiring managers can use as the basis for questions throughout the interview process. In many instances, a comprehensive pre-hire assessment can serve the same purpose as an initial phone interview, which rarely produces meaningful insights other than confirming the information provided on a resume. When the hiring manager sits down to conduct a more thorough interview, they will already have specific topics they can focus on rather than wasting half of the interview asking questions to uncover the same information.
Many organizations understandably want to conduct multiple interviews involving different people within the company. Unfortunately, having to coordinate several schedules can complicate the hiring process. An unexpected cancellation can force an employee to wait for days or even weeks before another meeting can be scheduled, which means the company will have to get by shorthanded for even longer. Pre-employment testing can gather much of the information that could be obtained through a brief interview. Those results can be shared with the relevant personnel, potentially eliminating the need for multiple interviews and removing another obstacle between the candidate and the open position.
Eliminating candidates in the early stages is extremely helpful in expediting the hiring process as a whole. The faster organizations can narrow the field of potential hires down to a manageable list, the more quickly they can conduct the necessary interviews and background checks to make a final decision. This is especially important for companies that don’t have a strong succession pipeline to identify and prepare high-potential internal candidates to step into key roles should they become vacant unexpectedly.
While many organizations can “get by” when a key role goes unfilled if the position is left open for too long, the pressures of covering the gap can cause dissatisfaction among other employees. In a worst-case scenario, the company may end up hiring someone after a prolonged process only to find that another key contributor has decided to leave due to the frustration of being forced to do someone else’s work. By keeping the hiring process as short and efficient as possible, disruptions caused by vacancies can be kept to a minimum.
Whether you’re looking to administer a personality test for jobs or cognitive ability tests as part of your hiring process, The Omnia Group has a scientifically proven pre-employment assessment that will fit your organization’s specific needs. While the Omnia Behavioral Assessment may be our most popular form of pre-hire testing, we also offer cognitive assessments, grammar assessments, and even development assessments that help give you an idea of what a candidate is looking for in career development.
With easy-to-read graphics and attentive support and guidance from our knowledgeable staff, each assessment report provides your organization with a wealth of information that makes it easier for you to make the right hire at the right time for the right reasons. To learn more about our customizable assessment solutions, contact our team, and transform your workforce today.