What is a pre-employment assessment test?

Pre-employment assessment tests are any type of assessment or test that organizations use to screen job candidates for various attributes, from personality traits to job-specific skills. Pre-employment tests are objective and help recruiters and hiring managers to look beyond college names, degrees, race, or even gender to hire the best talent based on their skills to do the job. They prevent you from making hiring mistakes and help you hire the best candidates.

Organizations that leverage pre-employment screening tests as part of the recruitment process are more likely to see a greater hiring quality and lower turnover. It’s easy to deploy from within Applicant Tracking Systems and useful when conducting mass hiring drives. Pre-employment assessment tests also enable faster and more efficient hiring with a higher success rate of talent retention.  

Benefits of pre-employment assessment tests

As roles become more complex, relying on traditional hiring methods is no longer feasible. The use of online pre-employment assessments is beneficial not only for reaching a wider candidate pool but also in the following ways:  

Improves the quality of talent hired

With the quality of hire as one of the top priorities in an organization, companies find it advantageous to leverage pre-employment screening methods to recruit better candidates. Pre-employment skill assessments work best by testing the candidates’ ability to perform in different situations; how they work under pressure, how they come up with solutions, how they work in a team, etc. 

By filtering out your requirements at the beginning of the screening cycle, you will be better able to choose from a high-caliber group of profiles. Instead of skimming for keywords through several resumes, the pre-employment assessment scores will help you establish who exactly you want running your organization's future. A recent survey has found that recruitment professionals who use assessments are 3.7 times more likely to rate their quality of hires as “excellent” than those who don’t.

Prevents bias

While it’s not that employers are inherently biased, unconscious biases are still widely prevalent when hiring. Common hiring discriminations range from

Standardized pre-employment tests for jobs work by minimizing these hiring biases to reach a more diverse, talented set of applicants. By establishing objective, job-relevant, and role-specific skill tests, organizations can help build a more inclusive work environment with hires equipped with the skills, expertise, and knowledge. 

Enables faster time to hire

Recruiting is a long and tedious process for both the employer and the candidate. With 57% of job seekers losing interest in a job due to a lengthy hiring process, organizations risk losing qualified candidates and increased cost per hire. By implementing pre-employment assessment screening, your recruitment process is structured, streamlined, and time-efficient. 

You no longer have to sort through scores of resumes that may or may not be of potential when employment tests can automatically filter out only serious candidates that meet the required scores. Testing ensures that a pipeline of relevant and talented candidates is shortlisted, thus accelerating your time to hire. 

Increases talent retention 

High employee turnover rates are the price organizations pay for not implementing a better screening process. Pre-employment assessment tests lead to job satisfaction and talent retention by ensuring the role and profile match the candidate’s expectations. 

Companies that use pre-employment assessment tests report a 39% lower turnover rate as they directly influence hiring the right person for the proper role. By validating the skills, personality, and competency of the prospective employees for the job, pre-employment tests reduce the possibility of poor performance and increase talent retention in the organization.

Facilitates continuous process to finish hiring

A well-made, modern pre-employment test enables faster hiring and keeps the process moving, so no candidate slips through the cracks. With the help of an ATS that integrates with pre-employment assessment systems, organizations can seamlessly pass candidates from the start to finish of the recruiting process — sourcing, to pre-employment screening, to onboarding. Assessments ensure prospective employees are constantly engaged and feel part of the process. 

Drives better hiring decisions

With good pre-employment assessments, companies are 24% likely to have high-performing employees. The tests help prospective employees feel confident in their ability to perform and find navigating the new work environment more manageable.

Through testing, organizations can correlate the quantified hiring data to significantly influence business goals, productivity, ROI, cost and time to hire, and employee satisfaction. 

Saves organization time

Pre-employment assessment tests streamline the hiring process and make it faster for all stakeholders — the employee, employer, and the HR team. Whether you’re hiring for multiple roles or parsing through hundreds of profiles, with an efficient testing process in place, organizations can save time on recruitment by shortlisting only relevant profiles that match the expectations and skills required. 

Mitigates errors 

Pre-employment assessment tests are standardized, and their evaluation process is automated — leaving no room for human error. Since the entire testing process is well-validated, reliable, and unbiased, it’s easier for organizations to make hiring decisions without the risk of being misled by exaggeration and false statements on resumes. 

Organizations also benefit from leveraging pre-employment testing to stay on the right side of the law as they ensure fair and non-discriminatory hiring practices. 

Reduces recruitment cost

By using pre-employment tests, organizations can prevent recruitment from being costly

As the candidate pool gets bigger, it becomes difficult and time-consuming to shortlist from a sea of resumes — leading to more expenses from using existing resources to fill a role when recruiters could instead be hiring several candidates at a smaller price and quickly. 

Assessments also help reduce costs associated with talent attrition, like hiring and training expenses. Ultimately, pre-employment tests help companies add to their bottom line with less time on recruitment and better quality candidates who will continuously add value to the organization. 


Types of pre-employment assessment test

1. Cognitive ability tests to measure intelligence. Tests for IQ, perception, reasoning, math, decision-making, and problem-solving abilities. 

2. Aptitude tests to gauge the candidate’s ability to learn new skills on the job. 

3. Technical skill tests for competencies and knowledge specific to the role and job, like programming, writing, or accounting.

4. Language to test for proficiency based on the domain or nature of the job.

5. Personality tests to assess traits and behavior for successful work performance.

6. Physical ability tests for roles that demand physical fitness and capabilities.

7. Medical tests to ensure employees can carry out job-specific tasks and keep records in case of emergency.

8. Background checks to mitigate risks and confirm the integrity and reference checks to verify previous jobs and skills. 


Pre-employment assessment test tools One

To find the best-suited candidate for the job and compare their competencies, you don’t have to come up with the manual task of setting up a questionnaire or tests. Well-designed pre-employment assessment test tools can help you do that. 

Depending on what you are looking for, choosing the right online assessment software can be a daunting task, with an array of free and paid tools available. Not to mention the different types of tests they will support. You can include as many as you require in the hiring process. 

For maximum advantage, adopt a pre-employment assessment tool already integrated with your applicant tracking system (ATS). For instance, you can use the Freshteam integration with HackerRank, HackerEarth, and Codility. By setting up the tests as part of your recruitment process, you can source, screen, test, interview, and onboard all from the same platform in a streamlined manner. 

Get an overview of the candidate's test scores automatically added to their profile with other pertinent information. Stakeholders like panel members and hiring managers can easily access the data needed to make hiring decisions without juggling multiple tools. You can do it all from the ATS, whether you need to send out tests, follow up on progress, or evaluate the scores against their overall profiles.



What is the most common pre-employment test?

The most common pre-employment test is the job knowledge test. Role-based cognitive tests are the most implemented while assessing candidates. Depending on the job specifics and domain, they test skills like coding, writing, digital marketing, and more. The scores dictate the prospective employee’s performance. 

What is the difference between an assessment and an interview?

Interviews and assessments are different parts of the entire hiring process. Assessments are sent out as links to a test or assignment to evaluate the applicants’ skills for how successful they can be in their roles. Pre-employment assessment tests are automated and require no intervention from the interviewer. 

On the other hand, interviews involve candidates talking to interviewers - over the phone, via video chats, or face-to-face. 

Recruiters schedule interviews only with candidates who have cleared the screening tests. This way, valuable interview time is spent on candidates who have already proved themselves suitable for the role. You can conduct a face-to-face interview or start with an interview over the phone or video (involving less effort and commitment) before they progress to face-to-face interviews.

What comes first, interview or assessment?

The assessment comes first. Since pre-employment assessments reduce interview time, resources, and cost, tests are favored over interviews first in the hiring cycle. They help determine the candidates’ competency, expertise, and knowledge and speed up the screening process without compromising quality. Interviews take place after screening applicants with the pre-employment tests. It helps you understand how the candidate will be an organizational or cultural fit, how well they can get along with teams, etc.