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6 Best Pre-Employment Assessment Tests to Hire Top Talent

6 Best Pre Employment Assessment Tests To Hire Top Talent
Reading Time: 6 minutes

What is a pre-employment assessment?

A pre-employment assessment is an evaluation tool used by employers to measure job candidates’ skills, knowledge, abilities, and personality traits before making a hiring decision. These assessments come in various forms and help companies make more informed decisions, reduce the risk of bad hires, and improve the overall quality of their workforce.

What are the three most common types of pre-employment testing?

The three most common pre-employment tests are job knowledge tests evaluating skills for the role, integrity tests measuring attitudes about rules and policies, and personality tests assessing traits like motivation and values. These screenings help identify top candidates during hiring.

It can be tough to find a job candidate that perfectly fits your company’s needs. Imagine sifting through multiple applications only to pick a few. How can you make the search easier and faster to hire the best person for the job? The answer lies in a pre-employment assessment test

Pre-employment skills testing is an effective recruitment practice, providing objective data to help you identify the top candidates for a given role. This hiring assessment test offers valuable insights about each applicant and also reveals the best talent with the knowledge, skills, and traits you require.

Knowing job applicants beyond resumes and interviews is crucial to picking the right one. So, let’s delve into this job profession test and the different types you may use to build a stellar workforce.

What is Pre-Employment Testing?

Pre-employment or pre-employment assessment testing is an objective way to predict your candidate’s job performance and personality. It involves questionnaires and practical tests to assess them in a range of factors, including the following:

You can use pre-employment assessment test results to complement your hiring process. The goal is to holistically identify the candidates who align best with your requirements without missing any detail.

Pre-employment testing is highly popular among most enterprises. For instance, 79% of HR professionals say scores on skills assessments are as important as other traditional hiring qualifications. As more organizations hop on this trend, you could do the same to remain competitive in the labor market.

6 Advantages of Pre-Employment Testing

Pre-employment assessments are a type of professional employment test that lets you make data-driven decisions when choosing candidates. Here are specific benefits you can get from utilizing this employee assessment test.

1. Gather objective data

While resumes and interviews are vital in the initial stages of recruitment, they aren’t enough to thoroughly understand your candidates. For starters, they aren’t reliable. Applicants may lie and make up educational backgrounds and work experiences, which 55% of Americans are guilty of. They also provide zero information about the applicant’s practical skills—something you can only prove via tests.

Additionally, members of the interviewing team tend to have different opinions on who the best candidate is. Using pre-employment tests helps the hiring team make objective, data-driven decisions that aren’t based on interviewers’ opinions.

2. Avoid hiring errors

Believe it or not, companies often hire the wrong people. CareerBuilder reports that 74% of small business employers recruit employees who don’t align with their roles, resulting in expenses of up to $10,000 for each wrong hire. Aside from being resource-intensive, an unfit employee also produces lower work quality, which may impact your business’s overall performance.



Avoid this problem by confirming that your candidate fits the role with a pre-employment test. Use the test to identify red flags before extending a job offer and minimize the risk of hiring someone who might drag your company down.

3. Reduce time-to-hire

In recruitment, time-to-hire ranges from a few days to over a month, but taking too long can lead to slower operations. A longer time frame might also backfire and encourage candidates to switch to other employers that can make a faster hiring decision.

So, pick up the pace by including pre-employment tests in your hiring operations. They efficiently screen candidates and gather valuable data, so you can prioritize evaluating the most promising candidates. This approach streamlines your decision-making processes and prevents top talent from slipping away to competing job offers and opportunities.

4. Remove hiring bias

Unconscious biases influence your hiring decisions. Some hiring managers tend to favor applicants who graduated from renowned universities and colleges, or those who have work experience in big-name companies. These biases cloud your judgment and can lead to hiring mistakes. 



There are also various federal guidelines in place to promote diversity and inclusivity in hiring. For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protect job candidates from discrimination based on religion, race, national origin, and similar factors. However, despite these regulations, 61% of employees still suffer from discrimination at work.

Fortunately, you can mitigate prejudice by implementing pre-employment assessment tests. By doing so, you evaluate candidates solely on their job-related skills and competencies, regardless of attributes like educational degrees and work history.

5. Increase employee retention

Worker retention is crucial to a productive workplace, but poor recruitment practices undermine it. In fact, 80% of turnovers occur due to bad hiring decisions, where employees don’t fit the role’s requirements or culture. Unfortunately, mismatched employees tend to underperform and leave the company for a position that better matches their skillset. 

So, leverage pre-employment tests when selecting candidates who will likely stay. Consider those who score high in the following areas:

Ultimately, candidates with these characteristics can contribute to your company’s success.

6. Improve employee productivity

Unproductive teams are a cause for frustration. It hurts your company’s overall performance and drags hardworking employees down, potentially leading them to leave for a better workplace. Worst of all, it’s a costly problem, so it’s best to do everything possible when countering potential bad hires.

Screening prospective hires via pre-employment tests lets you predict the most productive applicants to prioritize. Once you identify who can keep up with your fast-paced work environment, you can build a more efficient workforce delivering high-quality outputs in record time.

5 Types of Pre-Employment Assessment Tests

The following pre-employment tests offer unique insights into how each candidate would fit in your company. These tests aren’t exclusive to a particular purpose, so you may combine them to create a more comprehensive evaluation process for better-informed hiring decisions.

1. Job-specific skill test

This test assesses a candidate’s proficiency in the skills they need to perform well in the role. In turn, you reduce the risk of hiring someone unequipped.



Let’s say you’re hiring an administrative assistant. You could start by testing each candidate on basic Microsoft Office skills, such as Outlook or Excel, which will show their proficiency with each program. Then, proceed to more basic skills, like attention to detail, writing skills and reading comprehension.

2. Industry knowledge test

It helps to assess the candidates’ understanding of your sector to ensure they have knowledge of their job functions (not skills)t. Here, an industry knowledge test evaluates their awareness of trends, regulations, best practices, and critical concepts.

Let’s follow the earlier example and say you’re a manufacturing company hiring an accountant. Consider this test to evaluate the applicant’s knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and manufacturing-related financial metrics. Use the test to ensure your new accountant can use industry-specific insights to manage company finances during challenges or transformations.

3. Emotional intelligence test and behavioral tests

This test deals with the candidates’ ability to recognize and manage emotions. It evaluates how they interact with others, behave under pressure, and respond to workplace conflicts. Plus, it gauges their soft skills, such as the following:

An ideal administrator collaborates with different departments and clients. Using an emotional intelligence test, present scenarios that involve financial discussions with stakeholders. Then, you can determine the candidate’s ability to respond professionally, yet empathetically, to these situations.

An emotional intelligence test is a type of behavioral test that assesses jobseekers’ behavioral tendencies. It mainly delves into how they approach tasks and interact with others, especially in high-stress situations in the workplace.

4. Situational judgment test

Evaluating how candidates react in various workplace situations is also essential. A situational judgment test helps you assess this attribute by presenting hypothetical scenarios where candidates choose the best courses of action. Based on their responses, gauge their critical thinking, empathy, and professionalism.



Your situational judgment test for accountants may present ethical scenarios, such as what they should do after detecting irregularities in the organization’s financial records. It should also include conflict management situations to help you determine how they make sound decisions that align with company policies.

5. Cognitive ability test

Finally, this test evaluates a candidate’s intellectual capabilities. You want to hire someone who can quickly and accurately process information with minimal guidance. Generally, cognitive ability tests assess these intellectual capabilities:

If you’re evaluating an accountant, a cognitive ability test includes tasks like financial data analysis and graph interpretation. You could also include numerical calculations and logical reasoning questions about accounting principles to determine if their thinking skills fit the job’s demands.

Elevate Your Recruitment Standards

Searching for the right talent to fill critical roles can be challenging. Fortunately, the best pre-employment assessment can help you make well-informed decisions to improve your hiring processes. They also confirm that your candidates possess the necessary skills and knowledge to advance your business.

Choose the top talent for your business with EmployTest. We offer extensive skill, behavioral, and aptitude pre-employment assessment tests to help you build a productive workforce and secure your company’s long-term success.

Try our free sample employment test today or download this helpful pre-employment testing guide.