The Top 5 Pre-hire Assessment Attributes to Consider

picture of interviewer thinking about pre-hire assessment attributes

What Are the Best Pre-hire Assessment Attributes to Consider?
Do pre-hire assessment attributes matter?  The short answer is candidate assessments can help ensure smarter hiring as part of an overall and integrated recruiting, assessment and hiring process.  But we do not recommend solely relying upon a pre-hire assessment to make your hiring decisions.

Hiring Well is a Huge Responsibility
Hiring the right people can boost your team’s performance, enhance morale and drive profitable growth.  Hiring the wrong people will do just the opposite…hamper production, lower morale and delay growth. So how should you proceed in order to hire right?

It Would Be Great If Pre-hire Assessments Ensured Smarter Hiring
The idea of pre-hire assessments is very tempting. Wouldn’t it be great to base your hiring decision upon candidate survey results? Hand each candidate a survey and then tally up the results to see if they will thrive in your culture and if they possesses the skills, knowledge and ability to get the job done.

Pre-hire Candidate Assessments Alone Are Not Enough
Unfortunately, hiring well requires a lot more hard work than simply analyzing data from a pre-hire candidate assessment. You need to be soundly grounded in behavior based interviewing practices. We believe that there is a combination of techniques that can serve you best:

  • Screening – Initial pre-hire candidate assessments to begin the screening selection process followed by
  • Interviewing – Skilled behavioral interviewing so you can better predict actual behavior on the job

How Pre-hire Assessments can Help
With the right pre-hire assessment attributes, highly validated candidate assessments can be enormously helpful in the screening and recruiting process.  They can quickly and efficiently help disqualify candidates saving both time and money, and they can tell you a lot about a candidate’s knowledge, attitudes, abilities and even personality traits.

Five Pre-hire Assessment Attributes to Consider
Make sure that any candidate hiring assessment you choose has these five pre-hire assessment attributes. The pre-hire assessment should be:

  1. Well Designed, Reliable and Validated (maybe)
    The assessment must be well-designed, reliable  and heavily tested form a respondent point of view.  Ideally, each and very survey question would also be validated.  The challenge is that while off the shelf surveys are easier to validate, they may not meet your unique hiring requirements.  Often it is best to create customized questions to provide data relevant to your unique situation, strategy, culture and job.  The trade-off is up to you.
  2. Legally Compliant
    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has developed stringent guidelines for making sure that hiring assessments are screening only for job-related issues and not intended to be used to discriminate.
  3. Aptitude-focused Rather than Knowledge-focused
    You want to learn if a candidate has the willingness to learn and has the ability to adapt to changing conditions. Especially in knowledge-based businesses, it is more important to know that you are hiring an agile and continuous learner rather than someone who thinks they “know it all.”
  4. Able to Identify Interview Areas to Dig Deeper
    You want the pre-hire assessment to highlight strengths and areas of weaknesses so you can probe further in the areas that matter most for your specific job profile and organizational culture.
  5. Applicable Once the Candidate is Hired
    Good pre-hire assessments will help you tailor the new hire onboarding experience and create individual development and coaching plans that are specific to your new hire. The survey can do more than help you hire well. It can help you integrate the new hire and ramp up as quickly as possible.

The Bottom Line
Candidate assessments can help ensure smarter hiring as part of an overall talent acquisition strategy, but, by themselves, they cannot identify top talent that fits.

If you liked reading about the Five Pre-hire Assessment Attributes to Consider, download Why the Interviewing Process is Flawed and What to Do About It

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