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By: Debra Kabalkin on June 23rd, 2015

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How Pre-Employment Tests Can Help Build Effective Teams

Business Management & Strategy | Best Practices | Employee Relations | Talent Acquisition

Are Pre-Employment Tests Best For Your Business?

pre employment testingAre you striving to find the most effective ways to measure a potential candidate’s “fit” for your team? It's always stressful determining if the candidate will be the right person for the job. When making hiring decisions there are many components to look at during the recruiting process. There is the application and resume, the interview, reference checks, there may be a drug test and many companies also use pre-employment testing. As a talent acquisition consulting firm, we get asked all of the time what we think about pre-employment testing and I believe they are great tools to leverage when building your team.

There are several different types of employment tests which companies can use, here's a quick overview of the top three most common types of pre-employment tests below.

Personality Vs. Cognitive Vs. Agility Pre-Employment Test Differences

  • Personality Tests: Personality tests look at the different characteristics a candidate has and predicts the likelihood that a person will engage in certain behaviors.
  • Cognitive Tests: Cognitive tests measure a candidate's thinking, memory, intuition and accuracy, and sometimes skills in math and reading comprehension, as well as knowledge of a particular job function.
  • Physical Ability/Agility Tests: Physical ability tests measure the physical ability of a candidate to perform a task if the job will require such a task as an ongoing part of the job.

For example, if the position you have open was for a Marketing Generalist, you would ideally want someone with a personality that matches that position. Perhaps that profile might look like a creative person, someone willing to take chances and/or a candidate with an enthusiastic personality. It doesn’t mean that for example, someone who is “by the book” or a candidate who prefers to work alone couldn’t be a successful Marketing Generalist; just that the probability of success is decreased when certain personality factors are considered.  Hiring the right person for your team can make a huge impact on the team, productivity and their individual engagement. Ideally with the right fit, you will hire someone who is likely to stick around and become a successful contributor to your business.

When building a team, looking at a candidate’s personality traits to see if the personality of the candidate will be a fit with the existing members of the team is an integral part. Another example to consider, let's say you as the manager are a direct leader, a go-getter who is not afraid to be aggressive. As for the candidate, based on pre-employment test results, they are instead best matched with a leader who is described as your opposite. Knowing this information ahead of time will allow you to both to avoid future frustrations and headache. Turnover is costly for companies; finding ways upfront to reduce turnover if possible is always a best practice.