Pre-employment testing: A complete guide
Benefits of pre-employment testing for candidates
This section focuses on the benefits of pre-employment testing for candidates. The faster and simpler the recruitment process goes, the more likely you are to retain top candidates instead of having them give up in frustration because it’s taking too long.
Here we will also look at why a good candidate experience matters, how pre-employment screening is fair because it reduces bias and discrimination, plus how online tests and assessments are more candidate-friendly than in-person ones.
You’ll also discover how skills-based testing gives those potentially great employees a chance to prove their abilities, even if they have resume gaps or don’t possess the right qualifications.
Benefits of pre-employment testing for candidates
A good candidate experience matters – not just for the candidates but for you as well.
Candidate experience is the impression your employer brand leaves on potential applicants throughout the entire hiring process, whether they get the job or not. In other words, how does it feel to apply for a role at your company?
Candidates may also be your customers or know other customers, so the final impression you leave on them is important. A streamlined candidate experience with an easy application process can help move your organization to the top of an active job seeker’s list.
When you use online candidate assessment tests, you’re showing applicants how seriously you take hiring and how much care you put into selecting the right candidates.
This is especially true if you explain to candidates why you’re testing them: to make unbiased decisions, attract a more diverse and innovative team, and hire better performers.
Candidates who feel they are being treated well and that the communication channels are open tend to be more trusting. They are also more likely to accept a role, give positive referrals, and succeed in their jobs.
That’s not all. It can give your candidates clues about how they might be successful in the role and which skills are the most important.
Pre-employment skills testing even helps your candidates discover more about their strengths and weaknesses. Your candidates can learn about areas where they struggle and improve upon them, so skills testing is useful for applicants to learn more about themselves.
In our case study on how Bain & Company improved its candidate experience, you can see how effective pre-employment testing became as part of its candidate-friendly hiring process.
Bain & Company Amsterdam’s recruiting manager Eveline Offermans receives about 1,300 applications for senior positions and 800 for junior positions. She spent between two and four hours reviewing resumes for between 40 and 50 candidates each week.
She knew that this had to change. Unfortunately, many of the assessment options she considered were not great for candidates – some of the tests were up to 90 minutes long and would probably put several good candidates off.
Research shows that when job applications take longer than five minutes to complete, 50% to 75% of applicants quit before finishing the application. Add an extra 90 minutes for a skills assessment on top of that, and many will understandably give up in frustration.
Bain & Company found its solution with TestGorilla’s short but thorough 10-minute tests. When delivered via our clear, easy-to-use platform, the tests made for a candidate-friendly experience that lived up to the global consultancy’s elite reputation.
Whichever testing platform you decide to use, do your research to see if candidates rate their test experience as good or bad.
We’ll take a look at other reasons why pre-employment assessment testing can provide a good candidate experience.
Promotes fairness and reduces bias
As we’ve seen before, hiring bias can be a huge problem. Pre-employment testing reduces bias and promotes fairness for all candidates since they all start on a level playing field. All candidates receive exactly the same tests, and anti-cheating measures ensure no candidates have an unfair advantage over the others.
Letting candidates know that you are doing your best to be fair and unbiased promotes trust and encourages them to apply for your open roles.
Can be done online (and in different languages)
The problem with traditional skills tests that are taken in person at test centers is that not everyone can go (or afford to go) to the test center on the specific day and at the specific time the test is held.
Doing skills tests online makes the whole process much easier and less stressful for candidates, and many of them enjoy doing online skills tests and assessments as long as they are kept fairly short. Anything lasting more than an hour for most job roles is probably too much and will put many good candidates off.
Another thing to check is whether your potential testing platform has all its tests in your (and the candidates’) chosen language and not just in English. If you are a Japanese employer wanting to hire Japanese-speaking candidates, how much easier is it if your test platform is available in that language?
TestGorilla recognizes the need for localization when it comes to skills testing. Currently, we offer tests in:
- Portuguese (Brazil)
This makes life easier for you and your candidates.
Evaluates candidates’ current skills, not what’s on their resume
What, exactly, does a resume show? It’s a list of past education and experience that often bears little relevance to candidates’ current skills. A resume states that Candidate A went to X college 34 years ago and gained a qualification in Y.
Maybe they took a break from their career to have children or do something else for a while. Gaps in resumes tend to be frowned upon by employers, and they will often pass a good candidate over just for this reason.
Why should this be the default stance? It’s another great reason to move away from resumes and toward pre-employment testing.
Skills assessments enable candidates to show the skills they currently have, regardless of employment gaps or whether they have a degree or not.
To see how skills-based hiring changes candidates’ lives for the better, take a look at our 10 stories that show the power of skills-based hiring.
As we mentioned earlier, we walk the walk when it comes to hiring for our own team. Every one of these stories is a personal account from a member of the TestGorilla team, showing how important it is to look beyond a candidate’s resume and at the real skills and experience they can bring to a role.