The use of pre-employment screening tools has grown dramatically in recent years. But how to ensure they deliver the right business outcome? The secret lies in getting the implementation right.
The benefits of using pre-employment assessment tools have been well documented. While implementing the pre-employment screening tests, it’s important to keep in mind the intended business outcomes – Reduce Time to hire, Increase Hiring throughput, hiring manager satisfaction, reduction in employee turnover, and reduction in a bad hires.
Selecting the right Pre-employment Screening Test
The validity of a test cannot be an afterthought. A well-developed and EEOC compliant pre-employment screening not only sheds light on the candidate’s skill but also adds legal defensibility to the hiring process. A job test can be considered valid if it is designed in accordance with the skills required for the job. There are 4 metrics to measure test validity, namely:
- Face validity
- Content validity
- Construct validity
- Criterion validity
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Appropriate usage of Pre-employment Screening Tests
The recruitment process has multiple touchpoints. It’s not only imperative to use the right pre-hire test, but it must also be used at the right stage of the recruitment process.
Typically, most employers use pre-employment screening at the pre-interview stage. This offers them the chance to filter out unfit applicants at the top of the funnel.
On the flip side, Culture fit Psychometric tests or other situational judgment tests must be used after at least 1 round of interviews.
Align the Test to your Brand and Job Role
- You can upload your company’s logo or implement your color scheme to maintain branding consistency with your website and social channels.
- Use Cover Videos and messages to re-affirm the job role and skills.
- Audio and video questions to break the regular mould of boring MCQ or form-based assessments.
Make sure the Hiring Team is on the Same Page
For an employer, it is important to make sure their hiring team understands when to use pre-employment screening. In addition, the employer should maintain clear communication needs with hiring managers.
Interpret the Results of the Screening
Pre-employment assessment tools must be used specifically to screen and filter out candidates who fail to meet the basic skill requirements for the role. But should that be your only criteria while hiring? Certainly not.
It would be wrong to rely solely on pre-employment screening, simply to hire the applicant with the highest score. On the contrary, these tests must be used in conjunction with technical interviews and background checks to arrive at the right decision.
Personalize the Candidate’s Communication
You’ve done half the work. You made the job posting on various sites. Your team has managed to source a sizable number of candidates. Moreover, you sent an email campaign to invite the applicants to the test. But the response is below par. Just half of the candidates opened your email. Not many ended up taking it. The prime reason is poor communication.
The best candidates deserve clear communication. To be honest, no one wants to receive a boring email with test instructions. Here is what you can do instead.
Set the expectation in your first call. Give the candidates a brief idea of what they can expect in the pre-employment screening test. Make sure you specify why this test is essential for further rounds.
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Optimize the Time Taken for Pre-employment Screening Assessment Test
You have done a complete analysis of what you need from the candidate and set clear expectations. After narrowing down, these recruiters should decide what type of screening test they should use and when to use it in hiring.
To attract the best talent, companies should note the candidate’s experience. According to research, it is recommended to use pre-employment screening in the early stages of the hiring process. Also, most candidates tend to complete tests that take less than 40 minutes.
Track Performance of the Pre-employment Assessment
Invitation & Completion Rates
In the coming future, as your business grows, it is good to track the completion rates to assess. This will give you a clear idea of what steps you can take to improve the process. For example, changing the order of the questions or changing the test duration.
False Positives & False Negatives
Candidate performance on tests can sometimes vary slightly depending on their motivation and confidence levels. While screening candidates, there may be a few applicants who are borderline pass. It is good to track any false positives or false negatives to continuously improve the quality of the test.
Candidate Feedback ( Candidate NPS – Net Promoter Score )
The candidate feedback will help understand the good and bad during the test. This will help in building candidate experience as well as in making necessary changes to improve the test.
Hiring Manager Feedback
An employer should note the hiring manager’s feedback. As they are the first contact in hiring and engagement, it will be easy for an employer to make strategic hiring and growth plans.
Benchmarking the Pre-employment Screening Test Scores
Getting a clear idea about the cut-off for a pre-employment test is crucial. Setting up a median score is necessary to get a clear idea about the cut-off. So that companies can set up a clear benchmark and conduct tests accordingly.
In addition, the employer should test the current employees with these tests. But testing the employees in a similar field as the tests is necessary. These assessments will give recruiters an idea of the average score and set the cut-off benchmark.
Measure the Correlation between Screening Scores and Job Performance
There is only 1 way to assess the predictive precision of pre-employment selection tools. It is to analyze the job performance of hires made after implementing the tool.
Recruiting Teams need to periodically ask themselves the following question :
- Are pre-employment screening and testing truly working for you?
- Are you able to find a noticeable improvement in the quality of hire?
- How strong is the correlation between test scores and interview performance
- How strong is the correlation between test scores and job performance
- Is pre-employment screening leading to lower training time and faster ramp-up of employees?
After making a hire, it is important to assess the employee’s job performance. Of course, there can be room for false positives and false negatives as no test results are the final prediction of the applicant’s caliber.
However, a good pre-employment screening software, in most cases, must show a positive correlation between job performance and test qualification.
Final words for Implementing Pre-employment Screening Tools
Using a pre-employment assessment tool is a great start. However, they are not a final call to make a decision. Hiring managers should combine these tests with other methods of hiring, such as interviews and test assignments. A blend of all methods in the process will help make a fully informed hire.