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Pre-employment assessments can create positive candidate experiences.


Meredith Stack


While organizations typically don’t debate the value of assessments, candidates have different perspectives. On the positive end, candidates feel the use of assessments convey that the organization understands job requirements and invests in finding the right people. On the negative end, candidates feel that assessments are challenging, time-consuming, and don’t appear to be job-related. While candidates do have negative associations with pre-employment tests, their objections can be managed with proper communication and feedback.

Since 2010, Talent Board (a non-profit organization) has been researching the impact of job candidates’ experiences. According to their 2017 Research Report, the assessment and evaluation stage of staffing is of critical importance. Their research indicates that organizations which invest in systems during this stage “improve the candidate experience and strengthen their overall quality of hires.” In fact, 89 percent of the companies participating in the Talent Board's Candidate Experience Awards have assessments and testing systems in place.

A good experience starts with communication.

You don’t want to send an assessment invitation without explaining to candidates why you are asking them to take the assessment, how long the assessment will take, and what they can expect while taking it. At Berke, we encourage our customers to explain that the assessment is not pass/fail and that results are only part of the decision-making process. Further, that the assessment helps job-seekers and employers gauge strength of fit. We also recommend organizations be transparent about the length of the time that the test will take and what type of questions to expect.

Pre-employment tests level the playing field.

Everyone wants to be given a fair shot. While candidates might not enjoy taking the assessment, they recognize that all candidates are in the same boat, placing everyone on a level playing field. Assessments give candidates an opportunity to influence the decision-making process and showcase their talents. Candidates can only fit so much on their resume, and assessments help candidates provide a more complete picture of their abilities.

Assessments help candidates and employers understand job fit.

During the application process, candidates are looking for signs that the organization is a good fit. They want to know what a job involves, and how their skills will be used.

When you have a pre-employment assessment in place, you have tools to better illustrate what it takes to succeed in the job. Using Berke as the example, each job fit assessment has an associated job profile, which outlines the competencies required to succeed in the role.

interpretation of a hiring profile

Assessments provide candidates with a chance to demonstrate how their skills and abilities match job requirements. Following the assessment, you can give candidates insight as to how well their skills align with the requirements of the job.

Tailor interviews to assessment results.

When it comes to the interview process, candidates want three things: to be prepared ahead of time, have the opportunity to answer relevant questions and receive feedback after the interview.

Assessments help Hiring Managers ask relevant questions. Berke reports come with interview guides that are tailored to each person, based on their assessment results, so that you can ask questions specific to job matches and mismatches.

Pre-employment test reports offer an unbiased way to provide feedback to the candidate related to job specific competencies. Unfortunately, the Talent Board found that less than 4 percent of candidates receive feedback which summarizes their assessment results. Fortunately, this is a number that can easily be increased. There are simple ways to integrate feedback into the process. Berke offers Participant Reports which are designed to be shared with the candidate and are written in a positive manner. Printing out and bring this report to the interview and setting aside a portion of the interview to discuss the report, would go a long way to making the candidate feel informed.

Including a pre-hire assessment in your hiring process can help improve the candidate experience and in turn, your employer brand. The assessment step conveys to candidates that your organization has gathered job insights, invests in talent, and uses technology to your advantage.

Candidate at a positive interview experience

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