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Pre-hire tests simplify decisions to reduce bias, improve interviews, and hire better.


Meredith Stack


As a talent acquisition professional, you know that the hiring process is often complex and time-consuming, making decisions hit and miss. Yet, hiring managers need more qualified candidates now so they can get back to running their teams and performing their day-to-day jobs.

When both quantity and quality are needed in hiring, pre-hire tests can help you make faster and more balanced decisions.

While a resume highlights a person’s experience and skills it isn’t designed to show how he or she thinks or what motivates them. Yet thinking style and personal motivators have a major impact on a person’s job satisfaction and ability to excel on the job.

Assessments Supplement Resume Reviews by Uncovering What Can’t Be Seen

Thankfully, pre-employment tests provide visibility into a person’s thinking style and motivations through measuring problem-solving abilities and personality traits. Pre-employment tests allow you to determine which work behaviors are more natural to candidates and the associated tasks and responsibilities where they will have the best chance at success. Understanding these behaviors help you determine whom to move forward in the hiring process, so energy can be spent interviewing well-qualified candidates that are the best fit.

Pre-Employment Testing Adds Consistency to Simplify Hiring Decisions

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), the professional community who builds pre-employment tests, notes that “carefully developed and administered employment tests can provide organizations with a way to decide systematically and accurately which people have the ability to perform well on the job, will not turnover, won’t engage in counterproductive behaviors, or will be able to learn from training programs.”

According to SIOP, pre-employment assessments are a valuable recruiting tool to add to your HR tech stack. Tests help simplify complex decisions by giving decision makers a systematic and consistent way to compare candidates side by side. The US Department of Labor also adds that, “the appropriate use of professionally developed assessment tools on average enables individuals and organizations to make more effective decisions than use of simple observation or random decision making.” 

Pre-Hire Testing Reports Streamline Interviews and Make Them More Effective

According to scientific research, most interviews devolve into informal, open-ended discussions that don’t predict future job success very well. Oftentimes, interviews are conducted separately by each team member and can frustrate candidates because the same questions are asked multiple times. To top it off, what’s learned in these interviews doesn’t get combined in a way that leads to a better decision. So, you end up with a lengthy, disheveled interview process that is ultimately ineffective.

Pre-employment tests give a consistent point of reference by focusing interview questions on objective candidate traits that predict job success. For example, Berke includes a helpful interview guide that is based on a candidate’s assessment results and helps each interviewer know where to focus in the conversation. This helps interviewers learn more about what really matters in a way that’s both efficient and fair to the candidate.

 

Pre-Hire Tests Reduce Discrimination and Hiring Biases

Despite our best efforts, biases such as the similar-to-me bias can impact our decision-making and lead to discriminatory hiring. EEOC guidelines require that organizations use reasonable efforts to prevent discrimination in hiring. Unfortunately, raising awareness of biases during the interview and conducting interviewer training isn’t enough. While it’s nearly impossible to eliminate all bias, pre-hire tests can help. They put every candidate on an even playing field by systematically measuring the same traits and abilities that are related to job performance. Test results are more objective data points in that they are less influenced by how a person looks, where they went to school, or their gender. 

In fact, the EEOC recognizes an organization’s legal right to use professionally developed and validated pre-employment assessments for selection. Because validated assessments add uniformity, they help employers avoid legal issues and reduce unconscious bias in screening decisions.

If you are looking for ways to make your hiring process more consistent so that you can make better hiring decisions, consider implementing pre-hire tests.

 

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