Maximising Talent Outcomes with Pre-Hire Assessments

Posted by Mai Hoai Thu on

Recruiters often perceive pre-hire assessments as a time-consuming task that may not align with their agendas or key performance indicators (KPIs). However, we strongly disagree with this perspective. While it's true that incorporating pre-hire assessments can add an extra step to the recruitment process, the benefits far outweigh the initial time investment.

The article will explain in detail how this talent management solution can benefit, or even fast-track, the recruitment processes, increasing the quality of hires and, therefore, ensuring a consistent talent pool for not just recruiters but also employers.

Read more: Why the MBTI Personality Test Is as Useful as Astrology


Exploring the Role of Pre-Hire Assessments in Modern Recruitment

What is a pre-hire assessment?

A pre-hire assessment is a structured and standardised evaluation method used throughout the hiring process. They are designed to measure various aspects of human behaviour, abilities, and skills.

Unlike traditional methods such as resumes or interviews, these assessments enable recruiters and managers to evaluate candidates on multiple criteria, thus offering more insightful information on candidates' suitability for the role and performance prediction.

Read more: How cognitive biases make interviews unreliable

However, it is important to note that traditional interviews should not be completely discarded. They still provide valuable insights, such as visual cues for hiring managers. That being said, the results from assessments can complement other methods, leading to more informed talent decisions.

Pre-hire assessments are a powerful tool, especially when professionally developed and well-validated, to provide recruiters with an unbiased and thorough understanding of candidates' capabilities, leveraging leading industrial-organisational psychology methodologies.

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Types of pre-hire assessments

Pre-hire assessments can come in various shapes and types, each focusing on measuring unique aspects of the human's behaviours, abilities, and more. Recruiters may incorporate more than one set of assessments to thoroughly examine each candidate’s technical ability and suitability.

Here are a few examples of pre-hire assessments that are available:

  • Job knowledge tests
  • Integrity tests
  • Psychometric assessments
  • Cognitive ability tests
  • Personality tests
  • Emotional intelligence tests
  • Skills assessment tests
  • Physical ability tests
  • Game-based tests
  • Multi-measure assessments

Read more: Explore More Pre-Employment Assessments in This Article

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Download whitepaper "The interview addiction" here

Benefits of pre-hire assessments

The rise in popularity of pre-hire assessments within the HR and recruitment fields can be attributed to their effectiveness in obtaining information about candidate capabilities and potential job performance.

Here are several compelling reasons for integrating them into the hiring process:

1. Improved performance and productivity

Well-developed pre-hire assessments enable recruiters and hiring managers to effectively predict employee productivity across various job roles and industries, as well as gauge their suitability for specific positions.

Assessment results uncover a wealth of insights into the candidate/ employee's satisfaction level and motivational factors. These findings can be used to customise development strategies that are more suitable and empowering, enabling individuals to excel in their roles.

This improves hiring quality and reduces the risk of costly bad hires.

Read more: How Cognitive Biases Make Interviews Unreliable

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2. Objective evaluation

Even candidates who seem like the perfect fit may struggle during interviews or are not well-suited for the roles they seek. Pre-hire assessments standardise the evaluation processes based on predefined and proven criteria. Many are backed by psychometry and organisational psychology, like the Job Fit theory.

Assessment questionnaires can also cover a wide range of behavioural issues in addition to situational, contextual, or cognitive questions, allowing both employers and candidates to explore other aspects of the individual beyond the information provided on their resumes.

Moreover, the results are measured against set benchmarks for the most objective view.

Read more: Why Google Says No to Job Interviews

Assessments offer hiring managers feedback on a candidate's suitability for the role, and some even suggest interview questions and potential ways to further develop each individual.

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3. Time and cost efficiency

Incorporating pre-hire assessments saves time and resources by efficiently screening a large number of candidates. As a result, HR professionals can focus their efforts on the most qualified individuals, avoiding wasting time on candidates who may not be the best fit for the role.

This streamlined approach not only speeds up the recruitment process but also ensures that only the most promising candidates move forward in the selection process.

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4. Cultural fit assessment

Understanding how well a candidate's beliefs, attitudes, and work style align with the company's ethos can lead to more successful hires and long-term employee satisfaction. It ensures that individuals not only have the necessary skills for the job but also possess the right mindset and attitude to thrive within the organisational environment.

This alignment is crucial, particularly where cultural fit plays a significant role in fostering team cohesion and driving overall organisational success.

Read more: How the High-tech Giants Establish Successful Corporate Cultures

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5. Identification of potential development areas

Benchmarking the candidates' results with set criteria also helps highlight their strengths and areas for improvement, enabling companies to tailor onboarding and development strategies to meet the specific needs of each bright candidate, fostering their growth and success.

This personalised approach not only enhances the new hires' performance but also strengthens employee engagement and retention. This also emphasises the employer's commitment to investing in the professional development of their employees from the outset, thus cultivating a motivated and skilled workforce that contributes to long-term organisational success.

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6. Decreased turnover

The combination of these factors increases candidate satisfaction and suitability for the positions, significantly reducing the likelihood of poor performance or employee demotivation.

Reduced turnover rates can also enhance employee morale and elevate the company's reputation, ultimately attracting higher-quality candidates.

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Hurdles to pre-hire assessments adoption

Despite their obvious benefits, pre-hire assessments are still not universally implemented. The reasons being:

  • Cost: While assessments can reduce long-term costs by improving hiring quality, there is an upfront cost to purchase, administer, and score the assessments that not all companies are willing or able to absorb.
  • Time: Administering assessments adds to the already lengthy recruitment process. Hiring managers prefer quick fills and may view assessments as unnecessary delays.
  • Bias concerns: Some individuals fear that assessments may introduce bias or face legal challenges due to discriminatory practices. This discourages their use without extensive validation.
  • Lack of experience: Many recruiters and hiring managers are unfamiliar with assessment science and sceptical of results. Or they simply feel uncomfortable relying heavily on psychometric data.
  • Perceived candidate experience: There is a view that assessments create extra hoops or make the company seem impersonal, even if candidates report high satisfaction rates.
  • Override culture: Some leaders are reluctant to remove subjectivity and believe they can identify talent through traditional interviewing alone.
  • Implementation challenges: Proper assessment selection, use, and integration into existing workflows require expertise that smaller companies may lack.

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Incorporating pre-hire assessments into the recruiting process: Best practices & Strategies

It is obvious that pre-hire assessments have powerful potential for the hiring process, and it is recommended that they be incorporated into recruitment. Below are key steps to implement a successful pre-hire assessment:

1. Define clear objectives

Clearly outline the desired qualities, skills, and competencies required for each role. Then, define specific assessment objectives that are aligned with both the job requirements and the organisational goals.

2. Select appropriate assessments

Select assessments that evaluate pertinent attributes for the position, such as cognitive abilities, personality traits, problem-solving skills, cultural fit, etc. As mentioned previously, companies can leverage not just one but a blend of different assessments to obtain a well-rounded understanding of candidates.

Read more: Key Criteria to Consider When Selecting Psychometric Assessments

3. Standardise assessment administration

Maintain consistent and equitable administration of assessments for all candidates. To do so, adhere to established procedures and guidelines, provide clear instructions, and do not forget to ensure a professional and unbiased testing environment.

4. Analyse and interpret results

After gathering adequate data, it is time to analyse and translate it into insightful and useful information. Review the assessment results alongside other candidate information as well. Also, identify patterns, strengths, and areas for improvement in addition to assessing each candidate's suitability for the role and alignment with the organisation's culture.

5. Combine assessments with other selection methods

It is advisable to complement pre-employment assessments with interviews, reference checks, and additional selection methods for a comprehensive evaluation of candidates. This panoramic approach validates assessment results and ensures a thorough evaluation of candidates' suitability for the role.

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At TRG International, we offer a diverse range of Great People Inside assessments and surveys to meet various talent management needs of your organisation. Our solutions cover everything from recruitment to leadership development, and they are designed to cater to businesses of all sizes and industries.

To gain more insight into the specific details of our solutions, download our brochure today!

Download GPI brochure | Talent management

Topics: Talent Management

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Rick Yvanovich

 Rick Yvanovich
 /Founder & CEO/

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