pre-employment assessment

Hiring the right people remains one of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks to do in a startup. If you don’t have experience in recruitment, it can be challenging to choose the right candidate and not make a mistake in hiring the wrong one. One way of reducing your risk of employing a bad hire is to implement data-based solutions such as pre-employment testing.

Why pre-employment testing is beneficial to you

You can gain a lot more knowledge about the candidate from pre-employment testing than just by looking at a CV and conducting the first interview. At the very top, it can help you guide your recruitment process and reduce the cost of employee turnover by increasing overall satisfaction.

These assessments can be used as a tool to measure the likelihood of your new hires succeeding in their new role. Based on research done by Aberdeen Group, companies that use pre-employment testing are 36% more satisfied with their hires as opposed to those that don’t.

When you’re short on time and budget, it can be tempting to rely solely on your gut feeling and hire the person that gave you the best vibes. You’re running a risk that you can be very wrong and, you’ll end up with a mismatch between you and the new candidate. On average it’s about one in four employees leave within a given year and this can happen even to well-funded startups. We’re not even mentioning that you can later find out that it’s not a match and, you decide to let go of that employee.

It’s time to ditch the gut feeling and implement solutions that will provide you with data. 

Types of assessments

There can be a variety of pre-employment tests you can choose from. The one you decide to go for largely depends on your company, your ideal candidate profile and the job role. Below you can read about the three most common types of testing. Later on, I’ll give you a specific example of testing that we used to measure coachability.

1st Personality test

You probably already know what a personality test is. To put it shortly and simply, it’s a type of test that doesn’t have right or wrong answers and, you’re looking for a personality that would feel comfortable in your open position. Without any doubt, you can find multiple free personality tests online. The key is to define what personality is the right one for the role.

2nd Aptitude tests

This can be more tricky. In essence, aptitude tests measure criteria, like critical thinking, attention to detail, the ability to process, analyze, and use new data and information. The tendencies are that aptitude tests are used for mid and upper-level job roles. Usually, candidates that perform well are more likely to successfully complete the training and are more likely to adapt and evolve in a fast-changing work environment.

3rd Skills tests

Testing hard skills will allow you to get more predictable data that are easier to measure. For instance, if you’re hiring your new business development representative for your Swedish market, you may want to test if the candidate can communicate and write fluently in Swedish.

You can also test soft skills which, are a bit more tricky to measure. If you don’t experience interviewing it can be very easy to slip into your own bias. In our recruitment guide, we identified four key soft skills that your new sales hire should definitely have to succeed. 

Case – how we used it determines candidates’ coachability levels.

We were looking to fill in a position for Business Development Representative. The priority was to look at the candidates potential to be coachable. The secondary traits we were looking for were communication and sales skills. 

The recruitment process started with CV screening and, selected candidates were invited to the first interview. After having successful first interview candidates, received a case to make a pitch call with a potential lead. The case was structured to provide basic information about the lead and, candidates were asked to follow up our best practice structure for sales calls but, they could be creative as well. To submit the skill test they had to make a video for a maximum of 60 seconds.

The video itself helped us see the potential of the candidates to clearly communicate what services we can offer to solve their specific pain points.

The next step was an invitation to the second interview where the focus was to find out whether the candidates are coachable or not. TO achieve this we went deeper into analyzing their sales pitch and they were given detailed feedback. Afterwards, they were asked a series of questions that can be summarized into: 

“Knowing what you just heard, would you do something differently? What would that be?”

If candidates could use the feedback and actively reflect on their own pitch and adapt a new approach they were seen as coachable. Afterwards, it was a matter of reviewing the whole interview and determining the necessary level of coachability to succeed in this role.

Key takeaway

Relying on your gut feelings can be detrimental to your hiring process and can lead to hiring the wrong person. This can lead to increased costs in employee turnover and, it will cost you more time and resources to find a new candidate to do the job.

It’s crucial to implement methods that can provide you with more data to make the optimal decision. One of these solutions is to take advantage of pre-employment testing. You can use online free tools or design your own test based on your ideal candidate profile.

If you’d like to learn more about ICP download our recruitment guide where we go deeper into this method.

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