What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Pre-Employment Assessments? 

Posted by Matt Walden on 12 06, 2022

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When there are crucial openings on your team, it’s typical to exhaust all available resources to increase your chances of making the right hire as much as possible.  

But the question remains: what are the best tools to identify the best hire? 

Many organizations leverage a common tool during the hiring process: a pre-employment assessment.   

A pre-employment assessment or test is an objective way of gathering valuable data on the capabilities and traits of candidates. While the types of tests vary depending on the role, they'll help you understand potential hires' cognitive aptitude, skills and personality.   

In this blog, we'll go over pre-employment assessments' major pros and cons so you can decide if using one is right for you.   

The Pros and Cons of Pre-Employment Assessments  

Pro – You’ll Save Time & Money  

At the end of the day, money always talks the loudest.  

There’s no doubt that pre-employment tests cut down the time and money you need to dedicate to the hiring process, primarily by reducing the number of interviews you’ll schedule and conduct.  

These types of tests are designed to extract a lot of the same data that a screening interview would extract but without the commitment of your team’s time. 

Con – Tests Will Never Give the Whole Picture  

While these tests can drastically improve your time-to-hire and reduce costs, they still aren’t a substitute for person-to-person interaction.  

Tests grant you useful data on the front end, but they will never replace interviews altogether. If you use pre-employment assessments, be mindful that there will still be much to discover about the candidate’s disposition, personality and culture fit.

Pro – You'll Increase Your Chances of a Quality Hire  

While pre-employment assessments don't give the whole picture, they do provide a fuller view of a candidate's strengths and weaknesses.  

If an applicant scores well on the test, great. On to the next step. If they score poorly? That's good to know, too. You save time and energy as you quickly move on to more qualified candidates.    

When working in tandem with in-person (or virtual) interviews, pre-employment assessments can better help you spot the best candidate for the job. 

Con – Candidate Experience Is at Risk 

As previously stated, tests are incredibly convenient and cost-effective for employers.  

But not quite so for the candidate.  

Having candidates take a test before knowing how interested you are in them can be a deterrent for job seekers, where so much of the candidate experience is about expedience and convenience.   

To avoid deterring job seekers before they even apply, make sure you’re transparent about the pre-employment assessment process and ensure the test is as accessible and as free of redundancies as possible.   

Pro – Pre-Employment Assessments Are Objective   

Every hiring manager knows about unconscious bias and how it affects the interview process. Regardless of how much effort is put in to mitigate unconscious bias, there's always a level of bias at play.   

Pre-employment tests, on the other hand, can operate free from bias. If well-designed, assessments can empower you to draw a more objective evaluation of a candidate.  

Con – You'll Reduce Your Talent Pool  

While this con ultimately depends on the type of role you're hiring, pre-employment assessments can sometimes limit your talent pool. This occurs because some applicants may opt not to apply for a position that requires additional work beyond the standard resume, portfolio and cover letter.   

Should Pre-Employment Assessments Be a Part of the Hiring Process?  

The answer is: it depends. Depending on the role and the infrastructure of your hiring process, pre-employment tests can either be a huge boost to efficiency or an unnecessary hindrance to applicants. If you do choose to use them, ensure that they are used thoughtfully for a position that truly warrants one and that they extract information that the next steps in the hiring process cannot. Want to know if a pre-employment assessment would improve your hiring process? Connect with our team for a deeper conversation. 

As one of the nation’s leading interim & contract solutions firms, Infinity Consulting Solutions, a Korn Ferry company, helps top organizations find the interim contractors they need to thrive. If you’re looking for your next top performer, click the banner below. 

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