Buyer's Guideby Brian Westfall,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: June 23, 2018
Hiring is a vital part of every growing business, and companies need to hire the best people. Each bad hire results in a huge loss—as much as $15,000.
As we see in the report, "How to Hire The Right Person, Not the Best Person," finding someone who's a good fit requires looking beyond what's on the resume to assess the complete package. That includes learning about a candidate's communication style and finding out whether their values align with your own, as well as assessing their skills. It's a time-consuming process, but that's where technology can help out.
Pre-employment assessments, which eliminate unqualified candidates in the early stages, save businesses money, time and effort, letting them focus on fewer eligible candidates who closely fit the bill.
In this Buyer's Guide, we'll talk about the features and benefits of pre-employment assessment tools that could help you find the right candidates in the most efficient way.
Here's what we'll cover:
What Are Pre-Employment Assessment Tools?
Pre-employment assessment tools can screen potential candidates for a number of factors—their current skills, ability to execute tasks, potential for growth, suitability to your work environment or office culture, willingness to collaborate with team members and more. In other words, these tools help HR staff determine whether an applicant would make a good candidate, or not.
These tools help human resources (HR) departments save a lot of money on hiring. According to SHRM, the average cost to hire one person is over $4,000. The ROI of that investment is higher the longer an employee stays in the company. But, if employees quit within the first year, you get low, or sometime, negative ROI. Limited time, staff and budget means that small businesses should turn to hiring tools to gain every advantage they can.
To target the most qualified candidates without spending a lot more time and money on hiring, small businesses need to seek out tools they can use to create accurate and job-appropriate tests that can accurately test candidate skills. The tools should also be compliant with current labor laws, offer real-time results and be easy to use and deploy.
Common Features of Pre-Employment Assessment Tools
|Aptitude and skill testing||Conduct scenario-based tests to assess candidate knowledge and capabilities. Learn about their preferences, leadership abilities, willingness to collaborate, communication skills and other strengths. Use standard aptitude tests or customize tests based on the role, your industry etc. Tests can be subjective (e.g., essays) or objective (e.g., multiple choice questions).|
|Candidate assessment and comparison||Rank candidates based on their skills test results and factors such as communication skills and relevant experience to see who should progress to the next round. Interviewers can add notes and observations to help other stakeholders make the final decision.|
|Candidate management||Track a candidate's progress and view their profile. Categorize candidates based on open roles, skills (for current and future job openings), whether they were referred by employees and more.|
|Customizable tests/authoring||Adjust tests according to your company culture, specific roles and skill sets. (For example, aptitude tests for creative roles are different from those for engineering roles.) These tools also allow you to create your own tests if the existing templates don't meet your requirements.|
|Real-time reporting||Generate standardized reports for all stakeholders in the hiring process as soon as a candidate completes a test and is rated. Share these reports with relevant stakeholders to facilitate discussions on whether to hire a candidate or not.|
Candidate assessment in Berke (Source)
What Type of Buyer Are You?
The most common users of pre-employment assessment tools are HR managers and recruiters, both in-house as well as third-party recruiters and consultants. Here's a more detailed look into each buyer type and the most important features for each category:
HR managers. These buyers will seek to add their own branding, as these tests are a way to showcase the company culture and values. Therefore, customized tests and authoring functionalities will be a must. These users also need candidate workflow management functionality that allows every stakeholder to rate and review candidates.
It's also advantageous to choose a platform that integrates with existing HR, ATS or recruiting software for easy pre- and post-hiring processes. These integrations allow users to import candidate data to their HR systems more easily after hiring. And, if they're not selected, their resumes and results can be saved for future consideration in an ATS.
Recruiters. Users in this category need pre-employment assessment tools that are candidate-centric. As they source candidates from various channels for various roles and even companies (in case of third-party recruiters), tests can be standardized, to an extent, for similar roles. The candidate comparison feature will help these users determine how closely a candidate fits with a particular company's culture.
In addition, real-time reporting will help them notify their clients about candidate performance and their progress in hiring for specific roles. The reports can include information such as profiles of candidates applying for a certain role, average years of experience, median age and other details.
eSkill's edit test capability (Source)
Benefits and Potential Issues
Here, we'll take a look at the benefits, as well as potential issues, of using pre-employment assessment tools in your hiring process.
- More streamlined assessment of candidates: We recommend a three-stage solution to ease hiring woes, and using pre-employment assessment tools comes in the first stage. These tools make what can be a tedious process easier to handle for all stakeholders.
- Faster hiring process: With the tool assessing and ranking candidates on their suitability to your company, you increase your chances of make the right hiring choice more often.
- Quicker onboarding of candidates: Shortlisted candidates won't have to wait until their joining day to train or finish their paperwork. Pre-employment assessment tools that integrate with your onboarding software shorten the post-hiring period as well. Add new hires automatically to the onboarding or HR system after they pass the pre-employment assessment and recruiting processes.
- Additional costs. Adding another tool means additional expense for small businesses. It takes time and effort to search for and test software from different vendors to make sure you're finding the right one, which brings us to the second issue below.
- Trials and demos: Some vendors require signing contracts, or they offer paid trials, which may not be feasible for small businesses. Be sure to ask vendors about free trials, which give you hands-on experience with a tool before you buy, and can lead to a more successful implementation, which will save money in the long run.
Despite these concerns, treat pre-employment assessment tools as an investment. Making pre-employment assessments an essential part of hiring is one way to drive growth. While this buyer's guide and the list of top tools in the market above should give you a good overview of the market, you can always call our advisers for a free consultation about your needs and concerns.
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