Pre-EmploymentTesting: Howdoes it Impact Talent Acquisition?JordanNoll-LamantiaSUNYStony Brook School of Professional Development Pre-EmploymentTesting: How does it Impact Talent Acquisition?AsHuman Resource professionals, we are familiar with a variety of tools that are reliedupon to help perform human resource functions. One of these commonly used tools inorganizations is assessments, which can be utilized for a variety of purposes. Assessments can help in evaluatingeffectiveness of training and development programs, making promotion decisions,and aiding in career exploration.
Assessments are also widely used in the talentacquisition process. The types of test vary greatly and may evaluate factorssuch as an applicant’s cognitive ability, physical ability, personality,aptitude, and honesty, among others (SHRM, 2016). Despite their wide use, assessmentsalso pose some drawbacks and limitations in the talent assessment process.Nonetheless, in today’s human resources landscape, pre-employment testing andassessments are a critical component of effective talent acquisition. Thereare many benefits to using pre-employment assessments in the talent acquisitionprocess. Regardless of the type ofassessment being used, they are all typically inexpensive to administer (U.S. Departmentof Labor, 2000).
Furthermore, an organization will recognize additional savingsbecause the assessments will “weed out” those employees who are not likely tobe successful; this means less time spent on conducting interviews (Bika, 2016).This “weeding out” of candidates can also help to reduce costs due to turnoverbecause they are hiring employees who are more likely to have success in thejob. The use of pre-employment assessments is many times viewed as more “fair” thanother hiring alternatives because each person receives is based on a standardcriterion, instead of the potential objectivity of the recruiter (Bika, 2016).
One of the most commonly used typesof assessments is the cognitive ability test, which carries its own benefits tothe talent acquisition process. In short, cognitive ability tests are intendedto measure intelligence. Some cognitive ability tests measure overall mentalability, while others measure math skills, verbal ability, and inductive ordeductive reasoning (SHRM, 2016). TheUnited States Department of Labor recognizes mental ability tests as one of the”most useful predictors of performance across a variety of jobs” (2000). Adrawback to the use of pre-employment cognitive ability assessments is that it cancause qualified candidates to be turned down. Some people are simply not goodtest takers, but may have been successful performers on the job (Nicholson,2000). This leads to the argument that pre-employment assessments are notalways valid predictors of job success. An expert in the field, Greta Roberts assertsthat pre-employment assessments can in fact be predictive to job successoutcomes if they are properly designed (2017).
Oneimportant factor that Roberts mentions is that there should only be oneassessment to be applied to all roles (Roberts, 2016). By having a differentassessment for each role, you effectively are eliminating the chance that the applicantcould be identified as a successful candidate for perhaps another role in the organization.This poses a limitation to the organization.Frompersonal experience, the single assessment strategy is used in one of the UnitedStates’ largest auto insurance companies.
While applicants can apply for aspecific position in either the Claims, Customer Service, or Sales departments,the organization uses a single assessment. This one assessment is used to helpdetermine if the applicant may be successful in the job which they applied for,but also if they would be more successful in one of the other departments. Thishelps to lead to better hiring decisions and gives the organization a better ideaof where the candidate would best fit. As discussed, pre-employment assessmentsplay an important role in the talent acquisition process of organizations. Likemost tools used in the field of Human Resources, there are both advantages and disadvantagesto their use. If developed and administered properly, pre-employment assessmentssuch as cognitive ability assessment can allow organizations to make more successfulhiring decisions.
ReferencesBika,N. (2016). Pre-employment testing: pros and cons. Workable. Retrieved from https://resources.workable.
com/tutorial/pre-employment-testing Nicholson,G. (2000). Automated Assessments for Better Hires. Workforce (10928332), 79(12), 102.
Roberts,G. (2017). Pre-hire talent assessments must be a part of your predictive talent acquisition strategy. Workforce Solutions Review, 8(1), 32-34. SHRM(2016).
Screening by means of pre-employment testing. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and- samples/toolkits/pages/screeningbymeansofpreemploymenttesting.aspx U.S.Department of Labor (2000).
Testing and assessment: An employer’s guide to good practices.