What is a pre-hire assessment, and why should you be using one?

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A pre-hire assessment is a survey, test, or questionnaire that prospective candidates complete as part of a job application or inverview process.

This is an effective way to determine how qualified an applicant is for a role, and to assess their strengths in a task-based scenario. Employers can then use the results to match each candidate’s skills to their job specification and requirements, increasing the chance of making the right hire.

Examples of pre-hire assessments an interviewee might be asked to complete include: providing writing samples, basic literacy and numeracy tests, and even the fitness and health exams a recruit in the armed forces or police will be expected to undergo.

Industry-leading organisations are 36% more likely to use pre-hire assessments

Global talent acquisition and management firm, Alexander Mann Solutions, has highlighted the need for firms to utilise data in the pre-hire stage in order to secure the best candidates, particularly when it comes to critical hiring decisions.

In response to a report by industry-leading analysts, Aberdeen, which revealed that ‘best-in-class’ organisations are 36% more likely to use assessments in the pre-hire stage than their peers, Alexander Mann Solutions has advised HR leaders to review their use of assessments to drive a constant flow of data throughout the hiring process.

Statistics from learning and development researchers Towards Maturity confirm t dismal picture: nearly one in three people leave organisations voluntarily or involuntarily before the end of their first year, and 22% of those who do leave do so within their first six weeks.

Pre-hire assessments can have a positive impact not only on onboarding, candidate fit and retention, but on a wider range of positive HR indicators, including time to hire, performance and engagement.

Organisations are changing the way they approach talent acquisition, and the Best-in-Class are making extensive use of pre-hire assessments to gather information about candidate skill sets, developmental resource requirements, and other best-fit characteristics for integrating newly hired employees.

Pre-Hire Assessments: The First Test to Understand the Candidate

In the report, Aberdeen also found that among ‘best-in-class’ companies, use of these assessments increased 16% from 2015 to 2016, and 22% compared to two years prior.

Lisa Forrest, Global Head of Internal Talent Acquisition at Alexander Mann Solutions, explained why a lack of focus on pre-hire assessments could impact on quality of hire.

“As the nature of the workplace continues to evolve and the expectations of both employers and candidates start to shift, pre-hire assessments can provide employers with the opportunity to gather detailed information about candidate’s skills-sets, resource requirements, and best-fit characteristics to assist in selecting, and subsequently onboarding, new employees.”

Statistics from learning and development researchers Towards Maturity confirm the dismal picture: nearly one in three people leave organisations voluntarily or involuntarily before the end of their first year, and 22% of those who do leave do so within their first six weeks.

Pre-hire assessments can have a positive impact not only for onboarding, candidate fit and retention, but on a wider range of positive HR indicators, including time to hire, performance and engagement.