To get a more holistic look at potential hires, some employers are supplementing standard screening practices 

While interview questions may help familiarize you with candidates, to paint a more comprehensive picture of the assets each can provide, numerous companies are turning to pre-employment assessments — which measure traits, specific skills and other elements. 

More than 71 percent of the North American companies that participated in Talent Board’s 2017 candidate experience benchmarking survey said that they use pre-employment assessment and testing systems in the recruiting process. 

If your organization doesn’t, it may want to consider the various kinds of information pre-employment assessment tests can uncover — such as: 

Who’s likely to go above and beyond

Companies that use pre-employment assessment screening are 24 percent more likely to have employees who exceed performance goals, according to Aberdeen research. 

Along with cutting hiring process time and cost, pre-hiring assessments can also help companies hold on to high-potential employees The turnover rate for that group is 39 percent lower at businesses that use assessments than at companies that don’t. 

What abilities jobseekers really have

Candidates may oversell their skill set, or misunderstand what an employer is looking for. To prevent any confusion, some employers are utilizing job-specific skill testing — the most popular type of assessment test, according to the Talent Board, which found it’s being used by 60 percent of organizations before they hire new employees. Forty-seven percent of companies give candidates competency tests. 

An objective look at entry-level employees

A number of HR professionals aren’t convinced traditional hiring practices are the most helpful choice for entry-level roles. 

Only a fifthaccording to a Society for Human Resource Management and Mercer surveyare fully confident in their employers’ ability to effectively assess entry-level applicants’ skills — which may be one reason pre-employment assessment tests are being given to early-career candidates at a much higher rate than they’re being doled out to candidates with more experience. Seventy-four percent of companies have hourly and entry-level candidates undergo pre-employment testing before they interview; just 39 percent have senior management candidates take assessment testsaccording to the Talent Board. 

If candidates have an amenable disposition

Personality assessments may provide a sense of whether a candidate will be a good match for a specific role and the overall organization; yet fewer companies used them in 2018, compared to several years prior, according to a SHL report. 

Regardless, they’re candidates’ preferred type of pre-employment testing. Workers from the apprentice to the executive level rate personality assessments higher than other pre-hiring assessment tests — including cognitive ability tests, games and puzzles, and integrity tests. 

Ninety-four percent of organizations believe pre-employment testing is a valuable part of the hiring process; less than half (49 percent), however, collect metrics to evaluate the impact their testing has on hiring, according to SHL. To determine which pre-employment assessment methods work best at what hiring process phase, it’s crucial employers track and analyze assessment-related data. 

In addition to giving assessment tests to potential hires, companies can also have current employees take the tests to help employers better understand their talent’s additional training, placement and other needs. 

For additional thoughts on effective hiring practices, view our blog posts on using talent rediscovery practices to make sure qualified candidates aren’t overlooked, using big data in hiring,  3 things you don’t want your candidate experience to include — and the best social media sites to help you build your employer brand, which can increase the chance you’ll attract candidates who’ll align with both your company culture and skills needs.