Goodbye and Good Riddance to 2020

As we say goodbye and good riddance to 2020, companies worldwide are looking to find the best pre-employment assessments to take their hiring to a new level. With unemployment where it is, the workforce getting displaced due to automation and the overall uneasiness of the economic environment, companies are looking to do more with less and hiring the right people has never been more critical than it is today. According to the Department of Labor, the cost of a bad hire is at least 30 percent of the employee’s first-year expected earnings, and for some sales jobs the cost is at least twice the annual salary. For a $100,000 salaried individual, that’s $30,000! The role of the pre-employment test provides an edge for companies willing to take the extra step and use it to find the right hire.  This fact has been true for many years but is becoming increasingly important as we move into 2021.

Pre-employment evaluation tools are built to measure specific areas of an applicant that in turn provides data to the employer that helps them determine how well they will perform on the job if hired. Pre-employment assessments come in any number of forms. Typically, they measure: behavior, specific hard skills, cognitive ability, culture fit as well as soft skills. The best pre-employment assessments provide validated data around the specific areas they are measuring – data that can be trusted by the hiring manager to help them make the best decision. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits pre-employment assessment tools can provide.

Top 3 benefits of using a quality, validated, pre-employment assessment:

1. Provides unbiased approach to candidate selection

2. Provides trusted data to make better hiring decisions

3. Provides a system for hiring managers to use that is easy to replicate

So, for 2021 what are the best types of pre-employment assessments to use? The answer to this simple question is that first of all, there is no one-size fits all assessment that can be used because it all depends on what position you are hiring for, how many people you need to hire, who is doing the hiring as well as a number of other factors.

4 key trends for 2021 you should consider when choosing the best pre-employment assessments.

1. Look to use video.

Video provides a lot of value to the company and the candidate.  Video assessments have a history of providing fair, and valid evaluations that give a very good predictor of success.  In addition, candidates like video, it is what people look for on the Internet so why shouldn’t their application process and pre-employment assessments also use video.  There really is no down-side for using video. And beyond candidates liking the use of video, it often times helps remove any disparate impact in the assessment process.

AlignMark’s AccuVision series of video-based assessments has a 30+ year history of providing legally defensible, validated selection decisions for organizations.  Accuvision is a video-based assessment used for high-volume hiring positions such as sales, bank tellers, contact center representatives, etc. This job simulation assessment takes the applicant through a scenario an applicant could find themselves in at the job they are applying for. It measures their specific soft skills they would need to be successful on the job and provides a report to the hiring manager that predicts their ability to be successful on the job. These assessments are validated through a rigorous validation process taking up to one-year, have been successfully defended in court and to date, AccuVision has assessed over 6,000,000 job candidates.  A few other organizations have produced video-based assessments on a smaller scale as well.

2. Avoid the glamour of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

There are a lot of claims of AI in assessments floating around out there.  In the last 2 years alone more companies have started advertising AI in their pre-employment assessments.  First, this is not real AI – there are still algorithms behind the assessments.  Second, this way of assessing has not been fully researched and could leave the company open for challenges in the court system.  If true AI is being used and evaluating facial expressions, or voice tone, versus the content of the responses, then there are inherent biases being built in.  Before using an assessment that proports to be built on AI do your research, and even use an I/O Psychologist to help with the evaluation of the instruments.

3. Some tried and true pre-screeners are still needed.

Unfortunately, in today’s world there are some applicants that have the skills but still are not a good candidate for the organization (i.e., drug use, theft, etc).  This type of information often comes out in drug screens, and background checks.  If your organization can document that you need this information to help make decisions then there are numerous companies out there offering these services.  Since these assessments are often expensive, make sure to put them at the end of your hiring process, potentially only for those that have accepted a “conditional” offer.

4. Technology Skills are becoming part of every job.

Almost all jobs require some form of technology knowledge.  This will only increase in 2021 and beyond.  For a lot of companies true coding skills are important to measure – almost all companies have some form of IT department.  HackerRank is a pre-employment test for assessing developer skills. This hiring platform focuses on the hard skills of writing code and is widely used among companies throughout the world. Job seekers can also log on to their platform and take tests to show their skills to potential hiring companies. We chose to highlight HackerRank because determining hard skills of developers before hiring them is a worldwide challenge. Please note, there are many other hard skills that can be measures, reading, writing, mathematics, etc. For each of these specific skills, there are a dozen companies that provide assessments.

Certainly, there are many other types of assessments and determining the best test for each category should involve a demonstration of each tool to determine that best pre-employment assessment for your specific need. Take your time, be as specific as possible and utilize these assessments to help you find the best person for the job you are filling.

Related Resource: Pre-Employment Assessments – Everything you need to know

Related Blog Post: Why You Should Use Predictive Analysis in Talent Acquisition