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What Steps Should Be Taken Before You Can Start Testing Candidates

May 25, 2017

A critical part of the job candidate screening process is testing. Here’s what you should know before you begin…

There aren’t too many people who enjoy taking tests, especially in high-pressure situations, but the fact is that they are extremely useful for the purpose of selecting desirable employees. You can significantly improve your chances of finding the right person for the job with a comprehensive candidate testing process. However, just like with any other effective business process, you’ll want to plan before you start.

First, you’ll want to know why you are adding testing to your hiring process. Did your company create a new position? Is turnover too high? Are you dealing with unacceptable shrink? Are you trying to build great teams? It’s important to know what problem you are trying to solve, so your assessment provider can recommend the right tests. Also, think about what you hope to learn from the test results.  Determine if you want to know things like trainability, personality, integrity, typing speed, or what have you.

Once you know why you are testing candidates, find out all you can about the jobs you are looking to test for. Using a job analysis is a great way to start. Job analyses define the job duties and skills required for the position, the chains of command, pay scales and more. It can help determine the hiring criteria, such as what kind of skills, certification and experience are needed, questions to ask during the interview, and so forth. Performing a job analysis before deciding on your hiring criteria is also prudent from a legal perspective.

Something else to consider is urgency and timing. Do you need to fill positions ASAP or do you have time? This will determine whether or not you have the time to have customized job analyses done or use predefined ones. Work with your test provider to iron out the details. In fact, your provider should be your partner throughout the process. They should provide training in test administration, scoring and interpretation of results, and they should work with you to set cut scores based on all of the information that’s gathered.

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