How To Save Time While Hiring: Test Candidates Early

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A skill test is the best way to improve your hiring process and select the best candidate. But when is the right time to include the skill test? The order you screen and interview the applicants are crucial for the ultimate success of your hiring process, and it can save quite some time – both for you and the candidates. 

The typical hiring process starts with a resume review, then moves to a phone interview, then the in-person interview, and finally, the skill test. But with this order, a candidate can claim they are experienced with certain skills and you will not be able to see that for real until late in the process. It can turn out that the candidate is not as good as claims to be, and you have wasted your time. 

Here is a great tip on how to save time while hiring – test the candidates early in the hiring process. 

Why you should start with a Skill Test

Do not waste time by inviting candidates to an interview just to find out they are not meeting the requirements. Start with a test as the first step in your hiring process to evaluate skills and knowledge. 

You do not need to include a long and complicated test. The only thing you need to verify at this point is whether the candidates possess the needed skills for the job. 

This way you can filter candidates that are not a good fit or not as good as they claim to be. Then later, if you need a more thorough evaluation of skills, you can always include a more extensive test as a part of the interview process. 

You can send the first test to the candidates right after they apply for the job or you could even include a link to the test in the job posting so that the candidates can apply by taking the test.  

Which Job Screening Test Is Best?

When you are looking for a screening test, keep in mind that not all methods are the same. Some of them are more accurate than others especially when it comes to predicting work performance. 

There are several screening methods that are effective and have a relatively high predictive validity. These are: 

  • Job knowledge tests – with this method you ask the candidates to demonstrate specific knowledge that is required for the job.  
  • General mental ability tests – these are also called reasoning tests and ask the candidates to solve some job-related problems. 
  • Structured interviews – with this method interviewers are asking the candidates the same questions in the same order and objectively compare the answers and overall score. 
  • Work-sample tests – this type of test include a sample of the work that the job requires. 

The best possible way is to combine several of these methods to ensure you will get the best results. 

How to invite the candidates to the test 

You can either include the link in your job posting or invite the candidates via email. A short test for core skills that are required for the job is more accurate and requires less of your time, and gives you the opportunity to compare performance.  

After you have selected the screening test you can put the URL in your online job posting. The candidates can apply to the job by taking the test and you can deactivate the URL when you meed your quota on candidates. 

You can also send the link to the test by email to candidates who have already applied for your job or potential applicants you would like to invite. 

Either way, having a screening test as the first step in the hiring process is the best way to filter unsuitable candidates and save a significant amount of time.