Analysis of Pre-Employment Testing in the Hiring Process

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

Aside from serving as a filter in the hiring process, pre-employment tests can help hiring managers predict if a candidate will be an asset to a company. They handle small and larger candidate pools with no problem, which makes them extremely versatile.

While the pre-employment tests themselves are administered to every candidate, the position for which they might be hired varies. Most candidate pools given pre-employment tests are for jobs in the entry to mid-level sections of a company. However, they can be presented to candidates applying for the director, management, or executive-level positions. In fact, the number of higher-level positions utilizing these tests has increased in recent years.

Higher Levels Equal More Qualifications

As the corporate hiring ladder goes up, there are fewer applications for higher-level positions. This is because those levels require more qualifications or experience. This creates a pyramid or funnel between the number of candidates and the importance of the job. Nonetheless, well-crafted pre-employment tests can be administered no matter the size of the applicant pool. Though that may be true, the contents of those tests are likely to be very different.

Lower-level positions should have tests that cover the necessary knowledge and qualities, which means it will be more generalized. Higher levels, such as executive and management positions, must be specific to the job tasks. Pre-employment tests are a chance not only for candidates to prove their skills but for them to understand what would be expected of them if they are hired. In general, this should be the same for every test in the hiring process.

Beyond the Skillsets

Educational background, experience, and skillset were once the primary focus of the hiring process. However, other elements such as company culture, ethnicity or gender, and overall personality of candidates have worked their way into the hiring process. It’s no longer just about skill sets and knowledge. This is where pre-employment tests can also play an important role.

Depending on how the tests are constructed, they could encompass all of those characteristics. The equality of questions on technical skills or non-job-specific skills (soft skills) may be unbalanced. Each company has an idea of the type of employee they want to bring in. Furthermore, the business’s culture, desired personality type of the employee, and level of experience have become the primary focus of hiring managers in the past few years.


With the right pre-employment test, it can be given to any candidate for any position. The differences lie in the content of the test when it comes to higher- and lower-level positions. Tests administered to lower-level candidates aren’t likely to be a good fit for higher-level candidates due to individual job tasks. Keeping those pre-employment tests directed toward the open position is the best way to ensure the test produces valid results.

Using a pre-employment test the right way should lead to the addition of a highly qualified individual who can be an asset to the company. Similarly, from the corporate side of things, if these tests decrease the time, money, and resources spent finding a good employee, it’s living up to its potential.