Why Pre-Employment Testing is More Important Than Ever

Leo Rolf

Posted 14/07/2020
by Leo Rolf

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Why Pre-Employment Testing is More Important Than Ever

The workplace is continually changing, but never more so than in 2020. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the world of work has been upended in the space of a few months.

Some jobs are safe, working in industries that have proven popular or vital during the last few months. Others have already disappeared, with many others set to follow in the future. Still more look uncertain.

It is no surprise to realise that many people are now searching for fresh work in a challenging environment. Research has shown that 820,000 vacancies were available at Adzuna on 15th March this year. In less than three months, to 7th June, that total had fallen to 346,000 – a drop of 474,000 vacancies.

It doesn’t take much, therefore, to understand that competition is going to heat up for the vacancies that are available. That could well prove daunting for recruiters.

Coping with remote applications

With millions of workers far from returning to the workplace under normal conditions, it’s no surprise to learn that the interviewing and selection process is going virtual too.

Many employers have embraced remote working practices. Meetings via Zoom, MS-Teams and other video conferencing methods have always been available and used. What’s now commonplace is the “acceptability” across all sectors, business sizes and generations. Applying similar techniques to recruitment is something large/global employers have used for geographical reasons amongst others, Covid will undoubtedly drive this adoption to become commonplace at all levels and sizes of business. Even as lockdown restrictions are relaxed, the ever-present threat of outbreaks of the virus have led to caution – and rightly so.

Pre-employment testing helps narrow the field

If you have vacancies available – no matter the quantity – it is essential to plan and know how you are going to cope with managing the influx of applications. A nice problem to have perhaps, given the not so distant high employment rates and the “lack” of applications for jobs many have seen. However, time will be shorter with some covering other roles as well as their own, and teams and processes may not be as efficient as they were working remotely. How you sift out and filter in quality applications to create a quality candidate pool will pay dividends to your time and ensure you hire right first time and it is imperative to do all you can to reduce the number of CVs you need to look at. This can be done by setting up online tests for applicants.

There are several good options here, such as:

  • English – covering spelling, comprehension, vocabulary, and more
  • Maths – covering numeracy and comprehension

These are the basics that would be applicable to most jobs. However, you can offer more specific pre-employment testing too.

Office-based roles are arguably even more important to test for if your new workers are going to be based at home. Anyone can claim to type so many words per minute, especially if they think they can learn quickly if they get the job.

Assessing someone’s experience in using various Microsoft programs is one example of how to weed out those without appropriate skills. If Word, Excel, and Outlook are required as part of the role, you can provide applicants with the chance to take tests to assess their suitability.

From there you can move on to situational judgment tests. Even if applicants won’t be asked to attend the office for the foreseeable future, they may still be required to field phone calls or attend to emails. It is still important to make sure they could handle those tasks positively without reflecting badly on your business.

Seek advice from experts on pre-employment testing

With more people applying for a shrinking range of roles, there are many stories of applicants who have applied for jobs outside of their range of knowledge. While some may thrive, others would be unsuitable.

With pre-employment tests provided as part of the screening process, you’re more likely to find the right people for every vacancy you make available.

Skillsarena offers a range of tests designed to help you find the right people for many industries and job roles. If you want to make your recruitment process easier, do it with our assistance today. Call Skillsarena now on 0203 693 2201 or send an email outlining your requirements to info@skillsarena.com.

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