How to Screen Candidates with Pre-Employment Tests

By Caroline Roberson on March 3, 2023

We understand that pre-employment testing can be a crucial step in the hiring process, helping employers to assess candidates’ skills, aptitudes, and suitability for a particular job role. As an expert in the field of human resources, we have put together this guide to help you understand the benefits and best practices of pre-employment testing.

What is Pre-Employment Testing?

Pre-employment testing refers to the process of administering a standardized, objective test designed to evaluate candidates’ knowledge, skills, abilities, and other factors relevant to a certain role. These tests can be in the form of written exams, physical assessments, cognitive or psychometric evaluations, or other types of assessments that measure specific job-related skills.

The Benefits of Pre-Employment Testing

  1. Improved Hiring Decisions: Pre-employment testing can help you to identify the most qualified candidates for a job. By evaluating candidates based on objective criteria, rather than just their resume or interview performance, you can make more informed hiring decisions.
  2. Reduced Turnover: By hiring candidates who are well-suited to a job, you can reduce turnover and associated costs. Pre-employment testing helps you to identify candidates who are likely to be successful in the role and who are a good fit for your company culture.
  3. Increased Productivity: Hiring the right candidate can lead to increased productivity, as they are more likely to be able to perform the job duties effectively and efficiently. Pre-employment testing can help you to find candidates who are capable of meeting or exceeding job requirements.
  4. Legal Compliance: Pre-employment testing can help to ensure legal compliance with federal and state regulations. By using standardized testing procedures and avoiding discrimination, you can reduce your risk of legal liability.

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Best Practices for Pre-Employment Testing

  1. Choose the Right Test: The type of pre-employment test you use should be directly relevant to the job requirements. For example, if the job involves heavy lifting, a physical assessment may be more appropriate than a written exam.
  2. Ensure Test Reliability and Validity: The test should be reliable and valid, meaning that it consistently measures what it is intended to measure. You should also ensure that the test has been properly validated for the specific job role and industry.
  3. Avoid Discrimination: Pre-employment testing should not discriminate against candidates based on their race, gender, age, or other protected characteristics. Tests should be designed to measure job-related skills and qualifications, and should not unfairly advantage or disadvantage certain candidates.
  4. Use Testing Results in Combination with Other Factors: Pre-employment testing should not be the sole factor in hiring decisions. Other factors, such as interview performance, references, and work experience, should also be taken into account when making hiring decisions.


Pre-employment testing can be an effective tool for identifying the most qualified candidates for a job. By following best practices and using reliable, valid tests that are directly relevant to the job requirements, you can make more informed hiring decisions, reduce turnover, increase productivity, and ensure legal compliance. If you need assistance with pre-employment testing, contact us today to learn how we can help you make the most of this crucial hiring tool.

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