5 Best Practices For Implementing Pre-Employment Testing

5 Best Practices For Implementing Pre-Employment Testing
Last Updated: January 11, 2023

Pre-employment testing refers to using various assessments to evaluate a job applicant’s skills, abilities, and personality before hiring. They’re often used alongside other hiring tools such as resumes, interviews, and references.

Pre-employment testing is essential to the hiring process as it helps employers make more informed and accurate decisions about which candidates are best suited for the job. By using objective measures to assess candidates’ skills and abilities, employers can more effectively identify candidates who have the potential to be successful in the role.

One common type of pre-employment testing is psychometric testing. Some employers use  psychometric assessments to assess a job candidate’s intelligence, abilities, potential and personality. It provides valuable information to employers about a candidate’s fit for a particular role and can help predict possible job performance. However, employers must use these assessments with other evaluation methods to get a profound insight into a candidate’s suitability for a position.

Read on to learn the best practices for implementing pre-employment testing.


1. Determine The Types Of Tests To Use

Many different tests can be used as part of the pre-employment testing process. Some common types include:

  • Skills And Aptitude Tests

Skills and aptitude tests measure a candidate’s knowledge, skills, and abilities related to a particular job or industry. Examples include typing tests, computer skills tests, and mechanical aptitude tests

  • Personality And Behavioral Tests

Personality and behavioral tests assess a candidate’s personality traits, tendencies, and behavior in different situations. These tests help employers determine how well a candidate will fit in with the company culture and how they might handle certain situations.

  • Cognitive Ability Tests

Cognitive ability tests measure a candidate’s mental abilities, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making. These tests can predict job performance in roles that require a high level of cognitive ability.

  • Physical And Motor Ability Tests

Physical and motor ability tests measure a candidate’s skills, such as manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and strength. These tests are often used for jobs that require physical exertion or skill.

  • Drug And Alcohol Tests

Drug and alcohol testing determines if a candidate has used drugs or alcohol recently. They are often required for safety-sensitive positions or positions where the use of drugs or alcohol could pose a risk to customers and other people in the workplace.

  • Language And Cultural Fit Tests

Language and cultural fit testing assess a candidate’s language skills and cultural fit with the company. They can be significant for roles that involve interacting with customers or clients from different cultural backgrounds.


2. Establish Clear Goals And Objectives For Testing


Establishing clear goals and objectives for pre-employment testing is vital to ensure that the tests effectively identify the best candidates for the job. Some key steps in this process include:

  • Identifying specific skills and qualities needed for the job: Before selecting tests to use, it’s crucial to identify the skills and qualities necessary for the position. It can guarantee that the tests used are relevant to the job and that they measure the essential attributes of the position.

  • Determining how test results will be used in the hiring process: It’s also crucial to decide how employers or hiring managers will use them in the hiring process. Will the results be used to narrow down the pool of candidates, or will they be used to make the final hiring decision? Will the results be combined with other forms of evaluation, such as resumes and interviews, or will they be the sole factor in the decision?

  • Setting a passing score for each test: Establishing a passing score for each test is essential. Doing so will help ensure that candidates who score low aren’t considered for the position. Conversely, those above the passing score are deemed qualified for the job. It should be based on the specific skills and qualities needed for the job.


3. Use Valid And Reliable Tests

When selecting pre-employment tests, make sure they’re both valid and reliable. Validity refers to whether a test is measuring what it’s intended to measure, while reliability refers to the consistency of the test results.

That said, it’s important to choose tests that have been scientifically validated and proven effective at measuring the attributes they’re intended to measure. This ensures that the test results are accurate and significant.

It’s crucial also that the tests are fair and don’t discriminate against any group, such as those based on race, gender, age, or disability. It’ll help to guarantee that the testing process is legally compliant and that it’s not unfairly biased against particular candidates.


Before administering any pre-employment tests, obtaining consent from job applicants is essential. This process should involve communicating the testing process to applicants, including an explanation of what the tests will measure, how long they’ll take, and how the results will be used in the hiring process. It’s also essential to provide applicants with relevant information about their rights and protections under federal and state employment laws.

In addition, it’s necessary to obtain written consent from applicants before administering any tests. It can help ensure that applicants know the testing process and have agreed to participate. HR staff can facilitate this by having applicants sign a consent form outlining the testing process and their rights and protections under employment laws.


5. Protect The Confidentiality Of Test Results

It’s crucial to store test results securely in a location such as a locked file cabinet or password-protected computer file to protect the confidentiality of pre-employment test results and ensure the privacy of job applicants. The hiring manager or HR staff should restrict access to test results to those who have a legitimate need to know.

Additionally, the hiring manager or HR staff should only share test results with authorized personnel only. Test results should only be shared with other staff or outside parties if there’s a valid business reason to do so.



Pre-employment testing can be a valuable tool in the hiring process when appropriately implemented. By following the best practices above, employers can ensure that their testing process is fair, reliable, and effective at identifying the best candidates for the job.


Editorial Team
This article was written by Editorial a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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