Employment tests are becoming a common part of application procedures. These tests can be a useful tool in determining if candidates are acceptable for the job. However, they can also be a distraction. Worse, they might discourage qualified workers from even applying. As an HR manager for a company in the midst of the hiring process, you might wonder what constitutes a good employment test. A good employment test is not just about what questions you ask, but how those questions are asked. Below are 5 best practices for creating strong employment tests that leave you with fewer concerns about performance management.
Keep Them Brief
If your pre-test is online, make sure to keep it brief. Applicants will start to lose interest in any test that take longer then 40 minutes to complete. A long test will create the wrong impression of your company with the applicants. The ideal length for an employment test is between ten and twenty minutes. This lets the applicants know the test is serious and worth committing to, but not so long that test fatigue sets in. Your applicants can only concentrate on a test for so long. Make the most out of the period you get by keeping tests short and succinct.
Be Clear and Honest
Take time to explain to the applicants what you are testing for. This is particularly important if the test you are conducting is not clearly a skill test. Many of the personality tests used by companies make no sense to the applicant. They use cryptic questions to try to determine personality factors. In reality, this just makes your applicants frustrated. To relive this pick questions that are straightforward. Additionally, be clear about what the questions are trying to figure out. Clear communication here will not only get you honest answers, it will build trust between you and the applicants.
Make The Test Passable
Consider how difficult the test is and if it is even passable. As a rule, anyone who has the minimum qualifications for the job should be able to pass the test. If they cannot pass the test, then you need to change the test so they can. The employment test should be used to eliminate unqualified applicants and rank qualified applicants. If your employment assessments cannot do this because they are too hard, then it becomes a pointless exercise.
Keep In Mind EEOC Guidelines
Your tests should stay within government guidelines. The equal employment opportunity commission, or EEOC, provides clear guidelines about what employment tests can and can not include. Their focus is on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. These EEOC guidelines ensure your tests do not discriminate against applicants for their race, gender, sexual orientation or religion. These guidelines are available online on an easy to follow fact sheet. Doing so helps you avoid government fines and restrictions. More importantly, these guidelines are important to ensure your tests are fair.
Only Part Of The Decision
Whatever pre-hiring assessment you use, do not use it as the only factor in determining who you hire. Hiring tests can be useful determining tools, but there are a lot of other factors they cannot show. A good application process should also include in person interviews, body language in business interactions, analyzing work history and checking references. This combination can give you a more complete look at who the applicant is and what they can do. Tests are just one part of a larger process. Do not ignore the other parts of an effective hiring process.
Employment tests and other pre-employment assessments can be useful tools if you follow best practices. Keep the test length under 40 minutes to prevent test fatigue. Be honest and clear about why you ask specific questions and what they mean. Make sure the test is passable by any qualified applicant. Remember to follow government guidelines. Use tests as part of a hiring process, not as a hiring process itself. Follow these guidelines to make sure you get the results you need from your tests.