Recruitment and HR Blog
As job application numbers rise, have you thought about pre-employment testing?
The August employment figures from the Office For National Statistics reveal that the estimated number of vacancies in the period May to July 2023 has fallen again, making it the 13th consecutive period to see a quarterly fall since April to June 2022. While there are still over a million vacancies, the market is shifting and candidate availability is rising. With more job seekers on the market and increasing competition for vacancies, all the signs are that the majority of employers can start to expect more applications coming their way in response to vacancies they’re posting.
And that can be a mixed blessing.
It’s great to have more choice and it might feel like a welcome change compared to the highly candidate driven market that’s been around for a while. But on the other hand, someone has to spend time looking through all of those applications to assess each one and to decide whether to move it on to the next stage. It’s likely that more candidates will decide to submit applications even if they aren’t necessarily a close match for the requirements of the role. Trying to manage the recruitment process efficiently and effectively will potentially become harder with more applications to wade through.
It affects the candidate experience too
If the volume of applications causes delays in the recruitment process, it could also have a knock-on effect for candidates who are waiting to hear back from an employer. At best, that could mean candidates left with a more negative impression of that employer. At worst, it could lead to some individuals deciding to turn to social media to communicate their experiences and disappointment about how they’ve been left feeling... which can of course end up harming an employer’s brand.
So if you are an employer about to recruit – what options are open to you to manage these issues more effectively? Well, one thing you could consider is whether pre-employment testing could help you speed up your recruitment process.
Pre-employment testing saves time and supports hiring decisions
The number of responses to your vacancies will inevitably vary depending on the type of role, your essential requirements, the job location and the package on offer. But how you go about reducing the volume and identifying the best applicants early on is key.
Unfortunately, it is the case that some job seekers will be ‘creative’ with the truth on their CV, either deliberately or because they overestimate their capabilities. So it’s only sensible that throughout any hiring process, you gather as much relevant information about candidates as possible by adopting a variety of selection methods to reduce the risk of making a poor hire.
This is where pre-employment skills and knowledge testing can help. They provide a way to highlight the stronger candidates and start creating the shortlist, while also providing valuable information that can be explored later on. Using these tests will also reduce the number of candidates you decide to invite to first interview, saving you time further into the process too.
What types of pre-employment tests are available?
Pre-employment skills and knowledge tests help measure skills and knowledge, better equipping you with the right information to determine whether a candidate has the necessary capabilities to perform well within the role. Psychometric testing can provide insights into personality and character traits and provides a useful basis for exploring whether the candidate is likely to fit in well with the team and add to the culture of the business.
There are a wide range of pre-employment tests available - these are some of the options:
Microsoft Office knowledge testing
Microsoft Office simulated assessments can provide you with a detailed overview of a candidate’s knowledge of and ability to use packages including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. You’ll usually find there are varying levels available, starting from basic through to advanced, or even a mixed level assessment to gain an overall feel for where a candidate’s ability lies.
Typing and data entry skills testing
These assessments test an individual’s ability to input data with speed and accuracy and can include copy typing and audio typing assessments to determine a candidate’s ability to read and type a passage of text, or transcribe a given recording.
Numeracy and literacy testing
These can include aptitude, grammar, spelling and verbal and numerical reasoning assessments, which can be utilised for any type and level of role.
These assessments will help you to understand more about how aspects of an individual’s behavioural style will affect their performance at work and how they are likely to collaborate with colleagues and react in certain situations. They are a useful basis from which you can explore a candidate’s strengths and preferences and understand more about their general style and approach to work.
Role specific assessments
You can also get tests for specific role types such as accountancy, where testing a candidate’s bookkeeping or payroll knowledge for example might be useful – or contact centre testing to assess an applicant’s situational judgement when it comes to customer service.
Pre-employment testing is more important than ever…
As a recruiting employer, it makes a lot of sense to consider whether pre-employment testing should become a staple ingredient of your process, both to simplify and speed up the shortlisting stage and also to validate hiring decisions. If you’d like to discover more about your options when it comes to pre-employment tests and profiling, then please call us on 01745 774 955, or click here to schedule a consultation call.