Recruitment Tests: Productive Tool or Fake Promise?

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Recruitment Tests: Productive Tool or Fake Promise?

The experience of European companies shows that the tests created for the assessment and development of talents can serve as a good support for recruiters. They can match the profile of a candidate and the requirements of the vacancy more closely. And we talk not about getting just a general insight into candidate’s abilities but rather about having a powerful tool for decision-making. After analyzing frequently asked questions to different professional tests, we chose the most popular ones, mainly focusing on recruitment tests.

Recruitment tests are the tests that a candidate passes during the recruitment process. They are designed to assess his or her motivation, the way of thinking, and personality. Nowadays the recruitment tests are part of Predictive Analytics in HR. They are one of the important cogs in the complex mechanism, which is based on both the analysis of a candidate and the needs of the company and on the analysis of existing employees and other indicators.

Are tests based on a scientific approach?

Tests are an objective tool for making recruitment more reliable. They appeal to the rational analysis and are based on a scientific approach. They are the work that is carried out in several stages: first, the test is created and approved and then checks are performed to ensure that this test does not contradict the results of already approved tests. In addition, there is the process of rechecking in a few months, to verify the validity of the results of the same person for the same test. All these scientific elements allow users to confirm the quality of the tests and to avoid errors of results interpretation. Thus, at least the tests from one developer can’t contradict each other, and tests from different developers based on one technique, can’t get radically different results.

How much the personality of a candidate depends on his or her emotional state during the test?

The recruitment test is a way of predicting how an employee will behave. His or her mood should not affect the results. The developers make sure that the test measures not the emotional state of a person, but the deeper personality. If you are upset during the test this should not affect the test’s purpose at all. Of course, if you answer the test without looking at it, this will affect the result. But the emotional state will not be the deciding factor if you answer questions attentively.

In tests on logic environment virtually does not affect the result, but if the candidate will answer the same test for 6 months, then his or her answers will be similar and the results will be distorted. In this case, “the test displays not the logic of the subject, but his or her ability to learn”. To avoid this effect, sets of tests were invented and their results form a single correct result.

What is the added value of using tests compared with the traditional interview?

Classic interviews don’t always define the main selection criteria or assess them. We get a general idea about the age and a clearer understanding of the skills. But continue testing the candidate on the first interview is difficult, especially because both sides are interested in the positive assessment. In contrast, tests allow the employer to get information about the candidate even before the first meeting. Tests determine candidate’s motivation and behavior which are often hard to accurately articulate for a prospective employee. 

The advantage of the test is that you ask the candidate a question and help him or her to show certain aspects of the personality that he or she might never think of. Recruitment tests are also an opportunity to think about how will the transfer of responsibilities and integration of the candidate in the new position go. It all depends on which test to choose and what criteria to specify.

How can we trust the reliability of the tests when making decisions?

In order for a test to become a reliable tool for decision-making, you must:

  1. Identify competencies required for the position: we decide what we will assess before selecting a test.
  2. Choose the right test: you must make sure that the test fits for the assessment of the required criteria and that it’s well constructed. It must be clear to the candidate and will allow that getting the clearest, complete, and helpful answers.
  3. Train your staff: the person who will have access to the results must be able to interpret them correctly.

Until now, tests at the stage of “screening” were quite limited by the logical (numeric) tests that require validation through careful study of the resume and phone interview to confirm the skills and motivations of a candidate. Numerous tests like Myers-Briggs were too broad and psychological insufficiently sharpened for the purposes of companies. Now, with the help of analytics, we can find the most suitable questions to immediately identify success factors.

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