Mettl’s assessments have been the biggest filter in our recruitment process. Their platform has helped us reach out to a higher volume our applicant numbers. Mettl constantly keeps innovating on their products and tries to introduce a new aspect to everything.
Different types of pre-employment tests have revolutionized the way hiring is being conducted globally. Traditionally, human resource managers have relied on telephonic and face-to-face interviews to fill vacancies. However, this approach has proven to be flawed, eventually, with an increase in the number of bad hires and early attrition rates. Additionally, the incompetence of bad hires costs an organization in multiple ways. When CareerBuilder asked how a bad hire affected its business in the last year, employers cited less productivity (37 percent), lost time to recruit and train another worker (32 percent) and compromised quality of work (31 percent).
The desire or the immediate need to fill a role quickly is one of the greatest threats to making a good quality hire, but choosing the wrong person to simply get a replacement is risky and may cost the business dearly. It is always better to leave a role unfilled and undertake the recruitment process again, even at the cost of potentially acute short-term operational problems, than to make a poor choice and run the risk of causing acute, long-term operational problems.
Nobody wants to make wrong hiring decisions. Hence witnessing these repercussions, businesses started seeking avenues to reduce them. Advancements in the HR tech space led to organizations adopting different types of pre-employment tests to increase their quality of hires.
The rise of personality testing in the twentieth century was a response to an increase in the number of office workers. HRs started using it to maximize employee potential. One of the most effective types of pre-employment tests, personality tests are used to evaluate the human personality to make the right hiring decisions. They are designed to identify workplace patterns, relevant characteristics and traits and reflect how people may respond to different situations. These types of pre-employment testing help build self-awareness and facilitate team building.
Personality tests can be divided into 2 categories:
The bright side of human personality comprises positive personality traits that are easily noticeable and help in honing on-the-job performance. The bright side is based on the Big Five Personality Traits using which Mercer | Mettl has categorized them into behavioral competencies and workplace-specific behaviors.
Dark personality traits surface when certain characteristics of a person get triggered. This leads to the display of counterproductive behavior, adversely impacting the workplace and co-workers. This type of pre-employment testing proves efficient in discovering these otherwise hidden traits. Our internal report, ‘Uncovering the Dark Traits of Human Personality,’ revealed that 60% of organizations use online assessment as the most efficient tool for identifying and measuring dark traits.
A behavioral assessment measures the behavioral competencies of individuals in a simulated work environment. These types of pre-employment testing require individuals to demonstrate behavioral competencies in one or more activities relevant to their job roles and resemble actual organizational situations. Candidates are presented with a series of real work-related scenarios with possible courses of action. They have to select either the best option or rank the possible actions based on their effectiveness.
Behavioral assessment tools can be easily customized for all job levels and use cases. These types of pre-employment testing are created on behavioral competencies, further classified into sub-competencies. In addition to hiring top talent, behavioral assessments are used to strategize coaching plans, ideal for recruiting and identifying prospects who could be groomed into future leaders.
The Benefits of Behavioral Assessments in Recruitment
Behavioral assessments can be divided into the following types of pre-employment tests:
A pre-employment aptitude test assesses individuals’ abilities such as critical thinking, verbal reasoning, numerical ability, problem-solving, decision-making, etc. One of the most critical types of pre-employment testing, they are an indicator of a person’s intelligence quotient (IQ). The test results predict on-the-job performance and assess current and potential employees across job levels. They also test role-specific IQs across multiple job functions. This type of pre-employment exam helps HRs in improving the quality of hires.
According to Mercer | Mettl’s Assessing Cognitive Competencies at Work, the correlation between cognitive intelligence and work performance is at least 51% and can go as high as 84%. High intelligence is an indicator of success on the job, measured based on evaluating the performance on tasks similar to those encountered on the job.
These types of pre-employment testing evaluate the individual’s ability to code effectively. Candidates are assessed on various languages and technologies such as AngularJS, Bootstrap, PL/SQL, Unix shell, Spring Framework, etc. Talent acquisition experts prefer coding tests to filter the best techies. Sharing how they ask all software engineering candidates to respond to a coding prompt, MTEQ Talent Acquisition and Employee Engagement Associate Director Chelsea Stearns says, “This is highly effective in determining which applicants possess the required problem-solving skills to be successful on the job.”
These types of pre-employment cognitive tests are curated as per job functions and job roles. The competency frameworks in each vary accordingly. They test the expertise job prospects possess in their domain. The three vital aspects that help onboard a quality talent, with the perfect balance of required skill sets, are domain expertise, behavioral attributes and aptitude. These three types of pre-employment testing are the building blocks of a role-based competency framework.
How to Hire an Area Sales Manager
Deals with retailers and distributors, runs day-to-day operations of sales team, generates revenue and maintains customer relationships in respective geographical area.
Critical Competencies Required to Hire an Area Sales Manager
Remote work skills and competencies, once considered to be ancillary, are now at the forefront due to COVID-19. At different levels, employees need distinct skills to steer their way through the present remote working environment. As businesses around the world adjust to the fairly new remote work setting, organizations are equipping themselves with best practices, remote work skills and competencies. They are gauging employee readiness to ensure business continuity and productivity of remote workers.
Keeping this in mind, Mercer | Mettl subject matter experts have designed the Remote Work Assessment to assist organisations in understanding the behavioural competencies required to succeed in a remote work environment. The assessment is a means to help managers and leaders get deeper insight into the remote workers’ strengths and areas of improvement and growth. It helps in recruitment and selection of candidates by determining their standing on the competencies required to work effectively in remote settings.
Employees are the principal driving force of organizational growth. Individual employee development is intrinsically linked to organizational growth and, therefore, is a significant concern for human resource professionals. With the need to continually evolve in times of rapid transformation and limited resources, organizations are looking inwards to tap into the job prospect’s potential via high-potential (Hi-po) identification.
Pre-employment cognitive tests are clear differentiators of a high-potential employee. Our internal report High-Potential Identification Survey 2020 revealed that 67% of respondents chose problem-solving, critical decision making, business acumen, etc. as the accurate indicators of high-potential in prospects. Cognitive skills and an exceptional aptitude, when developed in the right manner, increase the chances of present and future success at work.
Since present-day organizations are becoming more complex and dynamic due to increasingly turbulent and fast-changing business, learning agility or mental agility has become one of the most desired competencies for the recruits as well as existing employees. An organization with a learning agile workforce has:
Naturally self-reflective, high potentials are agile learners. They tend to push beyond boundaries, actively respond to new conditions and objectively evaluate their experiences. The Mettl Learning Agility Assessment helps you identify agile learners, who are the best to lead for your organization’s success.
Businesses have often seen a digital transformation as being limited to an upgrade in their IT infrastructure and through the internet of things (IoT). However, for businesses to champion the future of work, every aspect of a business, right from processes, strategy, to its building blocks and its workforce should be ready to embrace this transformation. This can be achieved by measuring the digital readiness of your prospects. Damien Martin of Shufti Pro defines digital readiness as the ease with which employees and organisations can transition to digitized workflows, using software and other technology. The eventual goal is to streamline the way business is done and customers are served.
To help organizations identify how digitally ready their prospects are, our in-house team of experts created a digital readiness assessment that helps organizations identify employees on their level of digital readiness, which can be taken as the first step to lay down a developmental plan. The model gives a clear picture of individuals and their understanding vis-a-vis digital readiness.
English language proficiency types of pre-employment testing measure an individual’s fluency, pronunciation, grammar and listening comprehension. They play a crucial role in effective communication. English language proficiency is becoming increasingly important in the global economy. English proficiency is among the key factors for success, especially for certain roles, jobs and professions. Professionals are expected to communicate effectively in English, even though they may not use English in everyday life.
The primacy of English-speaking skills in any consumer-centric role in the service sector, cutting across industries, is well-established. It plays a critical role in the right communication of a product’s nuances or service up for sale. Hence, language proficiency types of pre-employment tests have quickly become among the most important criteria in the hiring process. However, the proficiency level required may be different, depending on the company or the position. Hence pre-employment cognitive tests assume significance in certain job roles.
Background investigations and reference checks are employers’ principal means of securing information about potential hires from sources other than the applicants themselves. A background investigation generally involves determining whether an applicant may be unqualified for a position due to a record of a criminal conviction, motor vehicle violations, poor credit history, or misrepresentations regarding education or work history. A reference check generally involves contacting applicants’ former employers, supervisors, co-workers and educators to verify previous employment and obtain information about their knowledge, skills, abilities and character.
According to Checkster CEO Yves Lermusi, organizations cannot ignore solutions that play further down in the funnel, including interview solutions, assessments, background screening, online reference checking and onboarding solutions. Companies that use technology during these later stages have a better understanding of a candidate and gather more meaningful information beyond what is found in a profile or a resume. Many organizations are currently investing in background screening and interview management providers, he adds.
According to the Background Screening Benchmarking Report, more than half of roughly 300 organizations surveyed either have integrated or plan to integrate their background screening solution with their ATS.
Records from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed that drug users are three times more likely to skip work than non-users. They are also four times more likely to have work-related accidents, injuries and commit mistakes.
Hence, it is critical to undertake the types of pre-employment testing that minimizes the risk. These types of pre-employment tests determine if a job prospect uses any illegal substances or medication. If workplace safety is of the utmost importance to a company, then conducting pre-employment assessment tests can help mitigate drug misuse risks.
Urine and blood tests are the most commonly used test when prospects are screened for illegal drugs or alcohol use. Urinalysis shows the presence of drug residues that remain in the body after the effects of the drugs have worn off. Drugs screened in these types of pre-employment testing include amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, opiates, nicotine and alcohol.
The quality of hire is the most critical metric in talent acquisition, yet the most misunderstood. More than ever before, talent acquisition professionals are being held accountable for impacting quality, both during the recruiting process and in the first year of employment. Once these characteristics are understood, companies can begin a strategy to define, measure and improve quality. Organizations that will enhance the quality of hire are leveraging the right types of employment tests to make data-driven decisions.
Employers seek assessment tests that can effectively measure cognitive ability, behavior, technical competencies or domain knowledge, cultural fitment, emotional intelligence, learning agility and more. Mercer | Mettl’s Talent Assessment Practices Study probed organizations globally to comprehend the best practices in recruitment and learning and development (L&D). The following trends emerged concerning various types of pre-employment tests:
The following graph reveals that most organizations are using or plan to use technical, personality, cognitive ability and behavioral assessments for their external hiring.
Personality test is the most popular pre-employment test given. It is employed by organizations globally as it leads to data-driven hiring, improvement in the screening process, enhanced productivity and increased engagement at the workplace.
Personality tests provide insights on a prospect’s behavior, cultural fitment and on-the-job performance. Companies can benefit from them by bringing objectivity into the hiring process and effective talent identification.
Pre-employment screening effectively filters out unsuitable job prospects, enabling HR professionals to identify, shortlist and hire top talent.
These types of pre-employment tests scale productivity and engagement levels by measuring the prospect’s facets such as communication skills, empathy, curiosity, accountability and adaptability, to mention a few. These assessments allow hiring managers to measure aspects of a candidate’s personality, such as the knack for learning, personal ambition, ownership and self-motivation, communication skills, integrity, curiosity, empathy, and critical thinking skills, among others.
There are 12 types of pre-employment tests that human resource professionals use for recruitment- personality test, behavioral assessment, cognitive ability test, coding tests, domain assessments, remote work assessment, learning agility, high potential identification, digital readiness, spoken language test, background check and drug test. These types of pre-employment tests are most commonly used in recruitment and selection.
A pre-employment aptitude test assesses an individual’s ability to think and process information. These tests are designed in a manner that they require analytical ability to solve complex problems using the available information or data. A pre-employment aptitude test measures the following cognitive functions:
The types of pre-employment tests provided by Mercer | Mettl allows companies and professionals to make measured decisions on recruitment, training, and promotion of candidates and employees. An extensive library of tests and simulators can help you create customized assessments to evaluate the shortlisted candidates’ underlying abilities and current skills. Explore a wide range of psychometric, cognitive, role-based and technical assessments to onboard the right individuals.
Assess traits that influence cultural fitment, trainability and job performance using personality profiler, dark personality test, motivation inventory, etc. Mercer | Mettl psychometric tools can be divided into:
Mettl Personality Profiler (MPP) is an innovative, evidence-based assessment that measures relevant personality traits required for critical work. It links to behavioral competencies, which, in turn, lead to organizational outcomes of interest. These types of pre-employment tests are designed to help employers gain access to otherwise hidden information about job applicants or employees, critical in influencing their behavior at work.
Mercer | Mettl has created a dark personality trait inventory that contains 6 dark traits: Opportunism, Self-Obsession, Insensitivity, Temperamental, Impulsiveness and Thrill-Seeking. Mettl Dark Personality Inventory (MDPI) aims to measure negative personality constructs in potential hires and existing employees. Through this personality diagnostic, we also aim to contribute to a greater goal of ensuring workplace safety.
Mercer | Mettl’s behavioral assessments measure behavioral competencies in a simulated work environment using situational judgment tests, caselets, in-box simulations, etc. Mercer | Mettl has a vast repository of behavioral tests and tools that can be used to make seamless recruitment and selection.
Mercer | Mettl’s pre-employment aptitude test assesses a candidate’s thinking abilities such as perception, reasoning, memory, verbal and problem-solving ability. These types of pre-employment testing are designed to challenge applicants’ potential to solve problems when learning new job skills or tackling workplace issues.
Mercer | Mettl’s coding types of pre-employment assessment evaluates technical know-how and hands-on skills such as front-end, back-end, database, etc. using role-based and coding simulators. Coding assessments elucidate whether the applicant can fulfill the essential criteria and job requirements. A meaningful talent evaluation from the onset ensures that the subsequent steps enable successful hiring. Hence, our coding assessments are best suited before the interview round and are administered as part of technical screening.
Our role-based assessments ensure that new hires have the requisite functional knowledge across different verticals such as sales, marketing, finance, HR, etc. These types of pre-employment tests help organizations build an understanding of competencies based on the job role, industry and organization-specific context. Mercer | Mettl SMEs assist companies in creating blueprints that list skills and subskills to cover each competency. The assessments are designed from a combination of question types and as per the customization request.
Powered by reliable Artificial Intelligence speech technology, Mercer | Mettl’s Speech X is a machine-administered and auto-graded test to evaluate a non-native speaker’s ability to speak and understand English. It is a scalable means of assessing the ability of prospective hires, a ready-to-use assessment solution for corporate houses to hire for critical client-facing roles and sales profiles. SpeechX is a video-proctored assessment that analyzes a candidate’s ability to listen and articulate clearly. It reviews linguistics to identify correct and incorrect information in the candidate’s speech and detects errors in reading sentences and extempore speech. It also uses para-linguistic voice analytics to measure the quality and clarity of a candidate’s statements.
Originally published September 18 2020, Updated August 19 2021
A writer at heart, Megha has been in the content industry for 4 years. Starting her career from print, her journey spans across IT, legal and consulting industries. She has been associated with Mercer | Mettl as Assistant Manager, Content Marketing for 2 years.
Pre-employment tests, also known as pre-hiring tests, are online and offline assessments to ascertain candidate fitment for a particular job role. The assessments can be conducted to measure a candidate's technical skills, aptitude, personality traits or on-the-job behavior.