New Hire Employment Assessments

A long career of accomplishments and accolades make for a great resume, but experience is no guarantee that a candidate is a great hire for your open job.

The skills required for success in any job are always being upgraded, and new hire employment assessment tests could take some of the guesswork out of deciding who is the best candidate for the job.

What are New Hire Employment Assessments?

New hire employment assessments, or pre-hire assessments, come in many forms, but they all measure for different skills and fit factors in the candidates you interview.

Whether an assessment is designed to reveal a candidate’s skills with an essential tool or reveal their personality traits, effective new hire assessments must be:

  1. Standardized and solid in their design (not pseudoscience or a Facebook personality test).
  2. Able to assess the traits and competencies essential to the role for which you’re hiring.

Why are New Hire Employment Assessments Used by Companies?

New hire assessments are used by companies as a screening tool to reveal specific candidate fit data in a standardized, results-driven format.

The most common reasons that companies use new hire assessments are to measure a candidate’s:

Types of New Hire Employment Assessments

Each type of new hire assessment is designed to reveal different aspects of a candidate’s fit for a specific job or for general fit to work at your company.

These are some of the most widely used types of new hire employment assessments:

Job Skill Assessments

Skill assessments are used to gauge candidates’ competency using specific skills. Whether assessing a hard skill like coding or soft skills like creativity, employment skill assessments require candidates to use a skill and measure their competency using that skill.

Job skill assessments, like those offered by Harver, can provide fast and objective hiring decision support. Need to find out if a candidate can handle P&L work? Harver has a job skill assessment for that and many other roles.

If you also want real-world feedback from a candidate’s current or former colleagues, you can also use Harver Reference for automated reference checking with customizable questions on particular skills.


Job Knowledge Assessments

Job knowledge assessments are used to evaluate specific and general knowledge that a candidate will need to be successful if they are hired for your open job. Just be sure to test for their ability to actually apply the knowledge for which you’re testing, as both skill ability and knowledge will be required for success in the role.

Personality Or Disposition Assessments

Pre-employment personality assessments are used to create a personality profile of candidates applying to your company and to reveal personality traits that are advantageous or problematic for success in the role. When using a personality assessment, try to avoid interpreting the results as standalone data. Rather, evaluate the results along with other interview discovery, such as your personal conversations with the candidate, hiring manager feedback, reference input, and more. Be sure that you are using a reputable personality assessment, as some solutions are not accurate predictors of success. Also, remember that you want an assessment that’s validated to minimize the effects of bias.

Cognitive/Aptitude Employment Assessments

Cognitive or aptitude assessments are designed to measure general cognitive ability and aptitude. Instead of considering a single skill, these tests measure general cognitive ability in a specific skill set or across a range of skill sets. These assessments can be useful predictors of success in a role and a candidate’s general abilities, though our People Science team of industrial-organizational psychologists tend to recommend cognitive assessments in tandem with behavioral assessments.

Ethics/Integrity Job Assessment Tests

Ethics or integrity tests are designed to reveal how ethical candidates are and how they think about ethical issues, complex and simple alike. Ethics/integrity tests are often most effective when combined with other tests, as an assessment clearly labeled “Ethics Test” gives dishonest candidates their cue to being strategically careful when supplying their answers.

To help understand a candidate’s ethics and integrity, you can also implement Harver’s digital reference checking to collect peer feedback and even detect fraud using our proprietary algorithm.

What to Consider When Choosing a New Hire Employment Assessment

Now that you’ve seen some examples of different employment assessments, you can use this information to inform your search for solutions that measure the skills and knowledge of applicants to your next open job.

An important note: you should not try to create a personality or cognitive test for employment or job skills assessments.

Reputable personality and cognitive ability tests are created by scientists and use mountains of data to accurately measure personality and cognitive ability. These types of tests can effectively reveal desired and undesirable candidate traits to help you make a better fit decision for the role you’re trying to fill. However, in order to avoid unconscious bias, inconsistencies, or unintended discrimination, do not create your own — be sure to only use personality and cognitive ability tests verified by I/O psychologists like Harver’s People Science team.

Evaluating New Hire Employment Assessments

When evaluating assessments from trusted solutions providers, be sure that all assessments are being evaluated fairly and against a standardized set of criteria.

Here are the steps you should follow when evaluating responses to assessments you use:

  1. Ensure all assessments are evaluated against the same set of criteria.
  2. Ensure all assessments are evaluated using the same methodology and that everyone involved understands both the test answer criteria and the importance of objectivity in this process.
  3. Ensure that anyone scoring assessment tests is free from professional bias (thinking there’s only 1 right solution to every problem) and discriminatory bias (thinking there’s only 1 right type of person for the job).
  4. Use the results of assessments to make objective, evidence-based hiring decisions while still taking each candidate’s credentials and their performance in interviews into account.

Your Next Step with New Hire Employment Assessments

It’s challenging at times to know whether you’re making the smartest hiring decisions. Employing pre-hire assessments to support hiring decisions on candidates can enable objective and accurate predictions about a candidate’s day-one performance.

Consider Harver as your single partner for assessments, as we have a full breadth of solutions for measuring candidate disposition, job skills and knowledge, interpersonal and other soft skills, and more. Our assessments are based on decades of science and are validated by our People Science team to minimize the effects of bias.

Want to make sure you’re approaching assessments in the most effective way? Get our free whitepaper Measuring the Effectiveness of Talent Assessments.

Harver Team

Harver Team

Updated on:
July 26, 2023

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