Pre-Hire Assessments find the candidate that is more productive with the right skills for the job while lowering attrition

Hiring someone who is a poor organizational job or culture fit, or lacks the right skills, causes a lot of divisiveness in a workforce, while lowering productivity and increasing attrition. When it happens enough times, or attrition rates remain stuck at higher than 30%, recruiters are usually ordered to do a better job of finding more qualified people, and hiring managers are told to do a better job of selecting people from among the job candidates that make it to final consideration.

Here is the quandary. The recruiter can only refine the quality of people who move forward in the selection process when good information about the candidate is available. The hiring manager can only improve the quality of hire when the quality of job candidates going forward is improved. It is the proverbial catch-22 situation.


Many companies have elaborate talent management procedures intended to attract and hire best-fit people who have the right skills and personality. Yet, a typical call center, for example, continues to experience 30-45% turnover rates. In the meantime, the bad hire or poor fit employees wreak havoc with co-worker relationships, training budgets and customer service.

Are You Rejecting The Right Job Candidates?

Something is going wrong! Pre-hire employment assessments are commonly found in hiring processes, and they are good at screening people for skills, personality, aptitude and culture fit. In many cases, the assessments are administered after a group of job candidates are already selected to move to the next step in the hiring process, like a phone or in-office interview, based on the recruiter’s or Human Resources professional’s personal review of the job applications. These are the applications the computer or brief initial personal review does not immediately kick out for minor discrepancies on the resume or application.

To state the obvious, the employment assessments can only determine the qualities of the people that make it to the assessment process. In the meantime, recruiter and hiring manager bias creeps in, gut decision-making rules and some high quality candidates are left behind in the pile of rejected applications.

The later assessments are given in the hiring process, the more likely some of the top talent never makes it through the process.

“What Does Our Recruitment Process Do?”

In 2018, a Cascade TV commercial shows a little girl watching her mom scrub dishes at the sink before putting them in the dishwasher. Mom also rewashes the dishes, if they come out less than spotless. The little girls asks, “So what does the dishwasher do?” It is a brilliantly simple commercial that sends a message that it should not be necessary to continually compensate for a poor product. Get a good product instead, and save time plus get good results.

Add pre-hire assessments to your recruiting process

Reasons why recruiters bypass high quality candidates

You could ask, “So what does our recruitment process do?” after someone spends hours or days shuffling through hundreds of resumes of unskilled workers. Glassdoor research found that each corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes. Multiply that by the number of job openings, made worse due to attrition, and it is no stretch to understand why a recruiter would intentionally or unintentionally bypass some high quality candidates for reasons that include:

  • Resume does not fully reflect the person’s skills
  • Recruiter is biased so rejects job applicants of women or people suspected of being diverse
  • Recruiter uses personal likes and dislikes to sort job applications, i.e. formality, language, resume format, level of education exceeding minimum requirements, school attended, etc.
  • Recruiter focuses on one set of skills (i.e. technical skills) and cannot fairly assess other traits crucial to success (i.e. motivation, ability to work with others, etc.)
  • Recruiter is unable to assess qualities like ability to problem solve, multi-task and do critical thinking so relies on other measures as a fallback, like skills claims made on a resume

A Ladders survey on resume behavior found that 30% of people lie or bend the truth on their resume. Other surveys found much higher numbers.

Using pre-hire assessments too late in the process can exclude quality candidatesThe recruiter ‘scrubs” (read: selects) from the pile the job applications that are most appealing to the recruiter and moves them forward in the hiring process, while the final decision-maker is faced with choosing among a group of people who are not necessarily a good fit or are not representative of the customer base or are lacking critical skills. In between the recruiter’s review and an interview, pre-employment tests are completed, but it is already too late to know if higher quality job candidates were excluded.

The reality is that without an early assessment of a job candidate, a lot of guesswork goes on. Guesswork is a euphemism for gut-based decision-making, a sure way to allow bias to creep into the hiring process. Even the best assessments cannot go back and recover the job applications of people who would have been excellent employees but were rejected for the wrong reasons.

Placing Assessments Early in the Hiring Process

The simple solution is to buy high quality assessment products, and recruiters do not have to spend hours going through applications. Reliable, valid, legal and equitable pre-hire assessments can identify people who are most likely to have the right personality, skills and motivation. FurstPerson research suggests assessments should be placed as early in the hiring process as possible.

Two ways to streamline assessments within the hiring process

There are two easy ways to streamline this process:

  1. Use an applicant tracking system (ATS) ” The ATS can lead a candidate from the application submission immediately into the assessment process.
  2. Use an automated email system ” If an ATS is not available, an automated email system can invite the candidate to complete the assessments.


Pre-employment assessments early in the process: Many of the problems with recruitment and hiring are solved

By placing pre-employment assessments early in the process, many of the problems with the recruitment and hiring process are solved.

  • Recruiters can spend more time focusing on quality candidates, rather than shuffling through hundreds of resumes of unskilled applicants
  • Assessments reduce hiring bias and promote equality in hiring: the assessment does not know the candidate’s race, age, gender and forms no opinions like a human
  • Assessments promote diversity hiring because job candidates know they will be fairly assessed
  • Valid assessments strengthen the legality of the recruiting and hiring process
  • Recruiting and hiring costs are reduced because focus is directed early on high quality job applicants
  • Attrition rates and costs are reduced because assessments provide evidence of most qualified job candidates
  • Assessment results aid in developing the best interview questions
  • Job candidates are prioritized based on assessment results

Assessments identify people who, for one reason or another, may not stand out during the resume review but are fully qualified

assessments allow the best job candidate to Rise to the Top

The earlier assessments are placed in the recruitment and hiring process, the more benefits accrued. Pre-employment assessments maximize recruiter efficiency, promote diversity hiring and reduce gut-based funneling based on resumes alone. The people you hire are only as good as the qualified job candidates who make it to the final stages of the hiring process.

If candidates who lack skills, or are not good organizational culture fits, are the people who are assessed well into the hiring process, this scenario frequently happens in places like customer contact centers with high attrition rates. The hiring manager ends up saying in desperation, “I’ll take anyone! I need to fill this position.”

Hiring the top of the low scorers is not a leadership best practice. What you want is for the best candidates with the best potential to rise to the top of the pile of job candidates, and FurstPerson pre-employment assessments can make reaching that goal as easy as possible. Contact our talent specialists to schedule a free consultation.