Strategic HR Wheel of HR Services highlighting the Recruitment wedge.

Pre-Employment Testing


My manager asked me to look into various pre-employment testing options for new hires. Why do we need this?


Pre-Employment assessments can serve many purposes, and assist in recruiting by:

  • Shortening the hiring process by screening out inappropriate candidates
  • Helping determine candidate fit and potentially reduce turnover
  • Predicting performance by evaluating past behaviors
  • Serving as a way to find candidates with qualities that match top performing employees
  • Providing a baseline and agenda for further developing employees

There are many types of assessments that can be useful in the hiring process. Pre-employment tests can be used to measure:

  • physical ability
  • mental ability (aptitude)
  • honesty and integrity
  • knowledge or proficiency
  • literacy

Pre-employment physicals are used to evaluate an individuals physical ability to perform the tasks of a job; whether it is lifting a certain amount of weight or working under certain circumstances requiring strength and stamina. Other types of pre-employment assessments that focus on measuring an individual’s talents, personalty and intelligence, include cognitive (or aptitude) tests which look at an individual’s knowledge and ability to learn new tasks, personality tests which focus on honesty, integrity and reliability, and skill assessment tests which evaluate the ability to read, write, and perform mathematical calculations or use computer software. In addition to these tests, background checks (which may include evaluating criminal records, driving records and credit history) and drug/alcohol screens are also useful pre-employment types of tests. Some of these may be required depending on the type of job you are filling.

Psychology and learning theory tells us that the best predictor of future performance is to look at past performance. An assessment asks candidates questions that get at past behavior and performance to help an employer determine if the candidate’s qualities will fit with their required needs. By looking thoroughly at a candidate to ensure that their talents and personalities fit the needs of the job, there is a higher likelihood of that individual being happier, more productive, and staying longer in the new job.

Do you struggle to find qualified individuals that fit your culture and make productive, long-term employees? Finding the right person to “fit” a job is a critical HR function. That’s why Strategic HR utilizes a variety of resources to help clients source, screen and select the best candidates and employees. Please visit our Recruitment page for more information on how we can help you effectively and efficiently find your next employee.