Toolkit for Recruiting Association Executives

7. Select Pre-employment Testing

Pre-employment testing can be used to help determine job fit by looking at candidate’s skills, knowledge, and capabilities based on set objectives. Employers are cautioned to use testing as an additional component towards making a decision and not the exclusive decision-maker.

Advantages of Testing Disadvantages of Testing
  • Identifies positive traits of candidates such as integrity, competence, motivation, and reliability.
  • May screen out negative characteristics such as substance dependency and attitudes towards theft.
  • Can be used to help determine differences between candidates.
  • Provides data to support information found in interviews.
  • Testing results should not be relied on heavily or as the sole basis in the selection process. Employers should be able to show that testing was only one factor in the hiring decision.
  • When selecting tests, employer must ensure that testing is job related and certified for validity and reliability.
  • Predictive ability of tests is limited. Results focus on what candidates will likely do well versus what they will do well.
  • Must ensure testing conditions are fair and consistent for each candidate.
  • Candidates may react negatively to taking a test.
  • Some candidates may be highly qualified, but do not do well on tests.
  • Candidates could legally challenge testing.

Types of Testing

There are a variety of assessment tools available to employers. Tests can be delivered by paper, Internet, phone, and/or interviews. Employers must ensure that the testing method is job related and certified as valid and reliable. When choosing a vendor, ask if the testing is EEOC certified and if the testing has been legally challenged. Below are the categories of assessment tools available.

  • Cognitive Tests – measure learning and ability to think and perform
  • Interest Tests – measure less visible characteristics that measure job performance such as motivation, problem solving, leadership, and interpersonal skills. Testing includes work interests, culture fit, talent measures, and value inventory.
  • Personality Tests – determine personality characteristics and how the candidate will likely act on the job
  • Specialized Tests – measure specific skills, knowledge, and abilities associated with success on the job
  • Physical and Security-Related Tests – includes pre-employment physical exams, drug tests, and written honesty/integrity tests.

Links to Vendors: (1) SHRM Vendor page; and (2) Commerce Center Vendor Directory.

Back to Chapter 6 .

Go to Chapter 8: Conduct Reference Checks .

Back to the index .