A Guide to Candidate Testing and Verification, Part 1: Prescreen Surveys and Skills Tests

By Beth Kempton,
April 5, 2019

In today’s competitive hiring market, your team likely wants to speed up the hiring process as much as possible to secure top talent. But it’s critical to avoid cutting corners during the hiring process and ensure you’re only hiring candidates who are qualified and the right fit for your team. To achieve this, several steps of the hiring process should focus on candidate testing and verification.

In this first part of a two-part series, we’ll walk you through the benefits of two testing and verification hiring steps – prescreen surveys and skills tests.

Prescreen Surveys

A pre-screen survey is an important tool to help automate the applicant review process. Once candidates submit applications, prescreen surveys enable you to immediately send automated follow-up emails thanking them for their interest and providing a link to the survey. Prescreen surveys consist of a series of true/false questions and only take candidates a few minutes to complete. And Hireology data found that 40 percent of applicants don’t even bother to complete the survey – meaning only the most engaged candidates who truly want to join your team take the time to fill out the survey.

Benefits of prescreen surveys include:

Tailor Surveys to Each Role

Rather than sending the same prescreen survey to every candidate, you can tailor the specific questions to each role. For example, if a given role requires a specific certification or a driver’s license, you can include these as “knock out” questions in the prescreen survey. If the candidate doesn’t have the certification or a valid license, you’ll know he or she isn’t a fit for the open role. You can also ask questions related to availability – such as whether or not applicants are available to work nights or weekends, among other questions that can weed out applicants who don’t meet your requirements.

Only Focus on Qualified Candidates

Hireology data found that the average business takes about 10 days to review and respond to job applicants, which can lead to losing qualified talent to competing job opportunities. Part of the reason HR and hiring manager often take more than a week to review applicants is that they end up spending too much time manually reviewing applicants who aren’t even a fit for open roles.

By including prescreen surveys in your hiring process, job seekers who don’t meet the basic requirements of the role can be automatically eliminated from the process before your team has to waste time reviewing their applications. While you’re saving this time, you can focus more on qualified applicants and other responsibilities that can help move the business forward.

Skills Tests

Up to 85% of job applicants lie on their resumes. An applicant might say he or she is an expert at Excel or has extensive sales experience, but skills tests can help you ensure this is truly the case. Skills tests ultimately help you ensure candidates have the skills they list on their resumes or discuss in interviews – before you extend an offer.

Benefits of skills tests include:

Test for Hard Skills

The first type of skills test can help you gauge a candidate’s hard skills – meaning the technical skills a candidate needs to succeed in your open role. Using this type of skills testing, you might test on math comprehension, CNA requirements, service technician expertise Microsoft Office skills, among other areas depending on the role.

No matter the position you’re looking to fill, you want to have confidence in knowing candidates are capable of performing the job well. Otherwise, you risk hiring someone who isn’t qualified and have to start the hiring process all over again to find a replacement.

Test for Soft Skills

Beyond hard skills, your team needs to gauge whether or not each candidate has the soft skills to succeed on your team. These skills are less technical, but necessary for most jobs, such as social etiquette, compassion, business vocabulary or customer service capabilities.

Soft skills tests are an effective way to determine whether or not candidates have the right work habits to get the job done effectively. Based on the results, you can measure if candidates will fit with your team from a cultural perspective and offer a top-notch experience to customers. If you hire a candidate who doesn’t have the right soft skills, he or she might cause tension among your team or drive customers away.

Seamlessly Screen Candidates During the Hiring Process

If you don’t already have prescreen surveys and skills test in place, the thought of implementing these hiring steps can seem daunting. But by partnering with a recruitment CRM platform like Hireology, prescreen surveys and skills tests are integrated as part of your hiring process.

Using Hireology, tailored prescreen surveys are automatically sent to job seekers as soon as they submit an application. Not only does this save time, but it can help your team support a more engaging candidate experience. By moving forward with the prescreen survey step of the hiring process immediately, candidates won’t have to wait around several days to hear about next steps.

When it comes to skills tests, Hireology has several available for specific roles, focusing on such areas as accounting, office administration, mathematics, certified nursing, auto parts and technicians expertise, IT networking, and many more. Each assessment can be completed by candidates within 15 minutes, and tests are automatically scored with the results sent directly to the hiring manager.

Are you interested in learning more about how integrated prescreen surveys and skills tests can help you build the best team at a time of historically-low unemployment? Hireology can help – see a demo today. And stay tuned for part two of this series, which will focus on reference and background checks. 

About the Author

Beth is the content strategist on Hireology’s marketing team, responsible for creating compelling blog posts, eBooks, marketing materials and other content. Her background includes five years of experience at a B2B digital marketing agency, where she crafted content for a variety of clients, including several in the HR technology space. Before beginning her career, Beth attended Loyola University Chicago, where she studied advertising and public relations.

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