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Screening Smarter with Testing

While applicant-tracking systems can identify potential candidates, they can’t evaluate individuals in relation to real-world challenges.

May 20, 2002
Related Topics: Recruitment, Staffing Management

While applicant-tracking systems can identify potential candidates, they can’tevaluate individuals in relation to real-world challenges. As a result, agrowing number of companies are turning to skills-based testing and personalitytests to determine whether a candidate is equipped to handle the job.

Skills tests can come in a variety of forms, says Terry Terhark, senior vicepresident for Aon Consulting. Some ask basic questions and use paper and pencilexams to determine whether a person has the knowledge or ability to handle ajob.

Web-based tests simulate actual environments, such as working in a callcenter. "They can provide a fairly good indication of how someone will performon the job," he says.

Many organizations are also turning to personality tests, which can provideinsight into people’s behavior and how they’re likely to act and interact onthe job. Increasingly, "these tests can create a profile and provide validinsights into a candidate’s tendencies," says Scott Burton, vice presidentof selection solutions at DDI. Lou Adler, president of Power Hiring, adds thatsuch tests are especially useful when compared with observations made during aninterview.

Finally, there’s pre-employment drug testing, which about 80 percent of alllarge companies use, as well as interviewing techniques designed to spotinconsistencies. "No one tool is completely effective," Adler says. "Thebest strategy for screening candidates is a combination of tests and techniques."

Workforce, June 2002, p. 58 -- Subscribe Now!

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