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Dear Workforce How Much Should We Rely on Prehire Assessments

I have found that some job candidates do very well on our prehire assessments, but when hired their performance doesn’t match their test. Should prehire assessments be the only measure of employment? Are we passing over qualified people because we’re judging them based solely on their test results?
November 24, 2009
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Dear Over-Reliant:
 
Prehire assessments should never be the only determining factor in your hiring decisions. Not only are you passing over qualified people, but your actions also may be interpreted as discriminatory. Organizations with the most effective hiring policies are more likely to:
Use valid assessments that accurately predict job performance. Organizations must use the right kinds of tools for each job. An ability test for a worker in a manufacturing plant is a far cry from the complex assessment tools needed to evaluate top executives. Assessments that do not demonstrate a reasonable measure of job performance waste time and money and expose your company to litigation risks.
Ask candidates during job interviews to give examples of their skills. Develop interview questions to identify specific skills and ask applicants to how they applied those skills. Know which answers you are looking for from each question and don't be afraid to challenge any answers to make sure you have made job qualifications clear.
Use simulations to gauge job-related abilities and skills. Job applicants can be asked to perform specific tasks relating to the job or take a multiple-choice online test featuring video simulations of various situations. These force candidates to demonstrate the skills they claim to possess. A simulation often serves as a good predictor of job performance. Carefully consider language and other barriers, including timed simulation, that may adversely affect protected classes of applicants.
SOURCE: Deborah Millhouse, CEO Inc., Charlotte, North Carolina
LEARN MORE: Please read a Dear Workforce article on how to avoid subjectivity in prehire assessments.
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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