The Basics of Pre-employment Testing and Background Checks
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The Basics of Pre-employment Testing and Background Checks

Now more than ever, employers want to make sure that they’re hiring the right people for the job. While the interview and resume provide a lot of useful information about a prospective employee, pre-employment testing checks can offer another perspective you need to select the very best applicant for each position.

Types of pre-employment tests

A word of caution to employers

Types of pre-employment tests

There’s a range of pre-employment tests that can help you dig deeper into someone’s background and abilities before hiring. To stay on the right side of the law and help you secure the most qualified employees, only test for skills or traits that are directly related to the job and that are a necessity. In other words, define what you want to measure, and why you want to measure it.

Once you chose a test, give it to all job seekers — internal and external candidates alike. Types of tests include:

  • Skills tests — Emphasizes basic skills, rather than specific knowledge. It can help identify applicants who will adapt to new challenges, solve problems, learn quickly and communicate clearly. You can also find specific tests to measure job-related skills, such as typing, proofreading, sales techniques, etc.
  • Integrity tests — You’ll want to know, before you hire, that the applicant is honest, trustworthy and dependable.To assess a candidate’s attitudes about risky, job-related activity, consider an integrity test that measures these traits. Note: Certain states restrict the use of integrity tests. Be sure to check with a human resources professional or employment law attorney regarding your state’s laws.
  • Job-based personality tests — Even the most talented, hardest-working people will struggle if they’re hired for jobs that don’t fit their personality. Job-tailored personality tests can help measure if someone is helpful, dependable, creative, assertive or a good leader. This type of test also can reveal traits that might cause a conflict among employee teams, groups and departments.
  • Drug tests — Consider requiring drug tests for all applicants and employees as part of your company’s drug-free workplace policy.

A word of caution to employers

When used correctly, employee skills tests, background checks and other pre-employment screening tests can help you select the best candidate for your business. Just be sure you know the current rules in your state before you proceed, to avoid fines or lawsuits.

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