Pre-Employment Assessments

Pre-Employment Assessments, Roy Barker, Employee Retention Strategist

Pre-Employment Assessments

Pre-employment assessments should be conducted after a resume match and prior to the first interview. Generally, it can be automated. It can then be coupled with the resume or even after an introductory phone call.    

The pre-interview assessment is somewhat different than what is thought of as traditional pre-employment screening. Traditional screening is often thought of as background checks, criminal checks, drug testing, education verification, reference checks, employment verification. These pre-employment screening processes still need to be carried out – usually, following an interview since there will be more costs involved and sensitive information needed.

Even with traditional prescreening, please be mindful of this process and the types of information you are asking for. I hear more and more from people who upon submitting a resume, were immediately asked for information like social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, birthdates, and more.

As an prospective employee, I myself would be much more hesitant to release this information until I made sure this was a legitimate opportunity with a legitimate company. As an employer, please remember how easy it is to place an advertisement for a position. It would not be difficult for scammers to place a fake ad to gather sensitive information. Especially in a tight job market where job hunters are aplenty.

In this type of assessment, we want to make sure the prospective employee is a good match for the position, a good match for the team they will work with, and a good match for the company culture.

There are many ways to conduct the assessment based on the position and the company. Most job boards now have an option to gather more information, ask skill- and personality-based questions, as well as skill- and personality-based testing. It needs to be fair and balanced; you don’t want to ask too much of a candidate at this point.

The benefit of the assessment process is that some candidates will stand out, while others eliminated. This will help with prioritization of candidates who exhibit traits you highly desire while not wasting time on those that don’t.

Even though you have the right, it is highly recommended to be cognizant of how much time and what information you are asking from a candidate. You may artificially screen out good candidates because the process was too stringent. Remember, these candidates are going from initial contact to interview, so to them, it may not be worth the time and energy invested.  

Generally, entry-level position applicants have fewer questions and take less time to complete the assessment process. The time and complexity will increase as you move up the hierarchy of leadership. A laborer’s position assessment will look very different from that of a vice president.

Following are some assessment tests I have previous experience with. Some tests are specifically designed for coding and tech talent. The determining factor for choosing which one to use will be based on what you want to get out of this exercise, your company type and the position you need to fill.

  • Predictive Index
  • Disc Profiles
  • Myers Briggs
  • BCG Pymetrics
  • Koru

Here are a couple of interesting articles on assessment tools:

Make Better Hires with Behavioral Assessments (

Top 10: Pre-Hire Personality and Behavioral Assessments (

See Interviewing