How Automated Pre-Hire Testing Have Come to Dominate the Hiring Process

Once upon a time ago, hiring managers had to rely on CVs, interviews, and at best, an in-house devised pre-hire test. Employers found themselves stuck in a revolving door or hire and fire, wasting precious time, money, and company resources. 

While CV’s are helpful as a first filter in the hiring process, it is easy for candidates to manipulate them through exaggerations, omissions, or right-out lies. True, a good interviewer can often uncover the truth, but they can also cover their tracks if the interviewee comes prepared.

It is for this reason that pre-hire automated tests are so necessary! 

  1. It is much harder to fake your way through a test; you either have the knowledge and skills, or you don’t.  
  2. Sitting and manually grading in-house pre-hire tests is an exhaustive process, taking staff away from more important projects; thus, the automotive element is also essential. 

In fact, pre-hire psychometric tests have become so central that 80% of Fortune 500 companies now employ them as part of their hiring processes.

So, lets take a brief tour of two popular leading test providers for Aptitude & Cognitive Ability and Personality & Behavioral (among 14 major test providers) to provide both candidates and hiring managers a better understanding of their purpose and applicability.

The CCAT test for Aptitude & Cognitive Ability

The test is designed to measure the following skills:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving 
  • Learning & Applying information

The CCAT has become one of the most popular cognitive aptitude tests across the United States. Its questions are designed to weed out poor performers and slow learners while advancing those with a much higher chance of success in the hiring process. 

How does this work?

The company first tested using a sampling of 985 workers from a wide spectrum of positions, including: Managers, technicians, customer service, sales, and other related positions. The developers of the CCAT test found a high level of “Predictive Validity”, meaning that those who did well on the exam proved to be great problem-solvers, critical thinkers, fast learners, and demonstrated a high level of verbal and mathematical reasoning on the job. This holds true for a wide range of positions in both finance and technological fields.

The Score Breakdown 

In short, the CCAT takes your raw score (number of correct answers) and converts it to a percentile ranking (each score compared to all other test takers.) 

Each candidate is additionally graded on each subcategory, including; logic and math, verbal ability, and spatial reasoning. This is important, as each subcategory highlights an additional capacity and skill-sets related to the position at hand. 

  • Logic and Math – This segment dives into analytical thinking and the ability to take advantage of numerical concepts on the job.
  • Verbal Reasoning – This section shows off your attention to details, the comprehension of words, constructive thinking, and reasoning skills.
  • Spatial Reasoning – Here is how you prove you can problem solve, have the ability to make spatial judgments, and visualize. 

It’s important to note that each profession has its score range for job consideration. For instance, those in accounting and finance will be automatically disqualified by scoring less a 24, while a front desk position starts from a score of 18. Remember, scoring at the lower end of the range may not be enough because the score is in relation to the performance of other candidates – it’s a rat race!

The Benefit for Employers and Job Seekers Alike

The benefits for employees are obvious as they can administer a test that has been tried and proven over 5 million times, while the job seeker understands prior to the interview that hiring managers are now playing hardball. It is in their best interest to fully prepare for tests like the CCAT.

Hogan Assessment for Personality & Behavioral 

There is a reason why a whopping 75% of Fortune 500 companies have turned to the Hogan Personality tests! They have been proven to help employers reduce turnover, choose long-term employees, and better uncover precisely how the candidates will approach and tackle every issue while helping the company prepare for the long run.

Let’s look at two different tests Hogan offers HPI and HDI. The employees and job seekers reading this will better understand why this test is provided and take the appropriate steps to either administer or pass it.

Hogan (HPI)

This test measures what the company calls “Brightside Personality traits.” These are broken down into seven scales, which can be aligned with six different occupational skill-sets, that e will list a little further below, including:

Brightside Personality:

  • Adjustment – Tolerance to pressure, confidence, and self-esteem.
  • Ambition – Competitiveness and leadership
  • Sociability – Extroversion
  • Interpersonal – relational maintenance and social skills
  • Prudence – Attention to details, discipline, and responsibility
  • Inquisitive -Creativity, curiosity, and imagination
  • Learning Approach – Excitement for learning and drive for more.

These personality traits are then used to predict your behavior on the job, including:

  • Service Orientation
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Reliability
  • Clerical Potential
  • Sales Potential
  • Managerial Potential

Bottom Line: This test shows how the employee will perform when they are at their best, but what happens when they are at their worst? Let’s find out with the next test called HDS.

Hogan HDS

As mentioned above, this test tackles your “dark-side personality” how you react to stressful situations, which can obviously harm both your work, team, and client. It is this test that is an accurate indicator of your personality even more than the Brightside.

Darkside uses 11 different metrics or scales, which are very telling about the type of person you are behind the smile.

  • Excitability: Frustration, irritation, mood swings, and not seeing the job all the way through. 
  • Skepticism: Ability to detect unethical or bad behavior of co-workers and ability to call them out.
  • Caution: Avoidance of criticism, aversion to risk, and fear of failure.
  • Reservation: Lack of empathy and aloofness.
  • Leisurely: Self-serving and Stubbornness.
  • Boldness: Over-confidence with an inability to admit mistakes.
  • Mischievous: Risk-seeking, limit-testing, and adventurous.
  • Colorful: Fun and entertaining to keep in the limelight.
  • Imaginative: Sometimes self-absorbed and eccentric behavior.
  • ·Diligent: Maintaining high standards of performance for self/others, while staying detailed oriented.
  • Dutiful: Viewed as loyal and dependable by employees and staff.

While some of these traits can and are very good, when put under pressure, they can backfire and become traits that harm the productivity of the worker and eventually the company.

 For instance, if the worker is a very confident individual, is aloof, and has no fear of failure, that can be great under normal circumstances. Those are qualities that make killer salespeople, for instance. But that only remains true when the employee can withstand pressure. Under pressure, the same individual can make decisions that create a hazard for himself and the company.

The Score Breakdown 

The score is broken down as follows:

  • No-Risk 0-39
  • Low Risk 40-69
  • Moderate Risk 70-89
  • High Risk 90+

Employers will know where their candidates stand by the end of the test by getting instant score results. No need to waste precious time by grading the test.

Final Word:

These tests represent just a small sampling of exams used across the job market for hiring processes across the board. 

Wishing you much success on your coming job hunt or hiring round!

Anu Thomas John
Anu Thomas John
Anu Thomas John is an Electronics and Communication engineer turned freelance developer with a passion for the latest advancements in technology. With a keen interest in tech news and security updates, she dives deep into the world of gadgets, software, and cybersecurity to bring you the most up-to-date information.

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