Place the Right People Every Time Using Pre-Hire Assessments

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After searching through LinkedIn and other platforms, you’ve finally identified potential candidates for a position you need to quickly fill. Now what? Efficiently identifying candidates that are qualified is challenging. What candidates showcase on their LinkedIn profile isn’t always an accurate representation of their true capabilities. Interviewing each candidate has a high time and monetary cost. This is where pre-hire assessments come in. 

Recruiting firms leverage pre-hire assessments to identify the best candidates for their high-volume, high-turnover jobs. Need to identify a qualified customer service representative? There’s an assessment for that. Need to identify the right warehouse employee? There’s an assessment for that. 

Recruitment firms utilize these assessments to further enhance efficiency and success of placement fulfillment. We’ll discuss how to select and implement the right assessments for your recruiting needs, enhancing your placement success.

What Are Pre-Hire Assessments?

Pre-hire assessments take the guesswork out of placement and minimize hours spent on each requisition. Assessments are short tests created to measure specific job-related qualifications. By measuring core qualifications prior to employment, recruiters are able to quantify what a candidate knows and doesn’t know. These scores can then be used to inform placement. Essentially, these assessments separate the true contenders from those less fit for the job. 

Qualifications Measured by Pre-Hire Assessments

Pre-hire assessments can take numerous forms. They often measure one of four different qualification categories:

  1. Knowledge/skills
  2. Culture fit
  3. Cognitive ability
  4. Behavioral styles

This breadth of topics allows recruiters to identify the best assessments for each job, from general Excel knowledge to industrial forklift knowledge and skills. Using pre-hire assessments enables you to find the right candidates efficiently and effectively with painless implementation.

Effective Implementation of Pre-Hire Assessments

With a plethora of assessment options and providers in today’s market, it can be easy to get overwhelmed when it comes to selecting the best, most appropriate assessments for an open requisition. First, understand what is important for success in the role by reviewing job materials such as the job descriptions provided by the employer. 

For example, if you’re hiring for an accounting position, advanced proficiency with Excel may be listed as a required software skill. Implementing at least a basic Excel assessment, such as those provided by Symphony Talent, may measure a core qualification. Continue reviewing the material you’re provided, and make sure that you document all of your observations. 

Review these observations and identify assessments you think the best measure these core job qualifications, such as behavioral, cognitive, or skills assessments. Feel free to select more than one assessment, but try to keep the total testing time for each candidate under an hour for one requisition. You want to make sure that each candidate doesn’t become fatigued and continues to have a good experience with the selection process.

Once you’ve selected a couple of assessments, make sure that you implement these consistently across all candidates being considered for the same requisition. When making your final recommendation, only consider their scores on the assessments you identified as important and not others they may have also taken for other opportunities. Keep in mind, the assessments are measuring a piece of the candidate’s qualifications, so their results should be taken into consideration in conjunction with other pertinent material (e.g., prior experience). 

Now that you’ve implemented the assessments, what’s next? Sift through the scores of each candidate being considered for a requisition. Consider all information available, in addition to their scores on the assessments. Take note of each of the job-relevant qualifications the candidate has demonstrated, whether through behavioral, skills, or cognitive assessments. Use these results to inform your approach to the in-person interview or other screening processes. 

Outcomes of Using Pre-Hire Assessments

Once complete, you’re ready to make final selections for filling a requisition. Leveraging these data points helps you make a better decision. You’ll have a greater likelihood of filling the requisition with one of your recommended candidates. Additionally, you’ll be more likely to have your prescribed candidate stay at the job once hired and perform well. 


Filling requisitions with the right candidates can be challenging in today’s tight labor market. Leveraging pre-hire assessments in your process to gain insight into a candidate’s qualifications and fit with your role(s) simplifies the process and informs the interview and other processes. Taken together, these results inform the final decision, empowering you to recommend the best candidates for each requisition without any guesswork. 

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