A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlights the increased use of pre-hire assessments among American companies. According to the article, eight of the top 10 U.S. private employers now administer pre-hire tests in their job applications for some positions. In the last 10 years or so, the use of pre-hire assessments has increased from 26% to 57% among employers. What was once used by big organizations is readily available for small businesses across all industry segments.
Pre-hire assessments are used to gauge how an individual will perform on the job before they are brought on board. In the past, these types of tests only measured certain broad personality traits. The Wall Street Journal article points out that today’s statistical modeling and computing power gives employers the ability to customize assessments and cover more bases with one test.
These next-generation tests allow employers to:
- Streamline the recruiting process
- Find a better fit for the jobs available
- Raise the productivity bar
- Cut down on training and other related costs for new hires
- Assess technical and communication skills
- Map personality traits
- Make sure a candidate is a good culture match
Tests can be used to help insurance agencies measure and analyze what will distinguish their top performers in certain positions, such as a producer, and use the data to create a profile and job description. An insurance agency can look at the differentiating factors (i.e., strong communication skills, critical thinking ability) that make up a winning producer in their own organization and look for individuals who test similarly to get the right fit for success in this field. This makes sense as insurance agencies spend a significant amount of resources and investment to get a producer up to speed.