9 min read

Should You Use Job Suitability Tests When Hiring?

Konica Stones
Konica Stones March 14, 2023
should you use job suitability tests when hiring

Selection processes comprise many elements, including CVs, application forms, cover letters, and job suitability tests such as aptitude tests. As a recruiter, you want to ensure that your recruitment process meets some key objectives: that the process is fit for purpose, cost-effective, and objective in selecting the best candidates for the roles you have to fill.

When designing your recruitment process, you must ensure that your assessment method meets these objectives. One criteria used in many assessment processes are job suitability tests.

This article explores job suitability tests, what they are, and how they work. We also consider how through using best practices and evaluating your recruitment process, you can determine whether including job suitability tests in your recruitment process is applicable to your organization.

What are job suitability tests?

Job suitability tests evaluate whether individuals demonstrate the skills and aptitudes needed for success in a role.

They are usually used in the early stages of the recruitment process as a pre-screening tool and focus on determining a candidate’s proficiency in a specific skill, such as time management, or an aptitude, such as numerical reasoning.

The test results are given in percentile form, enabling the performance of the candidates to be benchmarked against either an industry standard or against a population of candidates performing well in the role.

Using job suitability tests enables employers to make bias-free decisions on which applicants are the best suited to the position based on their skill set and aptitudes alone.

How do job suitability tests work?

Job suitability tests are a standardized assessment of an individual’s skills and abilities relevant to those required for a particular job. The tests are often short, timed multiple-choice assessments focusing on assessing one specific skill or ability.

As the tests are easy to administer, the test results can filter an applicant pool down to only those with the skills and abilities needed for the role. Those scoring highly on the assessments can be progressed to the later, more time-intensive stages of the process, and those with scores below the benchmark can be eliminated from the process.

Using the tests in this way enables recruiters to better understand an individual’s skill set, ensuring that the selection process is objective and cost-effective in identifying the right candidate for the role.

Can job suitability tests identify the right candidate?

should you use job suitability tests when hiring

Job suitability tests focus on evaluating individuals on a specific skill or aptitude identified as necessary for being effective and successful in a role. This is an essential insight for an employer as it ensures they make the right decisions on which applicants to hire.

When faced with many applicants for a role, it can be challenging to determine which applicants have the skills and aptitudes needed for a position. Candidates may state the same level of experience or skill level, but as a recruiter, you want to ensure that you objectively validate this information.

In using job suitability tests, recruiters better understand an applicant's skill set and aptitudes and their proficiency in these skills.

In short, the results from job suitability tests help recruiters identify suitable candidates leading to successful hires for the organization.

Can job suitability tests increase objectivity?

A key challenge recruiters face in designing and delivering any recruitment process is ensuring that each stage is objective. Overcoming conscious or unconscious bias is essential to maintain the integrity of the recruitment process, build trust within the external candidate market and maintain an organization's reputation. One way of preserving objectivity when recruiting, especially in the early stages of the process, is to include job suitability tests.

The test results are derived from candidate responses to questions designed to determine an applicant's aptitude or skill set. This ensures the data obtained is both an accurate and objective measure of an individual's proficiency. In making data-driven decisions on which candidates to progress through the recruitment process and which to eliminate, recruiters ensure that the recruitment process is bias-free and based solely on the skills and aptitudes of the candidate.

Can job suitability tests predict job performance?

As an employer, you want to ensure those you recruit are successful in the roles. This starts with understanding which candidates in your applicant pool are proficient in the skills and abilities needed for the role.

Job suitability tests evaluate the inherent abilities of an individual, along with their proficiency in these skills and aptitudes, and, as substantiated by research, are a proven indicator of how well an individual will perform in a role.

Using the results of the tests to inform recruitment decisions enables employers to build a holistic view of candidates’ skills, abilities, strengths, and development areas and how these compare to what is needed to be effective in the role.

Basing your hiring decisions on the data drive insights gained from employability tests eliminates bias in the early stages of your recruitment process, ensures objective decision-making, and leads to you hiring those that meet the criteria needed for success in a role.

These successful hiring decisions make for a cost-effective process and happier staff who can do the role. This ensures the longevity of your hiring decisions and reduces staff turnover and additional recruitment costs.

Types of job suitability tests

As an employer, you can use tests to determine an individual's suitability for a role. Each test evaluates individuals on a specific skill set or aptitude. In many instances, multiple tests are used to provide a deeper insight into an individual's capabilities in relation to those needed for the role.

1. Situational judgment

The situational judgment test evaluates how individuals react in situations they are likely to face when in the role, specifically their approach, how they evaluate the circumstances, and how they prefer to respond in the given situation.

The test takes the form of scenarios with multiple-choice statements. Candidates select which response best represents their response to the given situation.

2. Verbal reasoning

A verbal reasoning test assesses how well candidates can analyze and interpret written information. This test is a timed multiple-choice assessment comprised of short passages of text. Candidates must read and evaluate the information, then select, based on what they have read and understood, whether the statement that follows is true, false, or they can not say.

3. Numerical reasoning

The numerical reasoning test assesses candidates' aptitude to evaluate and analyze numerical information to solve problems and their ability to work accurately under pressure.

The test is a timed multiple-choice assessment where candidates use their understanding of basic mathematical concepts such as fractions, ratios, or percentages. Candidates then select which answer they believe is correct from the list given.

4. Logical reasoning

Many roles require candidates to be able to reach a logical conclusion when solving problems. The logical reasoning test evaluates candidates on this critical aptitude along with the ability to analyze and interpret non-verbal information.

Questions in the test are given in the form of diagrams, shapes, or sequences. Candidates need to determine the link between the data and use this to select which of the multiple-choice answers follows.

5. Error checking

The error checking test assesses candidates’ on their attention to detail and ability to spot inconsistencies in written and numerical information.

Candidates are presented with questions in list format; they must identify any mistakes or discrepancies in the data, then select the correct response from the multiple-choice list given.

As the test is a timed assessment, an individual’s ability to work quickly and accurately is also assessed.

6. Personality tests

Personality questionnaires evaluate an individual's traits, characteristics, and values. The results help determine whether, based on an individual's responses, they are a good fit for the role and organizational culture. Candidates are assessed on characteristics that evaluate their motivations for their role, ethics, or preferences for action in a workplace environment.

7. Emotional intelligence

An emotional intelligence test is designed to evaluate individuals on their ability to understand and perceive their own and others' emotions. The test is a multiple-choice assessment. Candidates select which multiple-choice responses they believe correct based on their understanding of emotions and how they are portrayed.

8. Job knowledge tests

Job knowledge tests are specific to a role and help employers identify applicants with the skills, abilities, and knowledge needed for a particular position.

Used as a pre-screening assessment, the tests evaluate individuals on several criteria, providing employers with a cost-effective and objective measure of an individual’s capabilities.

Best practices for using job suitability tests

should you use job suitability tests

When incorporating job suitability tests into your recruitment process, it is important to follow best practices. In doing so, you ensure that it is clear why and how the tests will be used to inform recruitment decisions.

Job suitability tests are a reliable predictor of whether an individual will be successful in a role. This is based solely on the skills and abilities of the candidate in relation to that required for the position. The tests objectively measure a candidate's proficiency, meaning they are a fair and reliable indication of their abilities.

While many employers use job suitability tests in their recruitment process, it is nonetheless important to communicate the purpose of using such tests in your recruitment process and how these tests are used to make recruitment decisions.

Job suitability tests provide a cost-effective way to narrow an applicant pool down to the most suitable candidates based on their skill set alone. Using these results alongside the data gained from other assessment methods such as CV or application review, interviews, and group-based assessments enables you better to understand an individual's skill set and abilities.

This data can then be used to decide which candidates are suitable for the role.

Key takeaways

Using job suitability tests brings many benefits to an employer. These tests evaluate skills and aptitudes needed for many roles, such as emotional intelligence and numerical or verbal reasoning. Having been shown to be a reliable predictor of how well an individual will perform in the role, job suitability tests are an important addition for those looking to streamline their recruitment process.

Using the data-driven insights gained from job suitability tests ensures that you make objective decisions on which candidates are suitable for the roles you have to fill.

Given these benefits, evaluating your hiring process and determining whether job suitability tests could be a valuable addition is worthwhile. Try our free trial and see how these tests can benefit your organization.

Konica Stones
Konica Stones March 14, 2023

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