Pre-Employment Assesments Raise the Talent Bar & Reduce Hiring Risks

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Many organizations today do not have a shortage of job candidates, but finding the right candidates has become more challenging.  Increasingly, organizations have started using pre-employment assessments to see how applicants stack up.  Pre-employment assessments have been around for years, but never have such tests been utilized so widely at businesses across the U.S.  According to the Wall Street Journal 8 of 10 top U.S. employers now administer pre-employment tests in their job application processes for at least some positions.  Overall, in 2001, 26% of U.S. employers used pre-hire assessments, by 2013, the number had climbed to 57%.  However, in CAI's most recent Policy and Benefits Survey, only 33% of employers indicated they conduct pre-employment skill and aptitude testing. 

assessments_cai survey.JPGWith more businesses utilizing these assessments, it seems fewer are willing to take a chance on new employees not measuring up.  Companies aren’t settling for people with minimum skills; they want applicants who stand out in ability and workplace temperament.  Attributes which typically result in longer tenure and higher productivity.  Companies only want to select “A” players even if it takes somewhat longer.

Cost effective web-based assessments are also allowing small businesses to analyze their candidates and workforces to identify the kind of employees who perform well and are committed.  Better statistical modeling and technology now give employers a choice of customized assessments that, in a single test, can appraise everything from technical and communication skills to personality and whether a candidate is a good match with a workplace’s culture.


FurstPerson, a Chicago based firm specializing in talent selection tools, recently analyzed 20 organizations that used its pre-employment assessment test. In 2012, before the assessment test was adopted, 90-day attrition—the proportion of employees who quit or were terminated after three months—was 41%. After the tests were administered, including several subsequent revisions, 90-day attrition fell to 12% by late 2014.

HR professionals can measure and analyze what differentiates their organization’s best performers in a variety of occupations and industries—from manufacturing, to customer service, fast-food, retail, and healthcare.  CAI provides a wide variety of powerful, dynamic, and easy to administer on-line talent assessment tools.  Each tool is designed to help HR leaders and managers make informed decisions about both prospective employees and their current workforces.

Additional information regarding CAI’s talent assessment tools can be found here or by contacting Molly Hegeman, Vice President, HR Services at