Not a Member? Get access to HR news and resources that you can trust.
HR professionals can play a key role in creating business efficiency—starting with their own department.
Is your employee handbook ready for the New Year? With SHRM’s Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Get the HR education you need without travel expenses or time out of the office.
We don't just visit a city, we take it over. Join us in NOLA -- June 18 - 21, 2017.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Pre-employment testing should measure whether a candidate can think critically and is willing to learn on the job, psychology experts said recently at the Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) Conference and Tradeshow 2015.
Jane Gayton, Ph.D., a registered psychologist with Stefan, Fraser and Associates in Vancouver, told attendees that the best hires are those who possess these can-do attributes: intelligence, critical thinking, numeric reasoning and emotional intelligence, or the potential to get along with co-workers.
“HR needs to hire people to carry out the organization’s vision,” Gayton added. “This demonstrates the value of HR.”
Larry Stefan, Ph.D., president of Stefan, Fraser and Associates, said pre-hire tests have exploded on the Internet since the early 2000s but most are not effective.
“It’s difficult to hire new people, and if [a company] makes a mistake, it’s costly,” Stefan added. “HR plays an enormous role for improving the bottom line in an organization.”
If a subpar employee must be terminated, that action may cost a business the equivalent of a year’s worth of the person’s salary, he explained.
Bjorn Leiren, Ph.D., a registered psychologist with Stefan, Fraser and Associates, stated that companies get a return on investment when they hire the right people. According to the Society for Human Resource Management Compensation Data Center, organizations make around $4,000 every year from each employee who earns a $60,000 annual salary.
To Test or Assess?
Human resource professionals should be aware of the difference between an assessment and a test, Gayton noted.
An assessment is a process of determining whether a candidate is the right fit; this may involve HR and a hiring team administering multiple tests or conducting several interviews when determining who to hire, she explained. A test, on the other hand, is merely one part of that selection process.
Gayton said HR might tap into psychometric tests during the recruiting process to determine:
HR practitioners may use comprehensive assessments when hiring for management or technical positions, Gayton stated. “It’s really important to get this hire right,” she added. “It’s more time-consuming; more tests are used, and it’s more labor intensive.”
Measures of Success
Gayton advised HR departments to consider the following questions before implementing a companywide testing policy:
Gayton noted that it is imperative for HR to deliver a respectful experience when evaluating candidates. “As social media becomes more prevalent in our lives, people feel good when they feel companies have treated them well,” she said.
Catherine Skrzypinski is a freelance writer based in Vancouver.
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Your session has expired. Please log in again before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
HR Education in a City Near You
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies