Public employers face unique challenges in recruiting and retention. With an aging workforce, outdated processes, tights budgets, and skills shortages, public recruiters confront an uphill battle in attracting talent. According to a recent study by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, the top issue facing public organizations is “recruitment and retention of qualified personnel with needed skills for public service.” Other problems with over a 60% response rate were employee engagement, leadership development, retaining staff needed for core services, and employee development.
Public sector employers should take a page from the private industry’s playbook when it comes to attracting and recruiting talent. For example, recruiters should engage more in job fairs and with younger talent, such as millennials and Generation Z. Further, public organizations can offer internships, social activities, and meet-ups, as suggested by Workforce, helping to cast a wider talent net. Finally, the public sector should focus on people who want to make a difference, attracting people to further their cause or duty to the public.
To improve hiring outcomes, public industries should also implement pre-employment assessment tests to potential candidates, giving employers an objective, reliable foundation for hiring the best person for the job. Employers can get a more accurate look at candidates through a host of pre-employment assessment tools, such as skills tests that fully integrate with applicant tracking systems (ATS) or customizable skills simulations, which recreate your working environment, showing you how candidates would perform on the job.
What Are Pre-Employment Assessments?
Pre-employment tests help employers screen job applicants by testing skills, abilities, aptitudes, emotional intelligence, and work skills. These objective tests provide organizations with additional candidate information, allowing employers to understand whether a candidate is the best hire and right fit. Employees can easily claim that they are skilled at specific tasks, such as data entry, email etiquette, or medical coding, but unless you test them, you’re taking their word for it.
Many pre-employment tests exist today, such as psychological tests, knowledge tests, skills tests, and ability tests. Through the administration of these tests, employers can decipher a candidate’s skills set concerning specific tasks, his or her ability to learn or work under pressure as well as his or her integrity.
In addition to helping recruiters or employers understand which candidates are best suited for a job, these tests can save organizations time and money while increasing engagement and retention. By removing the time it takes to personally review each resume and cover letter to hiring the best candidate, employers benefit significantly from implementing skills tests in their hiring practices.
How Do Pre-Employment Assessments Improve Hiring Outcomes?
Pre-employment assessment tests provide employers with objective, analytical data, predicting an employee’s success in a job. Through pre-employment skills tests, employers can improve screening of candidates, gain greater insight into a candidate’s skills and abilities, and determine the candidate’s capabilities as they relate to the specific job. By creating an objective process to measure employees’ future performance, organizations can increase time to hire, retention, and productivity while decreasing bad hires and recruiting costs.
2. Reliability & Validity
Pre-employment assessments also improve hiring outcomes by producing reliable, consistent results and measurements under similar conditions. For example, if a pre-employment skills test is reliable, then a candidate would score approximately the same on it each time taken. If the same test-taker receives a different score one month later on the same test, you should question the test’s reliability. A test’s reliability translates into trustworthiness.
Additionally, validity examines what the test should be measured, such as abilities, hard skills, soft skills, or emotional intelligence. If assessment tools are valid, then they are accurate predictors of the candidate’s future job success, leading to improved hiring outcomes.
3. Legal Defensibility
Finally, pre-employment assessment tests improve hiring outcomes while reducing risk and liability. When using pre-employment tests to boost legal defensibility, the test cannot create the disparate treatment of protected groups, such as minorities or women, and must be administered consistently to all job candidates. If you incorporate an objective, reliable, and valid assessment test into recruiting practices, you also establish a prudent legal defense, supported by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), if a candidate challenges one of your hiring decisions.
Discover How eSkill Can Help
eSkill has developed customizable pre-employment assessments, tailored to Government and public administration roles. For example, you can quickly assess candidates’ job skills, psychological fit, and interview presentation. You can select from more than 600 standard tests, or customize your own, from thousands of topics relevant to your public administration training and job requirements.
Learn more about the benefits of using eSkill’s skills tests and behavioral assessments to find qualified candidates quickly. Request a demo today.
Select from over 1,000 standard tests, or easily customize tests from thousands of topics relevant to your job or training requirements.
Eric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a global platform for complete candidate skills and job fit assessment. eSkill’s online skills testing is used by thousands of employers for pre-employment assessment and staff benchmarking. Eric has degrees in Psychology and Business, and a fascination with matching people with roles they're best at, and that they enjoy.