In today’s candidate-driven talent market, quality-of-hire is key. Hiring mistakes are expensive, but there are steps businesses can take to avoid them. Selecting and implementing the right employment assessment tests improves hiring outcomes and decreases the time and money spent on vetting candidates.

Choosing the best pre-employment assessment test for your company is never an easy task. Inappropriate test selection results in ineffective candidate selections. Moreover, it can lead to a testing program that is not legally compliant. While these tests can shed more light on many types of candidate skills and attributes, employers should use caution when selecting and implementing employment assessment tests.

Understand the Legal and Regulatory Criteria

Developing a pre-employment assessment test that meets legal and regulatory criteria and professional standards should not be taken lightly. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) holds employers accountable for adhering to the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978) when using employment tests. Non-discriminatory pre-employment tests that comply with these guidelines help minimize risk and liability in the hiring process

Developing a pre-employment assessment testing protocol that is legally compliant can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Therefore, it is best to partner with an employment assessment company like eSkill that has a record of legal and regulatory criteria compliance. eSkill has a perfect compliance history in 15 years of assessing millions of candidates – the best in the Assessment industry.

eSkill’s dedicated U.S.-based Client Success Managers can assist your hiring team in creating pre-employment assessment tests that meet the EEOC’s criteria. Here is an overview of the necessary steps to developing a legally defensible and effective employment assessment.

Evaluate the ‘Right’ Skills

The first step in developing a pre-employment assessment test is the most critical in obtaining useful data and maintaining legal compliance: identifying the core competencies of the position.

In a perfect world, the requirements of a job have been carefully outlined and tied to a company performance measure. Yet, in reality, many are created without much rigor or validation. Therefore, before developing any assessment, it is vital to perform a job analysis to determine the specific responsibilities, duties and necessary skills and aptitude of a position.

There are several ways to conduct a job analysis. The best practice is to use more than one way of collecting information about a job and documenting every step. Below is an outline of the essential components of a job analysis. 

  1. Collect information about the position.
    1. Identify the responsibilities of current employees. If the role is new to your organization, consult with a subject matter expert to identify key responsibilities.
    2. Review the job description and classification.
    3. Describe the performance standards.
  2. Based on information gathered in step 1, create a preliminary list of all tasks and competencies required to perform successfully on the job.
  3. Identify the most critical tasks.
  4. Link the tasks and competencies.
    1. Eliminate any competencies that are not associated with at least one task.
  5. Identify critical competencies for the role.
    1. These are the competencies that a new employee must have at entry.

Conducting a job analysis can sound laborious, but it is necessary. Job analysis data is not only used to create a skills test that accurately measures candidates’ likelihood of succeeding in a position, but it is also used to provide a source of legal defensibility of the assessment and selection procedures.

Once you’ve learned the requirements of the job through the job analysis, you can move on to develop an employment assessment test to evaluate candidates’ job fit.

Developing an Employment Assessment

After determining the core competencies needed for a position, eSkill’s Client Success Managers can assist you in selecting or developing an employment assessment test. Since every job is unique, the assessment should be as well.

In fact, using an assessment that is tailored to fit a job’s requirements, per a job analysis, is more compliant than using no test at all.

eSkill’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to customize assessments, change questions, or add additional items. With hundreds of standardized job-based and subject-based pre-employment assessment tests, over 600 modular subjects, and more than 5,000 subtopics along with their individual questions, creating a pre-employment assessment test to match any position is simple.

Customize Tests By:

  • Combining multiple skills into one test. Merge multiple skills into a single test to create a comprehensive assessment.
  • Adding your questions to the test. Add, edit, or bulk upload your questions.
  • Setting the difficulty level of questions. Choose beginner, intermediate, or advanced questions from our skill question libraries to assess candidates of different experience levels.
  • Editing templates. eSkill’s assessments are editable as a template so that you can easily modify off-the-shelf tests and save your own versions. 

Once the pre-employment assessment test has been created, it must then be validated in order to comply with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) guidelines.

Test Validity

Although many assessment providers market their employment assessment tests as valid, the tests are not valid until they have been proven to match the core competencies required of a position. Ensuring an employment test aligns with the outcome of a job analysis is required to administer the test legally.

Fact: No assessment provider can legitimately state that their out-of-the-box tests are valid for an employer’s jobs without conducting the applicable job analyses.

To establish the validity, the selected pre-employment assessment test should be administered to a sample of employees currently holding the position. The results must then be analyzed to determine if the test measures what it claims to measure—competencies that predict on-the-job performance. If high-performing employees score high on the assessment, and the opposite is true for low-performing employees, it can reasonably be assumed that the assessment is valid.

Following these steps, with the assistance of eSkill’s expert staff, is critical to determining that the pre-employment assessment test complies with EEOC guidelines. If a business genuinely tries to follow EEOC recommendations and customizes its employment assessments to fit the job requirements, the employer will have a sound defense against legal challenges.

When choosing an employment test, it’s essential to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all test as every position within an organization requires employees to have a specific skill set and aptitude. With an immense library of combinable skills tests and modular subjects, eSkill makes it easy to develop pre-employment assessment tests that are legally defensible.

Interested in Employment Assessment Tests?

Learn more about the benefits of using eSkill’s employment assessment tests to find qualified candidates quickly.

Request a demo today.

Adina Miron

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