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Screening Job Applicants: What You Need to Know About Pre-Employment Testing

Screening Interview
When you are on the hunt for new employees, you may need to incorporate different pre-employment tests before you make a hiring decision. The results of these screenings will often help determine whether you should hire certain people for your position. 
Hiring and training employees are one of the top expenditures of a company, so it is crucial that you are making every effort to hire those that will best fit your needs for the job at hand. The following information can be helpful to managers in charge of hiring when determining what pre-employment tests to utilize.

What Is Pre-Employment Testing?

Pre-employment testing is an excellent way to screen applicants that are applying for a job within your company. During a pre-employment test, candidates may be tested for different things including knowledge, work skills, cognitive abilities, personality, emotional intelligence, motor and physical abilities, integrity, and language proficiency. 
You can also drug test the applicants to ensure they do not use illegal drugs. This is a standard practice for most companies. A job applicant should not have an issue with a standard drug test. These tests are a great way to find the right employees and to eliminate those who are not qualified.

Is it Legal?

You may be curious if pre-employment testing is even legal. The answer is both yes and no. Testing is legal if you are screening the right applicant with the correct test. One example could be hiring an accountant and testing them on their math and accounting skills. 
However, if you are hiring a custodian, you would not want to test him or her on math or accounting skills because this person won’t use these skills when doing the job. The key is to use a form of testing that properly correlates with the functions of the job. 

What Are Some Important Issues With Pre-Employment Testing?

Although there are benefits to using these tests to screen the right candidates for the job, you need to consider a few important issues before administering a pre-employment test. The first issue is validity. The reliability of the testing is critical. The potential employees should be able to score almost the same or better if they were to take the same test more than once. 
If someone takes a test one day and scores high but then takes the test a week later and gets a lower score, then the test may prove to be not very reliable. You would need to think about revising your test in this instance so that it is reliable for everyone across the board.
Equal Employment Opportunity is another item to consider. All employers must work to ensure the test does not in any way violate the state, federal, or even local EEO laws.

What Are the Best Tips for Using Pre-Employment Testing to Screen Applicants?

Despite the issues mentioned above, pre-employment testing can be valuable, especially when done correctly. You can use these tips to make sure your pre-employment testing will screen applicants in the fairest, most effective way:
  • Research all tests when buying them outside of your company to ensure they are the best ones for your potential employees.
  • Avoid personal test questions or those that could be considered offensive.
  • Use other attributes in addition to pre-employment tests to choose your potential employees.
You can increase your chances of hiring the best candidates for your company by screening them with pre-employment tests. Using the tips above will help you choose the right tests and avoid the likelihood of lawsuits.
If you need more assistance with screening potential job applicants or have questions about the legality of doing so, then please contact Ezim Law Firm.


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Ezim Law Firm
7142 Florida Blvd., Second Floor 
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Phone: 225-929-7785 
Fax: 225-929-7717 
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