Guidelines for When to Administer Pre-Hire Assessments

In this video, you’ll hear guidelines to help you decide the best time to insert the assessment into your selection process. You won’t want to do this too early or too late in the process!

When Should a Candidate Take An Assessment?

I often get asked the question about when a candidate should take the assessment during the hiring process. There are lots of way to do it effectively so in this video, I’m going to be talking about what some of those options are along with some tips to make sure you are fair and consistent.

There is no one absolute time that will be perfect for every organization. But the guidelines that I like to follow are a balance of making sure that you are not waiting too late in the process, so that you are hindering the opportunity for you to be open to the information versus too soon, where you are assessing too many people that might not be viable candidates. The ideal time, generally speaking, is between the first and second interview.

The Ideal Time for an Assessment: Between the First and Second Interview

After the first interview, you and the candidate have had an opportunity to explore the role and the company and decided to move forward. That’s when I recommend you ask the candidate to participate in this process, which allows you to understand more about their strength and work style.

Then you have the assessment results as you go into the second interview, you can take that information to explore any of the information that you feel might be problematic. If you wait until after the second interview to have the candidate complete the assessment, it is likely that you are so bought into the candidate that you aren’t as open to any information that you receive back at that point.

Be Consistent in Assessment Administration

One thing that is really important when you are deciding who and when to administer the assessment to is to be really consistent. For example, let’s say you have a pool of two candidates for a particular position. Maybe you know one candidate really well, perhaps through a referral source and the other candidate is unknown. You can’t pick and choose between those two, they both need to take the assessment. You can pick the criteria for the timing of the when you give the assessment, but it needs to be fair and consistent. You don’t want one candidate to say, “Well, I had to take an assessment” and the other candidate to say, “I didn’t have to take an assessment.” Pick your criteria and then stick to it.

Recapping Assessment Timing

To recap: the ideal time is somewhere in the middle of your process where you are balancing the cost of narrowing down your pool, being consistent in your criteria for who is participating, but early enough for you to remain objective. And remember don’t be shy about sharing your assessment results, even to candidates. This information is valuable for everyone so be sure to take advantage of it!

Be sure to check out more videos in the Learning Resource Center, available to you as a member. Here’s to your Graceful Leadership!

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