Job-Fit Assessment Tests… Should you use them for hiring?

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The pros and cons of using pre-hire assessment tests

Anyone involved in hiring or recruiting knows that it is not easy. Finding the right person for a particular job takes time, money, and a lot of gut instinct. By instinct, we mean your sense of who the person is and how he or she fits in regards to the job and the company as a whole. However, instinct is not always correct, and we can’t rely only on our gut in all cases. This means finding other subjective ways to assess a candidate’s suitability for a position.

There are many tools to help in this process; one of the popular trends is using “job-fit-assessment tests.” There are studies that suggest these tests increase the chances of making better hires. So, what are these tests and should you use them?

What is a job-fit assessment?

These are types of pre-employment tests that can begin to assess whether a job candidate will fit within your company. Using a series of standardized questions, it looks at things like personality, values, and job expectations. They typically have respondents give answers ranging from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree.

Some examples of questions that might be on a test:

  • I prefer a fast-paced work environment
  • I am more detail-oriented than big picture
  • I enjoy working with others rather than working alone
  • I am aware when others are upset
  • I am comfortable with public speaking
  • I consider myself a people person
  • I don’t let my personal life affect my work life

First, the pros of job-fit assessment tests

Proponents list one major point in favor of these tests… objectivity. According to, “Unstructured interviews, resume screenings, and pre-interview calls are ineffective predictors of job performance. This is because recruiters and hiring managers often judge candidates based on subjective, rather than job-related, criteria.”

Job-fit tests help draw objectives conclusions, producing valid, measurable results that are reliable are consistent.

Now, for the cons…

It’s easy to rely too heavily on a standardized test when making a new hire. A candidate who gets a high score must be good, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

According to, “Assessment systems that include a score make it easy to screen out high-risk candidates. They are a time-saver and reduce the assessment learning curve for recruiters and hiring managers. But the inclusion of a job fit score or “hire/don’t hire” rating is susceptible to abuse and misuse.”

If a company is looking at two candidates and one has a 90 while the other has a 78, it would seem like the smart choice to go with the person who had the higher score. However, there are cases where it turns out the person with the 90 wasn’t a good fit after all. Again, according to, “The number one reason why a good candidate fails as an employee in situations like this is that the hiring manager relied on the job fit score and didn’t read the assessment.”

You have to read the whole report to find out why there might have been a variance. What made the other person score lower?

There is also a limit to just what these tests can really measure and how much they can predict how well someone will perform in a role or fit in with the company. According to Workable, “…job knowledge tests are good at assessing job specific knowledge. But, they don’t take into account how willing (or able) someone is to learn and improve.”

Another “con” is that job-fit assessments can be viewed as discriminatory, depending on the questions being asked. Be careful that the test isn’t screening out by gender or particular groups of people. This can land you in trouble, including leaving you open to lawsuits.

Job-fit assessment tests are just one more tool in your arsenal for finding the right candidate. Use them wisely and you may see excellent results. You also need a partner in the recruiting process. Mankuta | Gallagher can be that partner. Contact us today so we can help.