Level up your IT hiring capabilities with pre-employment assessments

  • November 23, 2022

In today’s extremely competitive tech industry, outdated recruitment methods don’t always get the best results. Candidates that write the best cover letters don’t always write the best code. Candidates that struggle under the pressure of an in-person or Zoom interview might be cool, calm, and collected when troubleshooting complex networking issues. Education isn’t the measuring stick it once was either: in many cases, in-demand tech certifications have more practical, real-world benefits than advanced computer science degrees.

Pre-employment assessments are a great way to go beyond conventional recruitment and identify applicants suited to the role and your broader team culture.


What are pre-employment assessments?

Pre-employment assessments are standardized tests that support the candidate vetting process with quantifiable data. Some tests measure specific technical skills and abilities, while others are focused on soft skills and personality types. In either event, these tests add more context to each applicant’s profile and help determine their suitability for the role.


Primary types of pre-employment assessment tests for evaluating tech talent:

  • Skill Testing

Most applicants embellish their resumes in some capacity, but there are always a few who take this much too far. One of the best ways to verify these claims is by implementing a skill test. Ideally, the test should be complicated enough to weed out imposters and establish a baseline of basic competency without being overly time-consuming for qualified applicants. In addition to testing for specific tech talents, organizations can also test for math skills, typing abilities, and other general proficiencies.

  • Cognitive Aptitude Testing

A cognitive aptitude test or cognitive ability assessment tracks and quantifies a candidate’s propensity for critical thinking and problem-solving. Unlike skill testing, which is designed to measure what a potential employee can currently offer the team, a cognitive aptitude test attempts to predict what they may offer in the future. When it comes to job performance, new skills can always be taught but roughly 42% is directly related to cognitive ability. Expert research suggests that this type of testing is 2x more predictive than interviews and 4x more predictive than a candidate’s educational background.

  • Emotional Intelligence Testing

Though many organizations use standard personality tests to evaluate the potential fit of new hires, we believe that Emotional Intelligence testing is more applicable when looking for tech talent. Also known as Emotional Quotient or EQ, an emotional intelligence test measures how a person deals with their emotions as well as the emotions of others. According to polling from Salesforce, 77% of employers value soft skills like EI as much as other more job-specific skills. A high emotional intelligence score is indicative of an employee who will be able to successfully manage relationships with coworkers, supervisors, and clients.


Want to remove the mystery from the hiring process? Pre-employment testing can help.

The broad, big-picture advantage of pre-employment assessments is fairly self-explanatory: they help narrow down the field to only the most relevant candidates. In an industry where people routinely stretch the truth on their resume to push their application to the front of the pile, pre-employment assessments remove smoke and mirrors from the equation. When implemented properly, the right test (or series of tests) can help you establish an effective pipeline for validating tech skills.

Recruiting, hiring, and onboarding a new employee can cost thousands of dollars – this is a great investment if the employee becomes a valuable member of your long-term team but it’s also an embarrassing and costly mishap if the employee isn’t able to handle the job requirements. Tech assessments enable you to quickly and efficiently narrow down the pool to only those who meet your bare minimum criteria.

Of course, the bare minimum is a cut-off point, not an end goal. Ensuring that your full-stack developer can actually code is just step one. From there, you want to further whittle down the field to applicants who fit your team culture, are viable as a long-term solution, and possess. Emotional intelligence, cognitive ability, and personality type can be just as predictive of success as a candidate’s job experience.

According to a recent survey published by Monster, 70% of employers will train an employee if he or she is otherwise ideal for the position. A candidate with advanced problem-solving skills and strong emotional intelligence can easily build upon basic coding skills with the right instruction. A candidate with intermediate coding skills that lacks cognitive abilities and EQ might struggle to take that next step. Pre-employment testing can help you determine which type you’re dealing with.


The bottom line? Pre-employment assessments make identifying suitable tech talent easier, faster, and less stressful.

Testing is one of the reasons why we’ve been able to build and scale our tight-knit, highly specialized team. Schedule a free consultation and discover what our cohesive approach can do for your complex tech projects today.


Written by: Ximena Tarazona
General corrections and edition: Diego Woitasen