Nine out of 10 UK companies rely on traditional interviews to ensure a match between the employee and corporate culture but only 28% are implementing pre-employment screening tests, a study of 169 HR decision makers has revealed.
The study carried out by Circle Research and General Dynamics Information Technology, found HR departments in these companies are also using interviews to identify if an applicant represents a risk to the business. Four fifths of those surveyed are checking references.
The research, which targeted companies in the hospitality, banking, retail, security and transport sectors, found a strong reliance on post-employment measures.
Where pre-employment tests were being used, they were still largely limited to middle and senior management levels. However, 61% of respondents expected the use of pre-employment tests to become more important over the next 12 to 18 months.
Stephen Meyler, UK MD of General Dynamics Information Technology (UK), said: “What I find interesting from these results is that, when asked their views on pre-employment screening, many HR professionals still think of personality tests from the past that examine general traits such as whether they are an introvert or extrovert, or whether they have the potential to be a good leader. However the next generation of attitude and behaviour tests, such as the integrity and customer service assessment, paint a clear picture of how a candidate is likely to perform in a role before they are even hired.
“The current focus on post-employment assessment is simply unsustainable. Organisations that keep to this approach expose themselves to higher employee turnover, rising training costs, poor customer service and low job performance. Worse yet, they are also missing out on finding and hiring potentially highly talented employees who will drive business growth as a result.”