In most organizations, recruiters review résumés, conduct interviews with promising candidates, and then use tests to determine which applicant is the best fit. But recent research shows that using short, web-based aptitude tests as the first screening step efficiently weeds out the least-suitable applicants, leaving a smaller pool for the more costly aspects of the hiring process.
These tests more accurately predict performance than an interview, especially in the service industry. For example, a company concerned about absenteeism found that workers who scored in the highest 30% were more than twice as likely to have perfect attendance as workers in the bottom 30%.
A security company learned that the bottom 30% of test-takers had five times as many accidents as the top 30%. One organization began testing to screen out the bottom quarter of applicants before reviewing applications. The candidates called in for interviews were better qualified, the average number interviewed for each successful hire fell, and managers saved thousands of hours of effort.
Adapted from “When Hiring, First Test, and Then Interview,” by John Bateson, Jochen Wirtz, Eugene Burke, and Carly Vaughan.