What assessments should you conduct on your preferred candidate?

By Lisa Sandberg

From Myers Briggs to DISC, police checks to medicals, there are dozens of checks and assessments you can conduct on your preferred candidates before offering them a role in your company. 

But what assessments do you actually need? This will vary depending on the job you’re hiring for and the requirements of the role. Some of these assessments should be conducted on all candidates, while some assessments are more appropriate only for certain roles.

Here is our comprehensive list of potential assessments, and our tips on why and when they should be conducted.

Fitness for work assessments

  • Medical assessments:
    • Why: Medicals are important to ensure the candidates can perform the job requirements, and do not pose a health and safety risk to themselves or others in carrying out their role.
    • When: Medical assessments are usually conducted for jobs that require heavy lifting, operating machinery or jobs that require the employee to occasionally work in the field.
  • Drug and alcohol testing
    • Why: Drug and alcohol testing is important to prevent accidents in the workplace and ensure the candidates can perform the job requirements.
    • When: D&A testing should be carried out where a worker could potentially seriously harm or injure themselves in the course of their work, another worker, or a member of the public if they work while under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs.
  • Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) assessments
    • Why: WHS assessments help to reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries, sick-leave, and medical expenditure. Identifying hazards and those who are at risk and why they are at risk
    • When: WHS assessments should be conducted for candidates who would be working in the field, and for jobs that requires workers to operate machinery, or where a worker could potentially seriously harm or injure themselves or someone else.

Background checks

  • Reference checks
    • Why: Two reference checks from former managers should always be carried out to gain additional insight into the candidate’s experience, work ethic and relationships. Reference checks can also give employers a better understanding of a candidate’s character and whether they would be a good hire. Read our tips on how to conduct an effective reference check here.
    • When: Reference checks should be conducted on all final candidates prior to an offer being made.
  • Police checks/criminal record check
    • Why: Police checks are carried out to determine if a candidate has a criminal history that may have an impact on their ability to the job.
    • When: Police checks are more important for senior roles, especially in finance or related roles, to ensure the candidates haven’t been convicted for fraud in the past.

Legal and eligibility checks

  • Visa check:
    • Why: Visa checks ensure all employees have work rights in Australia and are in the country legally.
    • When: Visa checks should be conducted on all candidates that do not have Australian citizenship.
  • Licence check and traffic historycheck
    • Why: Licence checks ensure that the candidates have the appropriate driving licence to do the job.
    • When: Licence and traffic history checks should be conducted for roles that require candidates to drive a vehicle or the mode of transport required.
  • Degree check
    • Why: Verifying education credentials are important to confirm that the candidates are qualified to do the job, and to catch potential fabrications on resumes.
    • When: Degree checks should be conducted for roles where a degree or a certain education credential is required.

Other assessments that could be beneficial when assessing whether a candidate would be suitable for a role include:

  • Skills tests
    • Technical assessments
      • For technical roles it can sometimes be beneficial to test the applicants technical skills live. For example, programming a piece of software, troubleshooting a systems issue, or solving a problem within the means of the job requirements.
    • Creative assessments
      • For example, writing a test article or create simple marketing content.
  • Personality tests; can be useful as it gives insight about an employee, and assists in building cohesive teams.
    • The Caliper Profile: measures how an individual’s personality traits correlate to his or her job performance.
    • Myers-Briggs: maps candidate personality types, indicating differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.
    • DiSC Behaviour Inventory: provides insights into how each type is most likely to behave in personal relationships and the workplace. It also describes their best traits and probable challenges.
  • Behavioural tests; can be useful as it gives insight to how an individual goes about their work and achieves their objectives.
    • 16 types test: gives you a more thorough understanding of the candidate’s dislikes, motivators, strengths, and weaknesses.
    • The Big 5 test:  assesses the test-taker’s personality traits, which can help you understand their fit for a particular role.
    • The Enneagram test: gives insight to someone’s core beliefs and how they relate to people of differing personality types.
  • Cognitive ability tests; can be useful as it can help with estimating applicants’ potential to use mental processes to solve work-related problems or to acquire new job knowledge.
    • Cognitive ability tests can help predict job performance, measure learning and problem-solving, and can help you identify hidden potential.
    • These tests measure spatial reasoning, reading comprehension, problem solving, attention to detail, critical thinking, numerical reasoning
  • Situational judgment tests;can be useful to assess a candidate’s ability to solve a job’s daily challenges.
    • A set of multiple-choice questions and scenarios that reflect plausible situations that you might come across in the workplace.
    • Assesses the suitability, in terms of both drive and core knowledge, of large groups of candidates.