Most managers who've done their share of hiring have learned—sometimes the hard way—that traditional job interviews are less-than-perfect tools for gauging a candidate's future performance. Employers understand just how much bad hiring costs them, both in money and productivity. And leaner and flatter organizations, a more mobile workforce, and the near-disappearance of old-fashioned reference-checking have all made it harder to find and hire candidates whose past performance you can verify.
So assessment tools like pre-employment tests and simulations, once the exclusive province of the biggest firms seeking to fill their highest-profile positions, have become popular in all kinds of workplaces. If you're asked to use them when you hire, or if you're considering making them part of your toolbox, it's good to know just what these tools can and can't do and how to deploy them effectively.
What makes a tool work
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