Testing Applicants Prior To Hiring - Do's and Don'ts

Can I give a VA candidate a test before I hire them to see if they can really do the job I need them to do?

Yes, absolutely.

Giving an applicant a test to complete prior to hiring them, is a very smart action for a hiring business to do. We usually do this as part of our normal recruiting and screening process.

There is a difference between “testing” an applicant and “exploiting” a candidate though.

Test Don’t Exploit

“Exploitation” is when a hiring company gives an applicant a test that causes them to produce output that the company then can use to the business benefit.  This activity can be seen as just a way of getting work done for nothing. Exploiting people by getting them to do work and not paying them. Unfortunately, American companies have a rather poor reputation internationally in this regard.

Best Practice

For example, if you want to test an applicant to see how well they write, ask them to write something on a subject that is clearly in no way associated with your business. If you must have them do something more specific to your business, where the output could (even potentially) be used to your business’s benefit, you should offer to pay the applicant a fair fee for that work.

If you are at all unsure how best to do this, ask us to help. We will be more than happy to help you figure out a fair fee or how to construct a fair test.