Due to so many companies going remote in the wake of COVID-19, countless businesses are using technology in the hiring process to screen applicants from a distance. Some are integrating online pre-employment testing into their hiring processes — rather than traditional proctored testing — to keep everyone safe during the crisis.
It’s similar to what happened with remote work during this pandemic. Many companies avoided embracing telework policies until they were forced to make the change (at least temporarily) only to discover that employees are more productive under a remote setup. According to one survey, 63% of workers and managers say productivity has either stayed the same or increased since the pandemic forced teams to work from home.
Online pre-employment testing may very well become a more regular part of hiring processes — a new normal, if you will. But when social distancing restrictions loosen and proctored, in-person testing once again becomes an option, will businesses keep pace with the online approach or revert to the old way of test proctoring? For many, the answer could be both.
Online and Proctored: A Perfect Match?
If the answer is both, then the conversation turns to how this approach can be done. Online and proctored can successfully coexist, but employers must first determine when each option works best on its own. Skills and ability testing, for example, lends itself to unproctored internet-based testing; confirmatory tests to verify those results should probably be supervised.
Fortunately, online and proctored pre-employment tests can be used simultaneously. On occasions when neither option seems like a perfect fit, companies should consider a hybrid solution that includes remote proctoring. Remote proctoring allows proctors — whether human or AI — to confirm identities, observe test-takers using webcams and microphones, and ensure that everyone follows the rules.
This method makes sense for many employers, but it’s particularly useful for companies that are concerned their applicants could either have someone else take the test for them or find another way to bolster their results. Further, remote proctoring adds an extra layer of protection to avoid the test content itself leaking online; remote proctoring guards against collusion and inaccurate results.
When Using Both Makes Sense
Before fusing online pre-employment testing with proctored testing, you should ask yourself three key questions:
1. Can remote testing show you what you need to know about an applicant?
Is the skill you’re testing for something that can be judged remotely? If that’s not the case, and you’re hiring for a position that requires physical ability, that should tell you that testing should likely be done in-person. But if the skill is something that can be done away from the office, the advantages — especially related to safety at this moment — of online pre-employment testing might be enough to sway you to offer it instead of in-person testing.
2. What are the stakes of the test?
Note the type of skills you’re testing for and determine the stakes of accurate results. Jobs with high pay and good benefits result in higher-stakes hiring situations. Are you doing police and fire testing? If so, accurate results are critically important — and the results are more likely to be contested.
Considering that, security surrounding these tests must be a priority. If the exact test you give begins to circulate online, test-takers can find the information they need to pass regardless of whether they have the knowledge or skills necessary. Remotely proctored testing can help ensure secure assessments that truly test applicants for even the most high-stakes job.
3. Do you have the resources you need?
Finally, determine whether you have the necessary resources to do remote testing effectively. Do you have the hardware, software, time, funds, and knowledge to make remote proctoring part of your hiring processes? Do you have a partner who can give you the testing resources you need? Confirm all of this before getting started.
In the end, online pre-employment testing with a remotely proctored testing option can be a solution for businesses maximizing their use of technology in the hiring process. This hybrid approach is more than capable of collecting secure and accurate results, setting itself up to be a viable pre-employment testing option used by companies for years to come.
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