HR professionals have used pre-employment testing for years, but the pandemic has pushed its popularity to the next level. As layoffs soared and people reentered the job market at an alarming rate, employers needed standardized “filters” to narrow talent pools. When they no longer had the option of in-house, proctored testing, companies decided to turn to online screening tools.
To be sure, this was just one of the many challenges faced by HR professionals in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic radically altered business operations and the lives of employees everywhere. People were suddenly forced to work from home, care for their kids, and overcome other hurdles in the “new normal” — and most had no road map for how to do that.
Further, because it was much easier for HR professionals to monitor employee morale in the workplace before the pandemic, remote work made that task much more difficult. As a result, HR departments had to find new methods to ensure that team members were equipped to handle their workloads from home and be successful.
The widespread shift to remote work also means companies will spend more on remote working tools in 2021. HR professionals will have to embrace pandemic-related changes for the foreseeable future, reevaluating screening tools, pre-employment testing, remote proctoring, and technology in the hiring process as a whole to meet the moment.
Pre-Employment Testing Changes in 2020
When the job market boomed in 2017, remote proctoring options and online screening tools became more popular and widely available. They narrowed the applicant pool and decreased employee turnover. The pandemic has made remote proctoring an essential part of technology in the hiring process; many candidates either don’t feel safe working in an office at the moment or would rather work remotely on a long-term basis.
Pre-employment testing rapidly evolved with clients’ needs, and we have been proud to be part of that change. A major city in the western U.S. depends on a pre-employment testing system that allows it to create hundreds of custom tests for different positions. These tests are administered electronically to hundreds of thousands of job applicants. Before the pandemic, the city used Scantron tests or paper-and-pencil exams, but this was no longer viable due to concerns about virus spread. TestGenius’ online platform met the city’s needs with cloud-based screening tools and remote proctoring.
The Newest in Pre-Employment Screening Tools
While 2020 was unexpected in numerous ways, several trends are emerging for the future of pre-employment testing. Here three key developments in the world of screening tools and testing to keep an eye on in the coming year:
1. Hybrid proctoring models
When COVID-19 vaccines become more widespread and allow restrictions to loosen, hiring systems may rely on both online and in-person proctored tests to identify qualified candidates — a sort of hybrid model. TestGenius provides its clients with remote proctoring systems (AI and human) that allow them to verify an applicant’s identity online while documenting and upholding the integrity of the pre-employment testing process.
2. Custom content and remote delivery
With TestGenius, clients can create their own custom content and deliver it remotely throughout our online platform. In addition to more than 75 off-the-shelf tests, clients can build an infinite number of custom tests that are tailored to specific skills. Custom tests allow companies to hire the best candidate for a position by ensuring that the content of the test accurately measures each candidate’s ability to succeed on the job. Additionally, custom tests give employers a complete picture of candidates beyond their résumés or job interviews.
3. Data and item analysis
When evaluating online pre-employment testing options, clients prioritize accuracy and consistency. Put simply, they want proven results. Online screening tools offer extensive data and item analysis to help clients uncover the additional information they need to create custom tests. Better information yields better candidates over time, which means overall business success.
Companies face an incredible amount of uncertainty in 2021, and they can’t afford to lose employees perfectly suited for their teams. Even after the pandemic subsides, it will be important for HR professionals and employers to keep online pre-employment testing in mind. That way, both applicants and employers have multiple options for finding the right fit.
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