In years past, employers were reluctant to test remotely, due to fears over cheating. With COVID-19, remote testing has become a necessity. An unintended consequence is that employers are seeing benefits rather than problems as they foray into unproctored, internet-based testing.
Before COVID-19, many employers were reluctant to conduct pre-employment testing online. They worried that applicants would cheat or that the results would show only false predictors of job performance. But as stay-at-home orders rolled out and ongoing exposure concerns continued to make in-person testing impossible, companies were forced to explore remote options and view them in a new light.
Ultimately, employers discovered that their fears regarding online testing were unfounded. They’ve realized that these COVID-imposed constraints are yielding positive changes in their hiring processes.
The Shift to Online Pre-Employment Testing
While cheating remains a concern for some businesses using online pre-employment testing, it’s less of an issue than many would have thought. For one thing, employers can include messaging at the start of a remote test reminding candidates that the online testing option is a privilege and that they are expected to treat it as such and not resort to unethical behaviors. For many, a simple reminder like this is enough to keep them on track.
Employers can also remind candidates that even if they pass the initial screening, they may also be required to complete a proctored confirmatory exam. Knowing they will need to repeat a passing performance or risk being sent home is typically sufficient to prevent anyone else from cheating.
With cheating becoming less of a concern, businesses can embrace the following benefits of online testing:
- Speed: Online pre-employment skills assessments can be integrated into the application workflow. With instantaneous scoring, companies can reduce their time to hire.
- Safety: Reducing COVID-19 exposure is a top priority for leaders who want to protect their current employees. Remote tests limit the number of people coming into the office and lower everyone’s risk of transmitting or catching the coronavirus.
- Convenience: Remote pre-employment testing enables candidates to complete the assessment on their schedule and from the comfort of their homes. Hiring managers can analyze the results remotely, which eliminates the need to travel or mask up for an in-person meeting. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
They say necessity is the mother of invention, and that seems to be the case with remote testing. Before the novel coronavirus, employers didn’t have to adapt their hiring processes because on-site testing was still relatively easy, but it was only a matter of time before they would have had to adopt a digital approach. The coronavirus simply pushed them toward that destination sooner. Fortunately, recruiters and hiring managers have discovered that the benefits of online pre-employment testing far outweigh any risks.
Online Skills Assessments are Here to Stay
Now that HR departments have started to use remote testing, the floodgates are open. Both employers and candidates will favor this method going forward — especially because online tests are great predictors of job performance.
Online testing will allow companies to look beyond their local talent pools to find top recruits. Remote testing enables them to cast a broad net without introducing unnecessary health risks to anyone involved. Further, the speed of remote tests lets them make faster hiring decisions, which means top-choice candidates that fit the hiring criteria are more likely to be available when it’s time to make an offer.
Applicants and hiring managers aren’t the only ones who benefit from online tests. Digital assessment programs don’t rely on company hardware or software, so the IT department isn’t unduly burdened. There are no backups to run or databases to maintain — it’s a simple solution with added benefits for everyone.
Ultimately, implementing online testing is a move toward increased efficiency. Businesses save substantial money and personnel resources by opting for digital performance screenings. Recruiters can focus their energy on analyzing candidates’ results in the context of their broader qualifications, allowing them to invest in a robust decision-making process instead of wasting time administering tests. They can more quickly identify great candidates and support the company’s workforce, making for a stronger team and a more successful business.
To explore remote testing options firsthand, request a test-taker invite for a real-time view of the remote pre-employment testing process from the perspectives of both applicants and employers.