When the COVID-19 pandemic began (and changed life as we knew it), the economic impacts were unprecedented. While many businesses struggled, others faced increased demand and had to adapt their processes and operations to meet the moment.
Part of that shift involved hiring processes, as more business often meant the need for more employees. For many HR departments, moving to online pre-employment testing was a way to source new hires while adhering to social distancing guidelines that make in-person assessments nearly impossible.
Now, as businesses around the country reopen, employers are evaluating the current state of testing as it pertains to the new rules of operation. With 72% of job seekers expressing hesitance about returning to physical office spaces and almost 40% of employers putting measures in place to reduce employee capacity and maximize the distance between workers, many don’t know what to choose: return to in-person pre-employment testing or continue with online exams?
Let’s dive into why online pre-employment testing should remain a staple of hiring processes; we’ll then answer some lingering questions employers might have about how to use it moving forward.
Determining the Role of Technology in Your Hiring Process
Online testing isn’t new. It is only new to those employers forced to use it in light of the pandemic. Some still have questions and reservations; many worry about applicants cheating by either having someone else take the test for them or using technology to help them find answers. Just like applicants can make their skills sound better on a résumé, employers fear that some candidates could try to make themselves look stronger on assessments than they actually are.
There is no doubt employers should be vigilant — but that’s true regardless of whether testing occurs in-person or online. It’s critically important to ensure that these assessments truly test the skills needed for a position so that the time and resources put toward advertising are worth it in the end. Employers in the U.S. spend roughly $4,000 and 52 days hiring a new worker, and that investment shouldn’t be wasted.
Part of ensuring that online pre-employment testing remains safe and protects your investment, then, is using a testing platform like TestGenius that lets employers test 100% online or 100% in-person if they want to — we also provide a hybrid option that combines in-person test proctoring and online testing. This hybrid approach enables employers that have limited time and resources the ability to assess candidates remotely. Further, employers have found that merely threatening to give a proctored confirmatory test to those who advance in the process is enough to discourage cheating.
Embracing Online Pre-Employment Testing
Viewing online pre-employment testing solely in the context of the pandemic limits the ability to see just how much of an asset it can be in hiring processes long after the pandemic is under control. As businesses develop plans for post-COVID recovery, skills testing will become even more crucial.
Hiring the right talent will be more important than ever, and pre-employment assessments should play a key role. When adopting online pre-employment testing or incorporating an online-proctored hybrid, it’s essential to take full advantage of technology in the hiring process while remembering these three things:
1. Keep connecting. Making online assessments one of your primary methods of screening applicants can feel a bit like you’re distancing from prospects — even after social distancing becomes unnecessary. Trust that you still have the ability to connect with employees or candidates and build relationships with them. Develop a plan for touch points to help ensure engagement remains high and authentic.
2. Trust the results. You may feel wary of online test results when comparing them with in-person results, but there’s no need. Online assessment results are scientifically sound. Trust that you’ll become more comfortable with these findings as you see them bring an influx of great candidates over time.
3. Remain agile. Flexibility has been more necessary than ever over the past few months, and that won’t change. Being agile and ready to pivot when circumstances change should be a top priority as you implement this new kind of testing and prepare to meet any changes the future might bring.
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered numerous aspects of the business landscape, including the shift toward using online pre-employment assessments. Long after the virus is under control and the world moves on, online pre-employment testing should remain a key part of your hiring processes.
Try a demo of one of the most flexible skills testing applications on the market to see how it can strengthen your hiring processes.