Assessments are an essential part of the recruiting process and are sandwiched between the initial screening process and the final interview. Assessments provide concrete, objective results, unlike resumes and interviews, that are subjective and can be fudged.
A well-designed assessment can be standardized for all applicants, and the results of the tests can be used to make a more informed decision when hiring the right candidate.
What are online assessments?
Online assessments, like the term itself, are any tests or assessments that are taken online. They can be for the purpose of regular school tests, entrance tests, job interviews, or any sort of qualification/evaluation examinations that are conducted over the Internet by using available web technologies like a desktop/laptop, mobile, web camera, and a mic.
Objective and validated metrics prove whether a particular candidate has the knowledge, skills, and ability to perform a specific job or not. The right assessments can lead to higher productivity and results, a more efficient hiring process, reduction in costs associated with turnover, and increased defensibility of the hiring process through the use of an online platform. This is why having online assessment tests for recruitment is efficient and essential.
Assessments, however, can take up a lot of time; and even with these tests, organizations tend to make mistakes by asking the wrong questions or testing candidates on the wrong parameters. That’s where online assessment platforms come in. An online assessment platform is – as the name suggests, an online platform that is used to assess specific abilities or characteristics of prospective candidates (for a particular job) to determine how suitable they are for that specific job. Online assessments are conducted to evaluate and measure the readiness of applicants for a particular job post. The benefits of online assessments are varied and work well for both recruiters as well as the applicant.
Benefits of an online assessment platform for recruiters:
Automation: Reduces the burden of manual test administration by automating the entire process. This saves recruiters time, energy, and valuable resources that can be put to better use in the organization.
One-tap Reports: Results of the assessments are delivered at the touch of a button, reducing the hiring manager’s workload significantly.
Accurate Data Interpretation: Measurable and accurate insights are gleaned from a combination of smart algorithms, data science, and computing power that eliminate human error. This is more accurate than humanly-interpreted data.
Emotion Recognition and Analysis: Online tests are able to capture and read the emotions and actions of the candidates, which a recruiter might miss out, much more accurately. Detailed reports on various parameters, such as this one, required by the hiring manager can be downloaded instantly to analyze results.
Minimized Risk: The chances of hiring quality candidates are greater, while there is a minimized risk of bad hires.
Requires Minimal Resources: Hiring and training costs are minimized, the hiring process is less time-consuming, and there is a drastically reduced risk of legalities associated with biased hiring.
Accessibility: Because assessments can be taken up anytime and anywhere, organizations have a larger pool of screened candidates to choose from.
Easy Storage: Take up less storage space and can be stored on a single server – eliminating the need for hard copies of files.
Multiple users: Several candidates can simultaneously take the online assessment.
Disadvantages of online assessment platforms:
Not much can be said about the disadvantages of online assessment platforms. These platforms are great tools for assessing the right candidate for the right job and work out well for both recruiters and applicants. However, the dynamics could change if the online assessment platform is not used properly. For example, if the right kinds of tests are not used and the right questions are not asked during the assessment, the results will not accurately measure the ability of an applicant to perform a particular task.
Applicants must be computer literate or at least be able to use a computer to take an assessment. This would be the basic requirement for any candidate taking up an online assessment test.
Technological problems can play havoc. For example, an unreliable internet connection can hamper with taking the test. For organizations, online assessment software would involve some costs.
Some of the top online assessment platforms available today:
Talview’s online assessment platform is a multi-faceted tool that supports various test formats (among other things) such as MCQ, Essay Tests, Coding tests, Grammar tests, Typing, and Psychometric tests. These aptitude and skill tests can be conducted using this software. The platform is highly configurable and supports multi-section workflow to screen candidates between several sections of the assessment.
Talview’s remote proctoring does more than 18 checks including background voice activity monitoring, browser policing, and face detection. It provides an integrity score for those applicants who successfully complete the assessment.
Talview’s online assessment platform and its video proctoring capability work across multiple devices - both Android and iOS. A 100% automated cognitive remote proctoring tool ensures the authenticity of the candidate’s score of the online written assessments.
Comprehensive reporting functionality with customizable MIS reports to gauge the performance of assessments, teams, and categories are possible as well.
This is a customizable test that measures intelligence and personality. Recruiters can build several hiring profiles – lists of desirable traits and problem-solving abilities and compare each applicant’s results against these profiles.
This is a tech recruitment assessments software that supports technical interviews and coding challenges to evaluate and hire programmers. Recruiters can create their own tests and evaluate candidates’ codes and hire the best candidates.
4. HireSelect by Criteria Corp
This platform provides aptitude, personality, and skills tests. These tests are designed by Harvard psychologists and provide a more objective assessment of applicants.
Saberr assesses cultural fitness. It can determine if an applicant has the necessary values to work in your team. The software can also determine how well an applicant will get on with individual team members.
6. HR Avatar
HR Avatar offers simulation-based assessments that measure cognitive ability as well as job knowledge. The assessments are animated and simulate real-job situations to see how you deal with real-time job-related problems.
How to choose the best online assessments software for your pre-employment assessments:
The right online assessment platform can match the right candidate to the right job, increase productivity, and reduce turnover. Each online assessment platform is unique and has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Finding the right assessment platform requires a lot of patience and research. So, when looking for an assessment platform for yourself, here are a few points to keep in mind:
- The online assessments software must adequately evaluate performance that is relevant to the desired job.
- It must have appropriate questions to assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities that are associated with the job correctly.
- It should also provide adequate and relevant data about the candidate's abilities at a level appropriate that helps the recruiter's hiring decision.
- It has to lay emphasis on both theory and practical questions for a holistic assessment of candidates.
- It must make use of simulations to assess knowledge of the candidate.
- The data received must be helpful in improving the quality of candidates that pass the assessments and help get the kind of talent the company is actually looking for.
- It must be free of language, cultural, gender, and many other common biases.
- The online assessment software must maintain security at each level.
- The results of the assessments must be interpretable.
- The data obtained must accurately represent the abilities of the applicant in a real-life situation.
- The marking scheme must be consistent across multiple evaluations to do away with recruiter biases.
Some features that an online assessment platform must offer:
- An extensive and relevant question bank. An added benefit is if these questions can be customized to make them 100% suitable.
- Instant reporting and analytics to examine the strengths and weaknesses of candidates. A new-hire training plan can be created based on the data obtained from the reports.
- An online assessment platform must be foolproof and eliminate the possibility of cheating during the assessment.
- It must also eliminate the need for invigilation.
- The company that sells you the online assessment platform must offer operational, customer, and technical support.
How to prepare for online assessments?
Taking online pre-employment assessments can be intimidating for some job applicants – especially if they have never done it before. However, armed with the following tips, applicants can successfully complete the assessment.
- Keep an eye on the timer. A digital timer on the screen marks each passing second. By using this timer to pace yourself, you can complete the test. Answer the easy questions first and then attempt the more challenging questions. If you don’t know the answer to a particular question, don’t rack your head about it – just move to the next question.
- Don’t guess the answers. If you don’t know an answer for sure, leave it blank. It is much better to get some answers right rather than most answers wrong.
- Unlike in academic exams, both easy and difficult questions on employment tests carry the same marks. The questions will be mixed throughout the assessment. By taking practice assessments and knowing the type of questions to expect, you will be able to increase your overall test score.
- Pre-employment assessments use specific formats. By knowing what these formats are and preparing for them, you will be able to do well. Do research on different types of online aptitude tests and practice these tests as often as possible.
- Last but not least, get a good night’s sleep. Computer-based assessments can be stressful and it is important to be well-rested before attempting one. Being tired can adversely affect the results – especially of intelligence and aptitude tests.
The future of online assessment platforms
There’s no doubt that online assessment platforms are here to stay. An online assessment provides flexibility for the candidates as well as recruiters, and the entire process of testing job applicants is simplified drastically.
It’s the age of computerized tests, machine scoring, computerized authoring and delivery, technology-assisted assessment features, automated essay scoring, and automated item generation. Online assessment platforms will continue to become more intuitive as time goes by, and our dependability on them will persist. We do need and will continue to need online assessments more than ever before.
With the need for online assessment platforms on the rise, we will find several companies offering online assessment software mushrooming all over the place. The trick will be to choose the right platform for your requirements. Sometimes the most popular platform may not be the best for you.
A platform with the required features to suit your business needs is what matters – and as long as you remember that, you can continue hiring high-quality applicants after assessing them satisfactorily via. an online assessment platform.