More and more, the world of psychometric assessments is moving towards the digital space


More and more, the world of psychometric assessments is moving towards the digital space as the use of technology accelerates. It is becoming less feasible to conduct face-to-face assessments when candidates are unable to take days off of work and when they located far away.

Online assessments are a powerful addition to the recruitment and development process. However, their use is sometimes met with skepticism or mistrust. Below, we address some of the most common doubts and provide reasons why internet-based tests remain an excellent option:

Doubt 1: Line managers will rely on their own judgement to make a selection decision anyway

Line managers typically understand the requirements of a vacant position best, so it’s not surprising when they assume that they are best able to select the right person for the job. However, countless research studies have shown the effects of bias and subjectivity on the interview process. The most effective way for managers to be convinced of the benefits of an online assessment is for them to try it themselves. In this way, the manager will learn that much of the information in the report is consistent with the image he has of himself as an employee/manager. He will immediately realize that the information collected within a candidate's online assessment will save him valuable time in interviews. Some information that is also not apparent in interviews (e.g. motivators, cognitive ability) can be objected revealed via online assessments.

Doubt 2: The results are too complex for line managers and candidates to understand

It is crucial that candidates accept, understand and buy-in to the use of assessments within a selection process. Understandable, because you want the candidates to be properly and fairly assessed. One of the benefits of the use of assessments within selection is that the decision is partly based on objective, scientifically validated tools. Good online assessment reports are therefore written in a language that is not only accessible, but also evokes familiarity. For example, in online competency assessment reports, the results are presented in terms of those competencies that are essential for performance in a particular role.

Doubt 3: Online assessments are susceptible to faking

One of the greatest advantages of online assessments - being able to complete them at any location at any time - often raises the most doubts from HR professionals and psychologists. Are the results still valid in an uncontrolled environment? A variety of research findings show little to no difference in scale scores between participants who completed an online assessment unsupervised as well as a supervised paper-and-pencil equivalent. Research has also shown no difference between the “faking” behaviour of people on paper-and-pencil or online tests. As a recruitment professional, you can never rule out that the candidate may be getting help from outside sources while completing the assessment. It is therefore possible to conduct an online cognitive ability test under supervision. This can easily be done remotely using video or screen sharing software.

Doubt 4: It is too expensive

Purchasing an online assessment system is a cost-effective investment that runs at just 10% of the cost of a traditional assessment center. In the short-term, you can speed up your selection process by objectively identifying suitable candidates. Long-term, it helps to reduce turnover and can also be used seamlessly within your various development processes. As an example, finding out that a potential candidate has the appropriate competence but not the required cognitive ability after two rounds of interviews is a costly waste of man-hours. With an online assessment, you can screen applicants right from the beginning of the process.

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