How to Curate Effective Pre-Employment Assessments

Two people curating pre-employment assessments

Are your recruitment assessments flexible and convenient?

With the backdrop of a highly competitive hiring market, during the recruitment process organisations are often faced with a challenge when it comes to balancing the needs of applicants vs. the needs of their organisation.

While it is essential to apply due rigor to properly screen candidates, this has to be done in a way that ensures applicants actually participate in the process and have a positive experience irrespective of the outcome. It is also crucial that the screening process enables organisations to test applicants objectively, while ensuring that the assessment correctly evaluates whether or not they have the necessary skills and capabilities to do the job.

Often in the initial stages of the screening process, having a very rigid approach where applicants are forced to travel to a specific location on a set date for an interview or assessment, may lead to them dropping out of the process, especially if they have to travel significant distances. Co-ordinating and scheduling such appointments can also add delays to the overall process, increasing the likelihood that applicants will take up alternative offers. The recruiters of the future need to screen candidates in a way that is flexible, convenient and reflects well on the organisation.

Are you hiring the staff your business really needs?

It's easy to hire someone with a good CV or the right qualifications, but that doesn't always make them a good hire. Your interview process needs to separate the capable and competent from the over-confident, making sure you build a team that works for your company.

With pre-employment assessments, you can do just that. You can create your own questions and learn more about your potential staff at a level of detail not possible through interviews alone. There are many different ways to provide these assessments online, and one option is remote or online proctoring – this is when a screening test is run online, and the candidate is monitored in real-time over the web by a trained supervisor, who connects to the candidate using video, audio and remote screenshare. This ensures that the correct person has presented to do the test and that they did not cheat. The information given is therefore a true reflection of the individual’s capabilities.

If you're thinking of creating a candidate assessment, here are some useful tips to making one that works for you.

Create Pre-Employment Assessments Online

In a world of global connectivity and around 4.5 billion internet users, the days of pen and paper testing are over for candidates. As noted in the latest trends of assessments, companies are ditching traditional testing methods in favour of online tools.

Creating your assessment online is crucial to reaching a wide audience. No matter where a candidate is, they can apply for your job, opening up your pool of potential staff. With a wider geographical reach, your chance of finding suitable candidates is greatly increased.

You also need your online tests to show your brand as modern and professional. For potential employees, this is an appealing feature of any company they might work for.

Choose the Right Test

There are a lot of different kinds of test you can create. Make sure you develop your tests to explore the competencies that are most relevant for the job role. It should look at key skills that are needed and identify characteristics for the work at hand, making sure you get the information you need.

Some different tests include:

  • Job knowledge tests to gauge how much your candidate knows about a subject or role
  • Personality tests to understand more about who the candidate is and whether they'd fit into both the job role
  • Culture assessments to see whether a candidate's values align with your company's culture
  • Soft skill tests which look at non-technical ability like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving
  • Hard skill tests that assess the skills needed for the job such as typing speed or computer coding
  • Situational judgement tests which give your candidate different scenarios they may come across in their role and see how they'll react

Usually, the best way to find out more about your candidate is to combine different types of tests. Keep the different tests separate, built into different sections of your candidate selection process.

Keep Your Tests Short

Whilst a long test might tell you a lot about your candidates and give more data, it's unlikely many candidates will actually finish the assessment. Nobody wants to spend two hours on a test, so keep yours short.

In general, your test should be less than 60 minutes. This will give you a higher completion rate and keep your candidates engaged. Anything over 60 minutes and your completion rate will drop and data may become less reliable.

Make sure to limit the number of questions to only those you really need. It's also a good idea to keep questions or scenarios short, cutting down on reading time. You can also use employee assessment tools that use videos and images to make the test quicker and more engaging.

Deliver your test anywhere in the world

By using online proctoring, your recruitment candidates can sit their recruitment test anywhere in the world, with complete security. The online proctoring process ensures that the right person has presented to sit the exam (because their ID is checked) and that the knowledge shared by them is a true reflection of what they know. By using live remote proctoring, where a human proctor watches the candidate for the duration of the exam, you know there is no cheating or compromising of your test content.

If you use an online assessment solution you can also switch on exam timers and secure computer lockdown, so the test can only be done for a certain length of time and the candidate cannot check other browser windows or applications – they have to demonstrate what they truly know.

Use Your Test for Guidance

Your assessment isn't meant to be a 'be all and end all' type of test. The results don't dictate who you should hire. Instead, use them for guidance as to the skill set of the individual that is applying.

Take the test results into account, filtering out those who are clearly don't have the skills you need or will not fit in with your company. But don't use them as your sole decision-maker. Ideally, your recruitment assessments will help you to narrow down the pool of candidates you choose to take to the next level for in-depth interviews, thus reducing the level of time and investment your organisation makes at the next stage, and making that time more effective.

Next Steps for your Organisation

By creating an effective test that properly evaluates candidates, you can make the hiring process much simpler. Using a wide variety of question types will help you get to know potential employees better and also make your brand seem dynamic and interesting.

Consider the use of video, audio and images in your questions. If spreadsheets or accounts are important, include that question type too. If your candidate must have good writing skills, ask them to write an article or email in a word-type question format. The possibilities are endless.

By delivering this test with online proctoring, you will be able to ensure the correct person has presented to sit the test and the test results are a true reflection of what the candidate knows. You can use test results to assist in tailoring questions for an in-person interview for a more personalised hiring process.

If you think it's time to be running pre-employment assessments with online proctoring, consider recruitment screening with TestReach. Our online assessment software makes it easy for you to create a wide range of tests using a variety of question types. To find out more, get in touch with our team today.

To read more about pre-employement assessments and how online proctoring can help, you can also download our Datasheet for Recruitment Screening here.