The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a digital explosion across industries and functions, and HR is no exception. In a post-pandemic workplace, HR is undergoing a profound transformation — moving from personnel management to people management, adopting data-driven decision making, continuous performance management and flexi-working, amongst others. Many of these changes will be supported by modern systems that will drive processes. A recent Sage study found that a third of HR leaders are already changing the way they hire by using technology to enable seamless hiring, virtual onboarding and improving candidate experience. 24 per cent of the respondents were already using automation and AI-driven systems for talent acquisition, while 56 per cent of the companies said they would adopt it in the next year.
While virtual hiring platforms were very much in vogue pre-pandemic, they are on a steep growth trajectory in a post-pandemic environment. With remote and hybrid models of work becoming the new normal, virtual hiring is here to stay. Virtual hiring solutions offer several advantages to both companies and candidates. A comprehensive set of interconnected applications with pre-hiring assessments, screening, online assessments, video interviews, pre-boarding and onboarding ensures better hiring practices and a seamless candidate experience.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to rethink the skills required for employees, and also how to find the best-fit. Leveraging technology in hiring processes drives efficiency for both recruiters and candidates. The use of AI-powered tools for skills and talent assessments lets companies adopt a data-driven approach toward recruitment while still maintaining a human connect.
Step up with online assessment tools
Using online assessment software lets recruiters focus on planning, connecting with candidates, scheduling and selection processes while leaving repetitive, process-driven tasks such as administering tests and gathering performance evaluations to software applications. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of using online assessment tools.
- Get a quick turnaround: Online assessments can deliver results almost immediately, and also present immediate feedback. Automatic scoring ensures very few delays and accelerates the hiring process.
- Save on costs and time: Conducting traditional paper-based assessments presents many overheads — logistics for conducting the test and resources to conduct and monitor the test, not to mention the costs on administrative tasks such as printing test papers and collecting answer scripts. This is especially true for large-volume recruitment and when assessments need to be conducted across several physical locations. On the other hand, online assessments are location-agnostic and can be conducted with very few physical infrastructural needs. If need be, companies can partner with test centres that conduct assessments. This could result in huge reduction in cost and time, as well as administration overheads.
- Enjoy flexibility and scalability: Online assessments can be conducted for candidates across the globe. They are available round-the-clock, and candidates can choose to take them at any convenient time. If the tests are remote-proctored, candidates can sit in their homes and take the test. Online assessment software can easily scale up to testing thousands of candidates at any given time, thus giving companies access to a global talent pool. When integrated with the company’s applicant tracking systems (ATS) and recruitment workflows, manual overheads such as scheduling and evaluation of test results are eliminated. Candidates can get automatic notifications based on the workflow.
- Preserve exam integrity with high security: AI-powered assessments provide features such as secure logins with established credentials, remote proctoring and automatic fraud detection, thereby reducing instances of unfair practices. This ensures that a uniform assessment environment exists for every candidate and lets companies conduct tests across multiple test centres without having to worry about candidate location or proctor availability. This is especially useful for large-volume recruitments.
- Reduce unconscious hiring bias: Companies can lose on precious talent due to bias. One of the main benefits of technology in recruitment is that it helps bring down any implicit bias regarding race, ethnicity, appearance, religion, accent or any other factor. In fact, the elimination of hiring bias is one of the reasons why HR leaders are striving to adopt online assessments. Done right, these tests can play an important role in providing equal opportunity and diversity in the workforce.
- Receive detailed reports instantly: Detailed individual reporting lets companies gain valuable insights into candidate skills and fitment in the organisation. Since the assessments are automated, most of the reports are available instantly, allowing for quick, data-driven decisions in the hiring process.
- Gain valuable insights: A completely integrated and automated recruiting process gives valuable hiring insights to recruiters and business leaders alike. Using analytics, recruiters can analyse patterns, and improve tests. Hiring managers and business leaders have a ready view into hiring metrics and KPIs.
- Increase flexibility and accessibility: Whether it is partnering with test centres or letting candidates take the tests from the comfort of their homes, ultimately it results in better accessibility and convenience from the perspective of the company and the candidate. Candidates are more at ease, irrespective of where they are based. Online assessments also allow for interactive testing, with the possibility of various question types apart from the standard MCQs, such as voice-over questions, narrations, illustrations, graphs and charts. The possibilities are immense. By doing so, companies can provide equal opportunity to people with differences and hire a diverse workforce.
- Offer personalised candidate experience: Companies can personalise candidate experience and also promote their employer brand. An improved experience leads candidates to recommend the employer to other friends and colleagues, resulting in a better talent pool and improved candidate sourcing.
- Satisfy compliance and legal requirements: The availability of data and audit trails leads to evidence-based hiring and encourages fair hiring practices. Compliance and legal requirements can be easily met. Online assessment tools are usually built to industry standards, thereby providing for evidence-based recruitment.
- Make better hiring decisions: The COVID-19 pandemic has forced recruiters to rethink employee skills and fitment. Apart from job-related skills, employees need to have good communication skills and be approachable, flexible and comfortable with technology.
- Improve productivity: Online assessment tools free up recruiter bandwidth for planning and other abstract and important tasks, leaving the repetitive grunt work to the bots, thereby leading to increased efficiency. Recruiters can plan, schedule interviews and establish connections with candidates, while the assessment software can pull up lists of filtered candidates, provide insights and enable data-driven decisions.
Resumes are now just one of the pointers to candidate capability. Besides job skills, cultural fit is equally important. Companies can administer online assessments to assess skills, integrity, personality, emotional intelligence and cognitive ability, all of which can lead to data-driven decision making. Based on test outcomes and behaviour patterns, candidate shortlisting becomes evidence-based and accurate. Recruiters can determine candidate performance in specific job roles and easily disqualify those who do not meet the criteria, or recommend them for other roles.
Considerations for choosing the right online assessment tool
With a plethora of online assessment tools available, companies are often spoilt for choice. However, to truly automate the recruitment process, improve hiring practices and reduce the load on recruiters, several considerations come into play.
Automation and AI give a huge boost to recruiter productivity and improve all stages of recruitment. AI-enabled online assessment tools are a necessary part of the virtual hiring stack. Remote proctoring, automatic fraud detection and integration with upstream and downstream systems should be some of the major factors to be considered. Bias-free, objective and automatic performance evaluation will help shortlist candidates. The ability to include different types of questions and simulations and multiple types of tests provide accessibility to all.
Companies that need large-volume recruitments should look for online assessment tools that offer different types of assessments such as technical and soft-skills, based on their needs. Personalisation and customisation are important features that let employers use their own brand during the recruitment process. The online assessment tool should be able to integrate with other systems on the hiring stack to provide a seamless candidate experience and ease the burden on recruiters.
HirePro’s secure virtual hiring platform offers a comprehensive AI-powered remote recruitment platform with live or automated video proctoring and automatic fraud detection to control cheating for both coding and functional assessments. Exhaustive customisable coding assessments with pre-built questions, capability assessments, screenings or hackathons, and a feature-rich coding editor make HirePro Coding Assessments a good choice for IT hiring. HirePro’s functional assessments offer customisable personality, aptitude, technical and domain skills tests in a variety of question formats. Both assessments are ISO 27001-certified and GDPR-compliant.
Online assessments and video interviews on AI-driven virtual hiring platforms present significant benefits to companies. They now have a global talent pool to choose from, with the opportunity to minimise implicit bias and provide accessible assessments to all, paving the way to engage a diverse and talented workforce. Rather than adopting virtual hiring for the short-term, businesses need to be proactive in using online assessment tools. With a long-term virtual hiring strategy, they will gain a competitive edge.