Are e-assessments here to stay?
Technology, as many business leaders would agree, relentlessly disrupts time-tested conventions. Companies that quickly adapt to the waves of change thrive while more laidback organisations may simply sink. In recruiting, technology-driven advancement has dramatically altered how employers want to assess candidates. Beyond college degrees and resumes, companies now seek to hire people with “more practical, technical, software-oriented and digital competencies,” says Ryan Craig (Managing Director, University Ventures, USA). This new mindset developed with the introduction and growth of computer-based assessment tools about 40 years ago. With the expansion of the internet and advancements in Artifical Intelligence (AI), e-assessments have further enhanced the scope for fine-tuning hiring processes way beyond conventional evaluation methods.
So, is e-assessment a new trend? Or is it an overhyped bandwagon that every other company wants to jump on to? Chew on these figures before you decide! An Economic Times report in 2015 revealed that only about 36 per cent of Indian companies preferred e-assessment over traditional screening and interviews, for reasons like candidates’ inability to take online tests and the high cost of procuring and administering online assessment tools. Most firms that adopted e-assessment were large enterprises. By 2020, this hesitancy had dramatically changed, with pandemic-related restrictions forcing diverse business sectors to go remote. In December 2020, The Hindu’s Business Line headlined a report that a whopping 47 per cent of Indian tech recruiters had embraced e-assessment tools.
|“Assessment services market size was valued at USD 12.32 billion in 2021 and is forecast to reach USD 23.28 billion in 2030 ….”
—Emergen Research Study Report
Clearly, the world over, e-assessment is now a given. Besides corporates, there is high demand from schools, universities and government sectors for online assessment tools to assess people’s skills, EQ, aptitude and personality traits. Says Dr. Sean Gallagher from Northeastern University (USA), “A growing group of employers, non-profits, foundations, and technology firms are championing skills-based hiring and providing the tools to support it… “
Employers and RPO companies in developing countries are not lagging behind, given the exciting possibilities that computer-based assessment has opened up.
What are the advantages of e-assessment that are driving its adoption? Here are some examples.
Adaptable, cost-effective, scalable
Online tests are a win-win proposition for both job-seekers and employers. Remote assessments free candidates from the restrictions of time and place. Employers gain from streamlined and easier administrative procedures.
E-assessment offers savings for everyone. Employers save time and money spent on organising physical space, providing test materials and allocating supervisory staff. Applicants save on travel expenses to a location where they are required to be physically present.
These advantages gain even more traction when you consider large-scale campus hiring which burdens employers with logistical costs and hardships. Remote hiring, on the other hand, speeds up filtering of unsuitable candidates and also enables assessments across different verticals.
Remote recruitment expands the field to applicants from everywhere. Online interviews, for example, allow candidates from far-off locations to appear remotely for initial screening. This increases the likelihood of employers attracting a wider talent pool and recruiting high-skilled candidates.
Better hiring decisions
Data science, computing power and algorithms combine to analyse information on candidates, enabling recruiters to make informed decisions. While considering a candidate’s cultural fit with an organisation, traditional evaluation works on a hit-or-miss basis. However, like HirePro’s functional assessments, online testing can now evaluate applicants on cognitive, behavioural, soft skills and functional domains. This improves the chances of identifying candidates who are a good fit. The positive fallouts—greater satisfaction, higher productivity, and better retention rates for employees.
Like most human beings, recruiters are prone to biases. However, e-assessments enable employers to eliminate discrimination based on gender, age, caste or other prejudices so that screening is based solely on skills and aptitude.
Better candidate experience
Online recruiting is a smart way for companies to boost their employer brand among today’s generation of candidates. Some reasons why:
- It promotes diversity and inclusivity. Online proctoring, for example, enables candidates with disabilities to apply for jobs.
- All applicants can participate in secured tests from any location.
- Employers can provide creatively designed game-based assessments that appeal to young applicants.
- The quick turnaround of results leaves a positive impression of the company.
Fewer legal risks
Online evaluation, free of human subjectivity and prejudice, protects employers from potential litigation. If an aggrieved candidate levels allegations of bias, the employer can refute this with evidence of fair and objective hiring procedures. HirePro’s AI-powered platform, for example, offers auto-proctored assessments and interviews to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the recruitment process.
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