RPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

Web-based Assessments Aid the Employee-hiring Process

It’s the Internet age, so stop handing out paper-based application forms. To automate and enhance the screening process, look online for model efficiency.

by Reid E. Klion

Buying a home? Booking a vacation? Going to the movies? Get online! Everybody knows the Internet has changed the way people conduct business and lead many parts of their lives. It is a phenomenon that continues to evolve and will continue to have a significant impact on virtually every aspect of our daily lives.

Like buying a home or booking a vacation, the process of applying for a job has also been changed by the Internet. Candidates now apply for jobs at their convenience via web-based applications in the comfort and privacy of their own home, day or night. Historically, job seekers filled out an application and pre-employment form at a company’s facility. These forms often took days of manual processing.

Today, web-based applications play a key role in talent recruitment, applicant tracking systems, pre-employment assessments, background checks, and onboarding. In addition, organizations can collect background information, drug test and medical results, and other information in one, easy-to-use system. Data are processed automatically and immediately collated, producing real-time results.

Pre-hire assessments help organizations determine whether a candidate is right. These assessments range from simple questionnaires and skills tests to personality evaluations and work simulations, and all help identify whether a candidate has the abilities and skills required.

By compiling and making all assessment data available, an employer knows throughout the recruitment process whether to advance a job seeker to the next step. Automated filtering of a talent pool coupled with scientifically validated assessments of knowledge, skills, aptitudes, work attitudes, and competencies enhances the staffing process. Additionally, comprehensive candidate data tracking systems decrease the risks of losing or misidentifying potential candidates.

When web-based assessments are conducted early in the recruiting process, they save time and money. First, candidates are completing and submitting assessments on their own time, eliminating the need for added HR support. Corporate recruiters can shift their focus to results and matching job requirements with skill sets to build a candidate pipeline.

Gathering information early in the recruiting process allows employers to eliminate unqualified applicants. Streamlining the first stages of the recruiting process allows prospective candidates to move through the new-hire process to employee status quickly and decreases time-to-hire. Assessment can also form the basis of the employee lifecycle from recruitment through retirement.

The capture of all relevant data associated with the candidate/employee lifecycle is readily available for analysis when deciding on hiring, for compliance use, and even future promotions. Early assessments and data capture result in a positive onboarding experience.

Assessment data provide valuable insight into a new employee’s training and developmental needs when the person starts the job. As an employee’s tenure with a company increases, the assessment data can be revisited to determine growth, career development opportunities, and mastery of skills. New assessments may be administered to compare an employee’s progress with earlier results. These assessments may focus on leadership abilities and involve gathering feedback from supervisors and peers. Evaluating this information allows organizations to look at all dimensions of performance.

In the future, there will be more sophisticated assessments such as personality and biodata tests. (Biodata assessments are scored questionnaires typically comprising of questions related to life and work experiences, opinions, and attitudes.) There is also continued interest in non-proctored assessments that candidates complete independently. While there is justified wariness about the potential for cheating when non-supervised assessments are used, these concerns are being allayed by the development of assessments with non-obvious correct answers and proctored follow-up verification testing of short-listed candidates.

Web-based applications will continue to play a significant role in pre-employment assessments as well as throughout an employee’s lifecycle. This “first step” in the recruitment process completely enhances the process of moving a new hire from applicant to employee.

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