Technology-Based Employment Testing: What Should You Expect?
Posted by Eric Friedman
These days it seems that everything is technology-based, so it’s no surprise that many of the recruiting functions we are used to doing manually are now available online. Pre-employment assessments and employment testing are among many recruiting functions that have been taken over by the tech world. A myriad of employment testing services now offer technology-based solutions that can help recruiters test skills with the click of a button.
The wide availability of these services begs the question: what should I expect? Is it worth investing in a pre-employment testing solution for my company? What are some of the benefits of using online assessment testing? Here are the top pros and cons of technology-based employment testing.
- Accessibility: One of the main benefits of technology-based employment testing is its accessibility. Thanks to cloud-based and mobile-ready assessment testing tools, we can have access to tests, results, and analyses anywhere, anytime. Today’s pre-employment tests can be distributed to candidates with the click of a mouse and the results can be viewed as soon as the candidate finishes the test. The benefit is having the flexibility to administer and review tests wherever and whenever needed, without having to be tied to physical paper tests or even a desktop computer.
- Variety: If variety is the spice of life, then technology-based employment testing has really spiced up the recruiting world. The types and number of pre-employment tests out there, as well as the vendors and tools available, have exponentially increased. You can find an assessment test for virtually anything, and many testing services to provide it. This kind of variety makes testing candidates easier, especially if you need to test for skills that are very specific or highly technical. The best testing services let you pick and choose to create customized tests that suit your needs.
- Efficiency: Gone are the days of sifting through page after page of pre-employment assessment test catalogs looking for the right tests, handing out paper copies of the tests to job applicants, having the completed tests faxed back to the office, hand-grading each test, and coming up with the best ways to compare them. Thanks to the efficiency of technology-based testing, you can do all of this in much less time and with much less effort. And since saving time means saving money, an employment testing service can prove to be well worth the investment.
- Cost: Although you can save a lot of time and money using technology-based employment assessments, they still incur a cost that cannot be ignored. Depending on your company’s budget, specifically its recruiting budget, paying for an employment testing service may not be in the cards for you. Shop around and try to find providers that offer more competitive rates, yet don’t skimp too much—if you choose a service that doesn’t include all the tests you need or is not user-friendly enough it could end up costing you more in the long run. Flexible use plans, offered by some assessment providers, may offer you the best fit.
- Real need: Before committing to an employment testing service, take a good hard look at your company’s needs. Don’t fall prey to testing just for testing’s sake. Pre-employment testing can be a valuable tool in your recruiting arsenal but it’s not an absolute necessity if you don’t have the time or money to really put it to good use. Before deciding whether to use assessment testing for your company, think of how you would use it, what you would test for, and how the tests results will help you achieve your goals.
- Effectiveness: Although they can be quite useful, pre-employment tests can’t replace the human aspect of recruiting. The effectiveness of a good recruiting strategy depends on a marriage of both technology and human intuition and experience. This is where some recruiting managers fail, by placing too much emphasis on the technology and forgetting about the human side. Even the best assessment testing service can fall short if it’s not mirrored by a strong and effective recruiting staff.
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Eric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a leading provider of Web-based skills testing for pre-employment and training. With academic degrees in Psychology and Business, and experience with both mature and expansion-stage company growth, Eric has focused on how best to hire and motivate team members to be the best they can be for their companies.