Six Ways that Technology Is Changing Assessment


Employers used to use psychometric assessments to prevent the ‘wrong people’ from being hired (and thus save on recruitment and training costs). But things have changed, thanks to technological innovations. Assessments now enable employers to differentiate themselves, raise their brand awareness, provide an immersive candidate experience – yet still recruit employees who have the capabilities and values to succeed.

Here are six areas in which technology is making an impact:

1. Data integration. Integration makes recruiters’ lives easier, as it enables you to connect different systems together – such as your Applicant Tracking System, candidate management system and video interviewing system – and allow candidate details to move seamlessly between them. This not only puts all the information you need to make a selection decision at your fingertips, it also enables you to mine and utilise employee data and talent analytics in ways that weren’t possible before.

2. ‘Success profiles’. You can now combine pre-hire and post-hire performance data to gain fresh insights into your talent and a better understanding of what actually makes people successful in your organisation. The results can reveal the attributes and characteristics that predict high performance in your company, enabling you to recruit people based on this criteria using specific assessments. The insights gained can also support development initiatives and help you to create talent pools and undertake succession planning.

3. Creating the right expectations. In their desire to create an enticing careers site, some organisations over-sell their jobs. But this can mean that candidates join with false expectations. Some of them may leave because the role wasn’t what they thought it would be – or because they’re not suited to the required tasks.

Technology now allows you to set the right expectations about the job and your organisation by using a realistic job preview (RJP). This allows candidates to essentially assess themselves, gain instant feedback and determine whether or not they’re right for the role – before they apply. If this stops unsuitable people from applying, that actually helps them and you, as it increases the number of suitable candidates in your applicant pool – and it discourages people from wasting their time applying for jobs that are not appropriate for them.

4. More engaging and ‘context-driven’ assessment. New-style assessments – including game-based assessments and gamified assessments – can be used alongside traditional psychometric tests to differentiate your organisation, motivate applicants and attract and recruit the best talent. Next-generation situational judgement tests – such as chatAssess, an instant-messaging communication game in the style of WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger – provide an immersive and realistic assessment of a candidate’s strengths, personality and cognitive abilities, using scenarios that are contextually-relevant to the job for which they’re applying. Many of today’s assessments are optimised for mobile devices and available in multiple languages. They can therefore help multinational employers achieve globally-consistent recruitment.

5. Preventing cheating. Psychologists now know that the way that job applicants process information and respond in assessment tests is as individual as the ridges on our fingertips. For example, the options they choose, how often they correct themselves in the test and even whether they fiddle with the mouse or move their tablet while they’re thinking. Today’s assessments collect such a wealth of data that it is now possible to create a ‘psychometric fingerprint’ of your candidates. So as well as finding out what score a candidate achieved in a test, you can now detect ‘how’ they completed it. As a result, you can quickly tell if the same individual completed your different tests – and whether or not an individual has ‘trained’ themselves to perform well in a particular assessment.

6. ‘Career navigators’ for prospective employees. Many employers offer a wide range of roles for graduates or apprentices. It can be daunting for young people – who have little, if any, previous experience – to decide on which area of your business is best for them. To help, employers are now creating self-guided career navigator tools which analyse the preferences, attitudes and interests of young people and show them alternative career options within the company. This not only helps you to recruit and retain suitable candidates, it encourages those individuals to take responsibility for their own development.

To succeed, every organisation should assess potential employees to find those who have the skills, competencies, potential and the values to succeed. Technology will continue to play a vital role in facilitating this.

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Aon creates smart measurement solutions with valid and innovative online assessment products. Aon is globally the preferred partner for organisations who demand the best.

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