New Guide Offers Best Practice on Retesting Job Applicants

November 28, 2016 Aon's Assessment Solutions

A new guide for recruiters - offering best practice on how and when to retest job applicants - has been published by Aon's Assessment Solutions, the international talent and assessment specialist.

Called 'Guidelines for retesting job candidates', it explains 'when' retesting is appropriate, 'what' to retest and 'how' to do it, as well as how to interpret the results and how to communicate effectively with candidates.

"Today's psychometric tests feature randomised questions and adaptive designs to prevent candidates from sharing the answers," said Dr Katharina Lochner, Research Director at Aon's Assessment Solutions and co-author of the guide. "But some tests are still vulnerable to cheating, as a candidate could ask someone else to complete the test 'for' them or 'with' them. This guide provides best practice to help recruiters substantiate the scores of candidates in a supervised environment. A thorough retesting process will not only give you greater confidence in your selections, it also shows your best candidates that less scrupulous applicants will not be able to shortcut your assessment process.

"The guide recommends that retesting should be undertaken when ability tests are used, such as verbal, numerical, logical reasoning and multi-tasking tests. These assessments have 'correct' answers and candidates who are faster and more accurate obtain higher scores. If an organisation includes several ability tests in its application process, a representative subset can be used when retesting."

Candidates may feel less inclined to cheat if you make it clear during your application process that you'll conduct supervised retesting," said Dr Lochner. "You can even create an 'honesty contract', by explaining your reasons for including assessments and asking for the candidate's cooperation.

"The guide warns that a candidate's score in a supervised retest will never be exactly the same as their unsupervised test.

"Discrepancies in the test results can occur for a number of reasons and a lower score doesn't necessarily mean that the candidate cheated in their first test," said Dr Lochner. "We recommend reducing the pass score of the supervised test by 10%, to allow for this.

"Best practice is to retest all candidates who were successful in the first stage as this is fair for everyone. If this is unpractical, a subsection of the candidates could be randomly selected for retesting.

"If you've only retested a subset of your candidates, you could offer a follow-up interview to those who were unsuccessful in the supervised test, to find out why their scores were lower," said Dr Lochner. "You could even offer them another chance to repeat their assessment.

"The guide recommends that recruiters should never tell candidates that they've been rejected because of suspected cheating.

"There's no perfect method that will reveal whether or not a candidate really has cheated," said Dr Lochner. "Best practice is to explain to excluded applicants that they failed to pass the minimum benchmark in the supervised retesting session.


Aon’s Assessment Solutions is part of Aon’s global Human Capital business, helping clients achieve sustainable growth by driving business performance through people performance. Aon’s Assessment Solutions undertakes 30 million assessments each year in 90 countries and 40 languages.

About Aon

Aon plc (NYSE: AON) is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. Our 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries empower results for clients by using proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights that reduce volatility and improve performance.

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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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