How Digital Assessments Are Transforming The Recruitment Process In The Covid-Era?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

The COVID-19 pandemic had led to global unemployment by around 25 million.

With such job scarcity, and huge economic slowdown – companies began to receive resumes in bulk.

Along with that, the lockdown restrictions and work-from-home policies turned out as major stumbling blocks for the companies.

While some companies were struggling with the digitalization of their regular process, many were winning the situation because they had already adopted advanced HR tech at their workspace.

What major decision made them stand out from other companies and gave them this competitive advantage?

THE ANSWER IS: Digital Assessments.

‘Digital Assessments’ is not an alien concept for any of us. It has been used in different sectors for a very long time but after Covid-19, many industries are permanently moving to digital assessments for making pre-hiring, post-hiring and engagement-related decisions.

In a hiring cycle, HR spends the majority of their time screening candidates’ resumes.

On average, a corporate job opening attracts about 250 resumes – out of these only 4-5 get shortlisted by the HR professionals for the interview round – and only 1 of them gets the job. In total, HR spends about 36 days just to fill a position with the best-suited candidate.

A Mobile Banking Service – Monese, overcame such a recruitment challenge in the year 2020 by making an early decision of adopting Digital Assessments at their workspace. They hired 100 potential employees within 5 months and reduced their hiring time by 86%.

Shailesh Singh, and Talent Acquisition Head, Max Life, recently highlighted how standardized online assessments have become increasingly significant after COVID-19, contrary to the pre-covid times when face to face rounds was considered a necessity. 

Even though online assessments were adopted as a response to the Covid-19 situation, now slowly companies are realizing that it has a lot more to offer than just remote hiring assistance!

Weighing The Benefits And Challenges

Digital assessments are now allowing companies to break the geographical restrictions that were in the case of pen-and-paper tests, manual assessments and in-person interviews before.

More businesses are now able to assess a large pool of candidates and hire quality employees with no delay in time.

Majority of employers are targeting (Gen Z) who carry a digital-first mindset.

According to the Yellow Recruiting Study, 54% of the Generation Z candidates would not complete the application if they feel that the recruitment methods are outdated.

This is why digital assessments are created in a recreational format, that are quick in nature, are picture-based (rather than using texts), or are able to give a gamified experience to the test-taker.

It increases the participation of the tech-savvy target population by engaging them in the content, giving – “an enhanced experience”.

Additionally, digital assessments provide decision-makers accurate and comprehensive results that are fast & free from human biases,  saving time, resources and human labour.

It helps you make the right decisions and save on your crucial working hours that you would have spent screening all the 250 resumes instead.

Currently, the two main challenges that the companies face are – lack of digital skills in the candidates and culture.

According to a study done by the Capgemini Research Institute conducted in 340 organizations, it was found that around 43% of the participants believed that the employees lacking digital skills can serve as a barrier to moving towards the digital medium.

And more than 62% of the participants considered ‘lack of a strong foundation of corporate culture’ as the number one hurdle to digital transformation.

“Are digital assessments replacing HR roles?” – Breaking The Misconception

With this shift in functioning, more companies are turning towards digital assessments.

This has generated fear among HR Practitioners that the automation in assessments can expand to the point that it will completely eliminate their role in future.

But the truth is, Digital Assessments are not replacing any HR roles, they are just deconstructing the old roles and reinventing them in a combination of —> human work + automation.

So, assessments need to be treated as a supplement for hiring  rather than a threat.

Efficient hiring can be increased through a combination of objective results from assessments and the HR professional’s subjective experience while interviewing the candidates.

Moreover, HR professionals will have extra time to give to the other parts of the job functions, such as – employee relations, organizational effectiveness, management & planning, working on business strategies, performance management, etc.

How can HR Professionals be prepared for this big switch to digital assessments?

Work on your additional skills. As HR functions are getting modified with digital assessments, it is the need of an hour to develop additional skills like – report reading, analyzing, framing behavioural questions for the final interview, developing knowledge regarding traits, etc. Developing these will be of unique advantage for you while making hiring related decisions.

Keep yourself updated about the available online tools: Different digital tools come with different advantages. Some provide customization and some are pre-built. Customized tools fit the organization’s role and strategies, while pre-built tests have pre-set benchmarks and norms. It is important to be aware of what benefits each type brings to the table, while making the decision about which ones to use.

Analyze the business needs before moving to digital assessments. Before picking up a digital assessment, think and analyze about what are the gaps in the workforce and identify the most critical competencies needed for effective performance. This will help you understand which assessments you can use to fill in those gaps.

Modify your recruitment strategy and communicate with your team: Modifying existing HR strategies is important when considering adoption of digital assessments. Simultaneously, it is also important for the team to be prepared for the changes coming along the way. Keeping them prepared will help them adapt quickly and execute the new strategy effectively.

Check Points To Be Considered While Choosing The ‘Right’ Digital Assessment

Make sure that the digital assessment tool is scientifically validated. With technology on our fingertips, it is easy to create duplicate, non-validated tests – which wouldn’t provide true insights.

So ask for a detailed scientifically  validated report to avoid the trap of pseudo-assessments.

Ask for a demonstration and a sample report. Demonstrations and sample reports can give you clarity regarding whether the test-takers are digitally equipped enough to take the test, if it provides positive hiring experience, if they are relevant, and whether the reports are clear enough to be analyzed further.

Look for API integration. API Integration will relieve the company from regular operational roles, ensuring data integrity and will help you save tons of time and resources.

Choose an attractive and friendly test interface. Such interfaces will help in holding candidates’ interest from the beginning till the end to give authentic results.

Should have an employee dashboard. The display of performance metrics of the candidates makes it easier to review their assessment scores, predict performance post hiring, evaluate the effectiveness of the recruitment process, ensure that the feedback given by the manager is objective – which in turn improves the overall engagement.

Key Takeaways From The Adopters Of Digital Assessments

  • COVID-19 has made it extremely important to have the right tools to navigate in this changing business world.
  • The evidence in support of digital assessments is overwhelming to start considering while recruiting and assessing employees.
  • HR practitioners play a big role in personalization at the workplace. This change will modify the job role to some extent, but no amount of digital assessments can replace the humanness of the role.
  • For successful adoption, it is better if HR professionals work on certain additional skills as well as prepare their team for the change.
  • There is no simple formula when it comes to selecting the right assessment tool, but certain things like – scientific validation, interface design, API integration, etc. could be kept in mind while making the selection.

Author’s Bio: Somya Verma is a licensed psychologist and a researcher working at PMaps Assessments. She is a part of the Psychometric Product & Strategy Team and is responsible for creating assessments, conducting research and writing content (Blogs, Articles and Newsletters) for the reading audience.

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