It IS personal – the new face of online assessment

Who’d have thought it, the fifth and final instalment of my ‘future of online assessment’ series. Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed all the articles so far and a big thank you to everyone who’s joined the conversation.

The last topic that I want to cover is one that’s very close to my heart. I’ve touched on it before but it more than deserves the limelight. Traditionally, organisations have used the same assessments and there was pretty much a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Hardly innovative and the process itself lacked personalisation.

Yes, personalisation. So, what do we mean by this? The first point to make is that assessments are now being designed to reflect the employer brand so that candidates really get a sense of what it’s like to work for the organisation. First appearances count, not just from a design and usability perspective but also the tone of voice used. Employers are effectively introducing their brand.

As mentioned previously, the blended question approach can be applied and configured to the organisation or around job families. It’s all part of the growing personalisation trend. Off-the-shelf ability tests and personality questionnaires are becoming a thing of the past. By configuring content around a core set of behaviours, organisations can not only enhance the candidate experience but also reduce testing time – in some cases by up to 50%.

Style and substance

What are the wider implications? Firstly, the demand for online and mobile assessment solutions will have an impact on assessment centres. Artificial intelligence techniques and realistic job previews will increasingly become part of the mainstream. The ‘psychobabble’ language of old will be replaced by plain English, as a lot more emphasis will be placed on clarity and presentation – reports will need to be easily understand by line managers. Providing feedback will be a given.

Assessment is becoming more focused, fairer, personalised and built around the needs of the candidate and client. This is a clear turning point for the industry as digitalised and customer-oriented solutions take over from the expert-controlled, off-the-shelf approach. Through innovation, the quality of the user experience will converge with predictive accuracy. The assessments still need to be rigorous, so a mixture of style and substance will be the way forward.

The challenge is not so much around technology, as we already have these capabilities. The opportunity is how to harness it to transform the assessment experience. A big part of this will be the focus on personalisation, making the experience more immersive, particularly as assessment becomes part of attracting as well as selecting candidates.

The possibilities for what can be achieved with online assessment are almost endless and at Sova we’re very excited to be a part of the journey that lies ahead. That completes my series on the future of online assessment. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and keep the comments coming in.

Dr. Alan Bourne is the Managing Director and founder of Sova Assessment Ltd.

Download: ‘The future of online assessment’ white paper (PDF)