Blended Online Assessments: A Win for Candidates and Businesses

It’s highly likely that all of you reading this will have had the experience of being a candidate in a recruitment process. If you were to reflect on that process, you may recall it being divided into ‘stages’ – where an organisation assessed you against certain characteristics, using a different method at each stage. By this I mean that you may have been asked to complete an online assessment to assess you against certain characteristics, before attending an interview where you were then measured against something else. Or, they could have been measuring you against the same characteristic but using different methods to assess this at each stage.

When I think about the recruitment processes I have been through – and, having recently joined the team at Capp, here’s to hoping I won’t go through another for quite some time(!) – I certainly remember them being sequential stages, rather than ‘fluid experiences’.

Using different methods of assessment makes sense for companies when you consider the benefits, such as gaining more insight into a candidate’s suitability for a role (e.g. Schmidt & Hunter, 1998). As an example, if an organisation wants to understand if a candidate is an agile learner, they may wish to assess their preference to learn new things (potentially measured through a behavioural tool), understand whether they have the capability to do so (potentially measured through some form of assessment), and see if there are previous examples of when they have learnt and applied new information (potentially measured through an interview). In this instance, each method gives them more information on which to base a decision, though the downsides are that processes can seem long and drawn-out for both the candidate and organisation, and that distinct assessments have to be used too.

Recently, however, I’ve seen more companies gaining the benefits of using multiple methods of assessment, while also providing the fluid experiences candidates yearn for – achieving this through blended assessments. The key difference is that where candidates would previously have been invited to complete an assessment or attend an interview – each of which would have represented a ‘stage’ in a process – organisations are now able to blend those distinct elements into a single, immersive experience. Referring to the previous example, where a company wanted to gauge the extent to which a candidate was an agile learner, the candidate could instead complete questions in an online behavioural and cognitive-style assessment, then transition seamlessly to record their answer to an interview question in an online recorded video interview - all part of the same online stage.

The benefits of this type of approach seem endless for businesses and candidates alike, including time saved for both parties by compressing a recruitment process, better insight into a candidate’s suitability, and being more fluid as an experience overall.

Working with clients to design and implement these methods of assessment has been an incredibly enjoyable part of my time here at Capp so far – and I look forward to seeing how this could develop further in the future. This raises the question - what recruitment innovations would you like to see become more common?