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What to do if Your Pre-Employment Tests Use Flash
July 14, 2015 8:00:00 PM EDT   By Shoa Appelman
Image Flash being blocked on Firefox

Flash is on its way out. Wired Magazine’s Flash Must Die piece this morning is only the latest call for retirement for the popular software. With the latest security breach, Firefox has disabled Flash and Facebook has called for a termination date for Flash. Android and Apple phones and tablet have not supported Flash in years.

Internet giants aren’t the only group tired of Flash. I’m also starting to lose patience. I’ve had two Flash updates in July already. That means I have updated Flash this month more times than I went to the gym. Hmm.

If You're a Hiring Manager or Recruiter Using Pre-Employment Tests

While I understand why I’m updating my Flash plug-in, test candidates may not necessarily understand. They might think that Firefox has disabled your test because it has a virus. They might think your test does not work. Or worst of all, they might think you haven't thought through your hiring process. So if you are a hiring manager who uses employment tests, or a testing company who administers employment tests, you have some explaining to do to your candidates.

Here is what you can do to ensure your candidates have a streamlined testing experience:

  1. If you are using HR Avatar Pre-Employment tests, sit back and relax. HR Avatar tests use HTML5. If the test-taker’s browser doesn’t support HTML5, the objects appear in Flash. You are in good shape.
  2. If you are using a different test vendor, ask if tests require Flash. If the tests have any multimedia, there is a high probability that the tests are being administered in Flash.
  3. Make sure your tests are mobile accessible: meaning they can be taken on a tablet or a smart phone. With 78% of candidates conducting their job search on a tablet or phone, your job site and your application process, including your tests, should be accessible on mobile devices.
  4. If your tests are not mobile accessible, either switch to a vendor that is mobile accessible, or ask your test providers what their plan is for going mobile.

If You're a Pre-Employment Test Vendor

If you’re a pre-employment test vendor, there’s no way to avoid it: tests should be mobile ready and leverage HTML5.

Several years ago, Flash was the only way to create assessment and training content that was visually appealing and could collect information. And Flash was ubiquitous: 98% of the market used Flash. So a lot of assessment providers created their content using Flash: it was a no-brainer. However, in 2010 when Steve Jobs declared that iOS would no longer support Flash, the market shifted towards HTML5, a newer technology at the time. Now, all modern browsers support HTML5. HTML5 is the preferred technology for multimedia objects on the web.

Flash’s security risks are prompting Firefox to take a step back, but Flash is also a resource drain on devices. Flash often times will take over a computer’s processor, making other applications difficult to use and frequently freezing.

As an assessment provider, you can hope that Flash improves, but that still will not render the assessments mobile ready. With more and more people using mobile devices for their online needs, it is your responsibility to offer assessments that are accessible to all candidates, not just desktop users.

HR Avatar's platform supports HTML5. And we want more testing companies to switch to HTML5, so if you would like to discuss potential solutions, we're happy to help! Contact us any time.

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