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Automated Remote Proctoring is Revolutionizing Pre-hire Assessment


Automated Remote Proctoring is Revolutionizing Pre-hire Assessment
February 3, 2020, 8:16:00 AM EST   By Mike Russiello

TargetSince the introduction of Internet-based pre-employment testing, employers have been concerned about security in remote testing. They worry because they cannot verify that the person who completes a remote test is actually the applicant and not a friend or relative helping them look good.

Initially, employers found solace in the realization that nobody likes to take a test, and it's a big ask to have someone complete a 30 - 60 minute assessment for you. Plus, most people are honest and worry that they will be asked to complete a retest during the interview, or that they will be asked to certify in person that they completed the test.

Personally, as a professional involved in remote, Internet-based pre-hire testing for more than 20 years, I have always felt that the percentage of actual cheaters was very small. I would guess that it is somewhere between 1 and 4 percent. Ironically, the percent of ‘false positives' caused by cheating test takers is almost certainly lower than the number of false positives caused by low reliability and weak validity in the test itself.

A colleague of mine in the industry has great success easing employer's fears of consequence free cheaters by reminding them that:

Stupid people tend to have equally stupid friends.

Still, in spite of these points, many employers worry that even a small fraction of dishonest applicants can spoil the integrity of their assessment process.

Starting about a decade ago, a wave of remote proctoring companies emerged to address this need. These companies employ multiple technologies, including real-time human monitoring by video camera to remotely proctor assessments. These services work great for ‘high stakes,' low-volume testing, such as final exams for remote universities, certification exams, and the like. These remote proctoring services are also relatively expensive - costing around 25 USD per test. These costs are acceptable for high stakes, low volume testing, but not really for lower stakes and higher volume.

However, most pre-employment assessments are not really high stakes or low volume. Instead, they are medium stakes, medium volume. They are not a go : no-go gate, but rather a data point in a collection of data points used to make a hiring decision. Full blown remote proctoring services are overkill for these types of assessments. Plus, they are just too expensive.

So now, finally, there is an answer for medium stakes testing: automated remote proctoring. In this setup, the test makes use of the test taker's webcam to take pictures of them while they complete the assessment. Facial recognition software is used to determine if the test-taker's face changes, disappears, or if a second face appears, in order to identify potential cheating. Pictures are also included in score reports so that when the candidate comes in for an interview the photos can be verified.

The cost of this new remote proctoring solution? Almost nothing. It's perfect for medium stakes and even high volume testing.

Concerned about sharing pictures of candidates with recruiters too early in the process? You can hide them either permanently or temporarily.

Concerned about candidates resisting having their picture taken? Don't be. After more than 100,000 assessments, virtually no complaints regarding the proctoring solution have been received.

Concerned that some candidates may not have a device with a camera? You can make it optional depending on the hardware used by the candidate. However, virtually all candidates have access to a laptop or mobile device that has a webcam.

Pre-Employment assessment providers like HR Avatar have already integrated this service into virtually all of their assessments. So, finally, we can put this volatile issue to bed. Score one for modern technology!

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