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Unproctored Employee Assessments: 4 Ways to Reduce Cheating

November 2, 2017

cheating on employee assessments.jpgHR pros and recruiters: who isn't looking to make the hiring process easier? Hiring, whether in high volumes for entry or mid-level jobs or in lower volumes for higher level (and higher stakes!) roles, requires a lot of manpower and a consistent process with many factors. Using unproctored employee assessments offers many benefits, including speed, cost, and convenience for both the applicants and the hiring organizations. Candidates are able to take the assessment when, where, and how they want, and some assessments can even be taken on mobile phones. This can improve the candidate experience as well as increase your applicant volume. Unproctored assessments can reduce the cost while increasing the speed of hiring for organizations. Read more: 6 Things Everyone Should Know About Mobile Employee Assessments.

Without proctors, test instructions are more consistent, ensuring that all candidates receive the same communication and administration. Precise timing can be used and instant scoring can be generated. Furthermore, companies can deploy new forms, reset cutoff scores, and correct or replace test items quickly and easily. They give organizations the ability to cast a wider net and allow for a better opportunity to reach a more diverse set of job candidates.

Despite its many advantages, some may have concerns about how organizations can be sure that the candidate is answering honestly and not cheating.

4 Suggestions to Reduce Cheating when using Unproctored Assessments:

1. Have an Honesty Policy

Before the assessment begins, the candidate should be presented with an honesty policy that they are required to accept. The honesty policy should instruct test takers that the test must be completed on their own and without any assistance, and that they should answer the questions honestly.

2. Randomize Items

To help ensure that candidates are not copying their answers from someone else - whether two or more individuals are taking the test at the same time or an individual has taken the test previously and is giving the "right" answers to the other candidate through memorization or physical copies of a test - items should be randomized.

3. Use an Item Pool

Another option to prevent candidates from using answers from someone else is to have a large item pool and use different (but equivalent) forms of the assessment. This way, the assessment questions that Candidate A sees are different from the assessment questions that Candidate B sees.

4. Set a Timer

Limit the amount of time a candidate can spend on a question or a section of the test. Having a timer puts a bit of pressure on the candidate to complete the assessment from their intuition and limits the candidate’s opportunity to search for the "right" answer.

Related: Candidate Reactions: How Do Candidate Really Feel About Completing Employee Assessments?

Overall, studies have shown that there are very few differences in terms of performance on proctored vs. unproctored tests. If the right steps are taken to eliminate cheating, unproctored assessments are highly beneficial to both the candidate and the organization.

5 Steps to Getting Started with Employee Assessments for Call Centers

Cassandra Walter Cassandra Walter is a Consulting Associate located at PSI's Pittsburgh office. She holds a Master's degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. She works with clients across many different industries, including manufacturing, retail, customer service, and healthcare. Her areas of expertise include providing training and support for PSI’s applicant tracking system, as well as assisting clients with requests and questions regarding tools and processes.