As an employer, you want to know how your employees are developing. By testing, you make this development transparent. But assessment provides much more than just insight. Let yourself be inspired and discover the importance of the ultimate test experience.
Various factors play a role in this ultimate test experience. Think of ease of use, safety and reliability. Ease of use applies to the candidate, but also to the testing organisation.
For the candidate, taking the test should be as pleasant as possible. The organisation benefits if the entire process from development to analysis runs as smoothly as possible. However, not only the ease and speed with which a test can be developed are vital, but also control over the quality of the tests is key.
In addition, safety and reliability play an important role. Not only while taking the test, think of preventing exam fraud, but also the reliability of the system itself. For example, it is very important that all data is stored in a secure manner.
Testing it is often regarded as a ‘necessary evil’. For many candidates it feels like an obligation to prepare for a test and take it with good results. However, the challenge is to let candidates experience it as an opportunity to show what they are capable of.
Rapid changes in the labour market are making testing ever more relevant. After all, people no longer work for the same employer for forty years. Test results give a new employer insight into the competencies of (new) employees and can also serve as proof for external company certifications.
When it comes to testing, many organisations also feel a sense of obligation . If you, as an organisation, decide to test, this involves more than just putting together a one-off test. You have to offer employees the opportunity to brush up on their knowledge, find a test location, and provide up-to-date test questions that are substantively in line with the subject matter. The trick is to remove the (negative) sense of obligation from all parties involved and instead emphasise the advantages that make testing fun.
Making tests fun sounds like a challenge, but it can be done. Always keep the purpose of the test in mind. This determines to a large extent what the test will look like, what kind of questions you will ask, etc. Are you testing to maintain your certification or do you want to check whether the knowledge of your employees is up to date? Or does the HR department use the test to find out who is eligible for a training or course?
Multiple choice or closed questions are very suitable for knowledge tests. A good example in the retail sector is testing employees’ knowledge of the latest product information, with a regularly changing product range.
At the same time, it can also be important for a retailer to instead test their social skills. How do employees react to a difficult customer in the shop? To test such things as behaviour, for example, you use an open question or a video assignment.
When choosing the type of test, it is very important to keep an eye on the ease of use for the candidate. For example, it is encouraging if candidates can choose where and when to take the test. At their workplace, or conveniently at home in the evening. That involves a lot less stress. By using intuitive software, candidates are able to focus entirely on the content and are not distracted by ambiguities in the testing system. In addition, participants can manage their own settings, such as font size and background colour. Of course, the content of a test must also be perfectly in line with activities and required knowledge of the candidate.
For a testing organisation, on the other hand, ease of use lies much more in being able to design tests easily. Other plus points are reliable monitoring and efficient ways of checking. Good, well-organised reporting and analysis possibilities are also paramount. In addition, everyone involved in the test, such as teachers, correctors and freelancers, must be able to use the system easily.
More than 3 billion euros are spent annually on training workers [SEO, 2018]. This often concerns training for groups of employees. You can adopt a scattergun approach, which is efficient in terms of organisation, but means you include people who do not actually need the training.
By having better insight into who needs which training, however, you can use the training budget much more effectively. That saves employees time and – not unimportantly – costs for the employer. By testing, you as a company have more control over the development of your employees.
Testing is a effective way to demonstrate the ROI of education and training. You need not immediately think of extensive exams, you can also use quick and brief tests just to check how things are going. As this also enables you to use your training budget more efficiently, is certainly interesting for R&D and HR departments, so they can better identify where extra knowledge and training is needed.