Virtual interviews. Remote assessments. Long distance testing. It seems that this rapidly growing form of selection is taking the world by storm – and for good reason. By adopting better technology and having the flexibility to stray from traditional methods, organisations are able to immediately see the benefits. With reduced operating costs (no need for venue hire and printing of materials!), maintained talent pipelines without skipping a beat, and the ability to ‘roll with the punch’ during a crisis, it is clear the switch to remote assessments can have wide reaching impact.

Some organisations are seeing such a positive impact of the transition that they are thinking ahead to post-lockdown. Why would we return to face-to-face assessing? Why not continue with the ease and convenience of remote assessment? What if the future of assessing is all virtual? These are perfectly valid questions. But they’re not the only ones we should be asking.

There’s another aspect of assessment that needs to be central to our thinking:

Criterion-Related Validity

In other words, how good is the assessment process at predicting future performance in the role? Whilst many of the same principles of face-to-face assessing can transfer to remote assessing, there are some aspects that are difficult to replicate. Take a Group Exercise for example – these are usually designed to measure how candidates interact in a ‘team’ setting and can provide valuable insight into behaviour such as conflict management, influencing style and collaboration. However, when you throw in to the mix some of the realities of remote assessment; delayed verbal and physical cues, impairments to shared working, and technical issues, we begin to move away from the original intent of that exercise, and therefore move away from the behaviours that we can accurately and fairly measure. 

On the flip side when you consider exercises such as Analysis Presentations, these can transfer much more smoothly to a virtual setting. Candidates are provided a wealth of information about a given topic or issue, they are asked to analyse it, and then present back their conclusions. Provided that you can deliver the materials to candidates with minimal risk of 'leaks', these types of exercises in a virtual setting can still gather valuable evidence of a candidate's fit to role.

Now this isn’t an attempt to dissuade you from adopting remote assessment. Quite the opposite! I believe that with the right approach remote assessments can add great value. This is only a word of caution…when considering what to do, simply ask yourself… 

“Does this still measure what it needs to?”

If the answer is no, then clearly something needs to change.

For advice on how to move toward remote assessment, click here.