Previous Article Next Article Online assessments – is it fair for everyoneOn 19 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today With no face-to-face customer contact, Intelligence Finance realised earlyon that staff development had to be central to it operationInternet-based assessment is now widely used in recruitment, selection anddevelopment, and with good reason. Technology allows more efficient andinnovative processes to be delivered consistently and cost-effectively acrossdifferent parts of the organisation – a major benefit for global employers. It is also easier to customise and brand processes and design assessment tasksto closely resemble everyday working practices, giving candidates a betterinsight into whether they are suited to a particular culture and job role. However, fairness and equality remain an issue, both in terms of attractinga diverse range of applicants and avoiding bias, and web-based processes havebeen criticised for creating ‘unequal opportunities’ as users have tended tohave a particular socio-economic profile. Although this is beginning to change, the ownership and usage of PCs canrepresent part of a lifestyle and culture. By using the internet as the onlyapplication method, organisations run the risk of marginalising a significantnumber of suitably qualified applicants. Research suggests, for example, that: – Indian households are nearly 60 per cent more likely to own or use acomputer than black, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, or white households (FRS/Mintel) – There is a digital gender divide – only 25 per cent of internet users inthe EU are female (Cyber Atlas) While employers are becoming more aware of their obligations under theDisability Discrimination Act, there are still many which fail to makereasonable adjustments to their selection processes for people withdisabilities. By building in adaptations at the front end of the online selectionprocess, employers will ensure fair access and a potential broader talent poolin which to recruit. There are other ‘best practice’ guidelines that will help to make onlineassessment effective and fair for everyone: – Computer proficiency will vary, so offer practice questions and time forfamiliarisation (especially if job simulation exercises are included). Noteveryone has ready access to the internet, so allow plenty of time to organiseresources – In internal assessments, inequality of technology and access to equipmentis likely to be an issue because of different software and hardware levels.Carry out bottom line benchmarking, then design the assessment for the mostbasic technology – There is also the question of whether or not online assessment should betimed. The worry is that reliability of technology is not yet of sufficienthigh quality for bias to fail to be an issue. Ensure that adaptions are builtinto the front end of the process rather than once completed – Content of assessment material should be valid, clear and unambiguous ascandidates working online will have little or no opportunity to query the test – Unless your target population is computer-literate, ensure the system doesnot disadvantage first-time users. Include simple, well-signposted navigation,help files and technical support – All assessments, exercises, competency frameworks and indicators need tobe culture-sensitive. Also, check that the level of English required toundertake the assessment is not higher than that needed to carry out the work – Alternative assessment procedures should also be available Jon Whiteley is head of diversity at occupational psychologist PearnKandola which specialises in assessment, development and diversity. www.pearnkandola.com Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
St George’s College schoolboy star Alex Marshall is among four strikers who are expected to add fire to Cavalier’s attack for the remainder of the Red Stripe Premier League football season. Marshall was the most outstanding player in the FLOW-ISSA 2015 Manning, Super Cup, and Walker Cup competitions for the North Street-based institution. He was prolific in front of goal and dazzled with his dribbling skills and passes and led his school to the high-profile Super Cup trophy. Marshall spent three weeks training with United Soccer League club Philadelphia Union in the United States of America and benefited tremendously. The 17-year-old also played in two RSPL games for Cavalier last season. “He has completed the paper work and is awaiting a medical and will not turn out against Boys’ Town this Sunday,” Rudolph Speid, Cavalier’s technical director, told The Gleaner yesterday. Speid also disclosed that Aldaine Grant, Suela McCalla, and Cleon Pryce had been transferred from Portmore to Cavalier. “They (the three strikers) will turn out on Sunday. The players have moved from Portmore and doing well in training,” he added. A fifth striker is on Cavaliers’ radar, but this transfer has not yet been finalised. “Our build-up plays have been good but we missed a lot of chances because we pushed midfielders into strikers’ roles. “We have scored the least amount of goals in the league so far. Now, we have some genuine strikers,” Speid said, beaming. Cavalier are currently in 10th position on 18 points, just above relegation zone in the 12-team RSPL. The club has scored 11 times and conceded 18 goals in 18 games.