Psychologists can do better than in-person psychological assessment
It is not only the quality of tools that determines the quality of the psychological assessment. Many psychologists still conduct their assessment process in-person. This way, they can maintain an appropriate quality level of the process themselves.
But conducting psychological assessment in-person has its pros and cons. Let’s learn more about them!
Psychologists vs. the quality of psychological assessment
As a psychologist, you understand the necessity to prevent irrelevant influences to affect your psychological assessment. You can prevent that by using a standardized assessment process¹. Thus, a lot of practitioners use and promote in-person assessment. Whether using digital or paper-and-pencil tools, in-person approach seems to be a "go-to" when ensuring an appropriate level of supervision.
Supervision of psychological assessment ensures that we can conduct it in a professional manner. It helps prevent detrimental effects on quality of the assessment, such as technical and administrative issues and deliberate harmful behavior. Such harmful factors lead to misrepresentations of results and invalidation of hiring decisions. Imagine a candidate finding it difficult to complete tasks or questions and deciding to skip them or answer them dishonestly. Even worse, the lack of supervision represents a risk to assessment tools’ security. It might encourage some candidates to reproduce assessment materials for others - a much more common issue than most are willing to admit. This further invalidates the use of such assessment tools in the future.
Supervision of psychological assessment is, thus, very important. It is a "no-brainer" that most psychologists decide to conduct psychological assessment in-person. But how does this decision benefit your candidates and your company?
Psychologists vs. the matter of in-person assessment
Due to the novelty of remote psychological assessment, APA² recommends that psychologists take steps to ensure the quality and validity of the psychological assessment process. The recommendation praises the use of the in-person approach, but it is worth considering its drawbacks, namely its resource-intensiveness and costliness.
Allow me to guide you through a quick visualization. Put yourself in the shoes of your candidate. After receiving an invitation to psychological assessment, you must come to your company’s headquarters at 8 in the morning. As you live about 20 km from this location, you must get up quite early to drive to the location on time. Imagine being a “night owl”. Such an arrangement clearly disregards your optimal hours, affecting your performance. Furthermore, a comprehensive psychological assessment can take hours. Followed by more driving. In the end, you were not selected for the job.
Allow me to guide you through another quick visualization. Put yourself into your shoes as a psychologist. An in-person psychological assessment takes up a lot of resources and imposes financial costs. You must spend time and money to prepare the invitations and the assessment center. You must spend time and money to send the invitations and conduct the assessment. Additionally, you might need to make sure that certain candidates do not meet. This imposes extra rooms and appointments. As a part of your policy, you must reimburse all your candidates’ expenses. Not to mention how all this preparation and administration disrupts your usual work process. In the end, you were unable to find a suitable candidate for your vacant job position.
Low candidate satisfaction, potential low performance, high financial costs, and disrupted work flow might be reasons to reconsider using in-person assessment. Far too many times, these are also the reasons for companies to avoid psychological assessment altogether. Opting for conducting psychological assessment remotely can save you money and trouble. But can you ensure the quality of remote assessment?
Psychologists vs. remote psychological assessment
Based on the level of supervision, there are four possible modes of administering digital psychological assessment tools, the managed, the supervised (proctored), the controlled, and the open mode³. While the first one is the most, the latter is the least restrictive in the sense of supervision.
Maintaining some level of supervision (the controlled mode or a more restrictive administrative mode) is crucial to retain reliability, validity, and fairness of psychological assessment. This allows its results to be used for future hiring or other HR decisions.
Conducting psychological assessment remotely allows simultaneous mass assessment cutting back on time and money needed for its preparation and administration. Instead of taking days or even weeks to prepare and administer an assessment, it can be done in mere hours. These savings come both from the lack of physical presence and much lower administrative burden.
Psychologists can, therefore, focus on their core job of analyzing and interpreting data.
Thus, it avoids the influence of factors such as a candidate's chronotype. By cutting back on transport expenses, it can also increase their satisfaction with the process itself.
Candidates also benefit from remote psychological assessment, as it gives them the freedom to decide when to take the assessment, thus avoiding any potential influences from factors like their chronotype. Additionally, it eliminates transport expenses and reduces the invested time and inconvenience, thus increasing their satisfaction with the whole process.
But how can remote psychological assessment be sufficiently supervised?
Have you given HR Potentials a try yet?
As Wright and colleagues from APA point out², remote audio-visual monitoring of the assessment administration is essential. It is otherwise impossible to ensure that nothing disrupted the typical responses to tasks. It also ensures that the individual completing the assessment is actually the candidate you invited. But there are various ways of ensuring appropriate supervision. Usually, they vary from one provider/professional to another. Among them, you will find screen sharing, video calls, and double authentication.
At HR Potentials, we have designed a revolutionary tool that allows for remote supervisory monitoring without compromising the validity of psychological assessments. Our TestAnywhere tool guarantees compliance with all applicable privacy laws, so you can rest assured your data is secure. By utilizing our remote-first approach to psychological assessments, you can save costs and reduce administrative burdens, keeping the focus on professional development.
Explore your possibilities and contact our representative to learn about our free trial!
- American Psychological Association, APA Task Force on Psychological Assessment and Evaluation Guidelines. (2020). APA guidelines for psychological assessment and evaluation. https://www.apa.org/about/policy/guidelines-psychological-assessment-evaluation.pdf
- Wright, A. J., Mihura, J. L., Pade, H., & McCord, D. M. (2020, May 1). Guidance on psychological tele-assessment during the COVID-19 crisis. American Psychological Association. Retrieved December 9, 2022, from https://www.apaservices.org/practice/reimbursement/health-codes/testing/tele-assessment-covid-19
- International Test Commission. (2005). ITC guidelines on computer-based and internet delivered testing. https://www.intestcom.org/files/guideline_computer_based_testing.pdf