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Fair testing in Web 2.0 – where psychometricians’ and candidates’ interests meet

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Online testing is becoming increasingly popular in the field of pre-employment screening. It opens up a lot of new opportunities, also for the psychometricians involved in the development of such tests. The fact that candidates sit at home in front of their own computer and can complete the assessment any time they like makes online testing fast and economical. But the opportunities come at a cost and require extended quality criteria. We need to make sure that tests are hardware-independent, accessible, self-explainable and forgery-proof to ensure the quality of the data.

Moreover, when designing tests that fulfill the classical and even the extended quality criteria, what is often neglected is the candidates’ view. Therefore, employment testing has a mixed reputation with the general public. However, an application is usually when candidates contact a company for the first time, and this first contact forms a strong impression of the company and its values. Against the backdrop of demographic change, companies must do more to ensure that applicants form a positive impression of the organizations they apply to. Brand damage through poor reputation not only has a significant impact on an organization’s present day talent acquisition, but can have long-term impacts on attraction and the quality of the talent pool they are able to select from.

The interests of companies (gathering high quality data) and applicants (time budget, transparency, feedback) need not be completely opposite. The objective of the talk is to explore, based on the fairness framework by Kunnan (2004), how the positioning of testing meets the needs of both parties in the recruitment process.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Psychometrics Centre Seminars series.

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