Two trends are colliding in HR – globalization and digital transformation. Employees are being increasingly asked to communicate competently, dare I say fluently?, in English if not other languages and assessing English proficiency has become a standardized part of the recruitment process. At the same time, digital transformation has shaken up HR as a whole, as employees and job seekers, especially millennials, expect employers to interact with them on their smartphones, asking why applying for a job can’t be as easy as ordering on Amazon.
This is why we have launched a new easySPEAKing mobile application, designed specifically to allow companies to assess the business-level language proficiency of their candidates and employees.
Simply relying on the TOEIC score on a candidate’s résumé or asking “How is your English?” in an interview is no longer enough to gauge a candidate’s language skills. Why not? Assessing speaking and writing proficiency is critical to knowing whether a candidate will be successful and multiple-choice tests are poor predictors of a candidate’s ability to communicate and competently express herself. For years, however, multiple choice tests were the only options available. “Now we can successfully evaluate a candidate or employee’s ability to speak a language using video technology. As an added benefit, video allows us to verify the test taker’s identity and monitor the test environment to be sure he is not cheating. The time when a test taker has to schedule a specific timeslot for his test and go halfway across town to a test center is over. With easySPEAKing, he can connect to our platform anytime, anywhere on any device to do the test and the recruiter or training manager will get the results within 48 hours,” said Erin Douglas, Director, easySPEAKing.
“It was amazing to me that there was no certified language assessment available on mobile until today. The future generations, especially millennials, increasingly use their smartphone as an extension of their lives – for communicating with friends and family, shopping, paying and applying for jobs. In Eastern Europe, currently a recruitment hot spot, candidates may not even own a desktop computer. It’s not only mobile-first for them, it’s mobile only.”
Despite the digital transformation effects across HR, language tests have remained remarkably stuck in the past. They are either multiple choice tests that profess to be “digital” merely because they possess a web interface, however dated, or tests composed of a phone call or face-to-face interview with a teacher that must be scheduled ahead of time (or rescheduled if work or life intervenes). The goal of the easySPEAKing mobile application is to provide an appealing, modern user interface with a smooth user experience. “Taking a language test can be stressful, especially when the stakes of getting the job or not hangs in the balance. With the mobile application, we really focused on making the experience as clear and pleasant as possible, with practice questions in the beginning so the test taker can get used to recording herself and positive, good-job messages throughout the test to encourage her to keep going,” Douglas added.
This mobile application has been long-awaited for easySPEAKing’s existing customers. “The launch of the easySPEAKing mobile application will allow our candidates around the world to do their language assessments anywhere and everywhere and serves to reinforce Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s digital recruitment strategy,” said Rafael Teodosijevic, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition for Carlson Wagonlit Travel.
The easySPEAKing mobile application is free and available on iOS and Android.