In today’s corporate
environment the need for effective communication has been recognized
and accepted. It is understood that communication becomes effective
when the people who interact are able to comprehend the requirements
of each other in a short span of time. Most often the first link
between people is established through verbal communication,
to be followed by online or other ways of dealing. Moreover as it
is believed that the first impressions are often the last impressions,
the goodwill of a company depends on the initial communication links
that are established and later maintained by its employees. So the
face of the company, that is its employees, needs to be skilled
not only technically but also in effective communication methodology.
With growing international avenues both in the industry and
services sectors the companies are required to deal with foreign
clients. One of the main problems they face in such dealings is
the language barriers due to use of different languages in prevalence.
most overseas dealings it has been observed that English has
been widely accepted as the functional corporate language. The ease
and its widespread use in most nations has led to the need to recognize
the fact that to get benefits in overseas dealings a command over
the English language is a must. Employees must be well versed in
the grammatical and proper usage of English. Knowledge of both spoken
and written English then would become a prerequisite for getting
employment in companies especially those engaged in the BPO industry,
IT industry or dealing with overseas clients.
As a recruiter,
companies often face the problem of assessing a candidates
command over English as a language. Candidates show technical
competence in their areas of competence but most often fare
badly when there is a need to use proper English in their
The need for assessment of employees arises in a company
when the employer fear that he may lose on good client accounts
due to incompetence of its work force. Most often the demands
of clients are very precise and specific. A company builds
its goodwill on the competence and performance of its employees.
Assessment becomes all the more crucial in case of new recruitments
as the company may desire that the new crop of employees actually
fit in the with the existing profile of employees.
academic qualification may not be an ideal indicator that he
is suitable to the requirements of the company. Even though he may
be technically suitable for a particular assignment but his adaptability
to meet communication requirements may not be sufficient. In such
a situation the employer needs to check how best he can know about
the skills of his employees.
Given the fact
that recruiters need to check for English communication skills,
an assessment tool to measure a candidate’s language capability
becomes an imperative requirement. To assist companies in this task
META- i Technologies has taken the initiative about designing two
comprehensive tests, BEAT and ECSA that assess employees or new
candidates’ proficiency and command over the English language. META-i
understands that people in the workplace need to use English to
communicate & share information in various ways.
META-i Technologies Private Limited (www.metaitechnologies.com)
is an incubate company of the Indian Institute of Management- Bangalore
( IIM-B) founded in 2001 initially with the intent of providing
value added back-end support services to educational institutions.
META-i Technologies Private Ltd. specializes in Competence Assessment
services which include Skill, Knowledge and Personality Assessments.
Over the years, META-i has expanded it’s gamut of assessment services
to the Corporate segment too, primarily IT and ITES Companies.
META-i offers BEAT [Business English Assessment Test] that
seeks to measure a candidate’s communication skills in the English
language. The BEAT suite of tests is specifically designed to measure
a candidate's ability with regard to factors that impact business
communication. BEAT seeks to measure a candidate’s knowledge of
vocabulary & grammatical concepts & the ability to comprehend.
META-i’s Language and Communication Skills expert Ms.Aditi Sengupta
who also created this assessment tool says “BEAT has a unique approach,
in that it seeks to measure the ability to use language effectively
rather than simply measure knowledge of the language per se”.
META-i’s highly qualified and experienced panel of Language and
Communication Skills experts is responsible for creating BEAT Suite
test questions that measure a candidate’s language skills with special
emphasis on comprehension, vocabulary and grammatical concepts.
BEAT papers typically consist of 25 multiple choice items distributed
over three sections on a variety of topics. Candidates are typically
allowed 30 minutes to attempt a test. BEAT can be administered online
or as a paper and pencil test, in conformance with client requirements.
This test is highly recommended for ELT positions in the BPO industry.
After the test completion, the company is communicated the BEAT
Test results which consist of scores for each of the three sections
and an overall percentage. The number of answer options chosen correctly
by candidates in each section determines their scores and requisite
percentage. BEAT data in the form of scores for each section and
an overall percentage enables clients to decide on the required
selection criteria. META-i also offers the ECSA Rubric [English
Communication Skills Assessment] that seeks to measure a candidate’s
ability to speak and communicate in English. According to META-i,
a recruiter may need to assess a candidate’s language capability
from a dual perspective:
a) Knowledge of English b) Ability to communicate in English
The ECSA suite of tests is specifically designed to measure a candidate's
ability with regard to such factors that specifically contribute
to speaking clearly, eloquently and communicating meaningfully.
Candidates are assessed on their clarity of speech, expressive ability
and interactive competency. Using a synthesis of parameters ECSA
measures holistically a candidate’s ability to speak clearly, convey
thoughts or information appropriately and engage in meaningful conversation.
These parameters are measured on a 6 point hierarchical scale where
6 is the highest rating that a candidate can score. The ECSA then
uses the synthesized parameters to measure a candidate's ability
and arrive at an average score as all the parameters are weighted
equally. ECSA can be administered online, over the phone and in
person to suit client needs. “ECSA’s synthesized parameters facilitate
holistic and objective assessment. The hierarchical scales ensure
that measurement is consistent across levels” says Aditi.
META-i conducts the ECSA with the help of a team of trained &
calibrated evaluators. These ECSA evaluators are selected carefully
taking academic backgrounds & experience into consideration.
ECSA evaluators need to clear several interview rounds besides passing
the required tests. Further ECSA evaluators go through an exhaustive
training, calibration and certification program which includes both
theory and practical sessions. Selected ECSA Examiners are calibrated
on various scales so that their scoring remains objective and uniform.
ECSA data in the form of ratings or scores and comments is shared
with clients enabling them to decide on the required selection criteria.
This test is ideal for ELT positions in the BPO industry, specifically
for Voice process.
The main benefits to employers and clients of using the BEAT
and ECSA tests provided by META-i are an increase in the goodwill
of the company, reduction in inefficiencies along with growing business
and satisfied clients. META-I is committed to ensuring that BEAT
and ECSA data is validated on an ongoing basis. META-I will approach
clients periodically to conduct follow-up sessions with a view to
collecting data in this regard.
META-i has evolved into an “End-to-end assessment Service provider”
providing socialized services in recruitments and admissions management
for Corporate and Academia. META-I has successfully delivered approximately
350,000+ assessments both for Academia as well as Corporate till
date. META-I is not a placement or recruitment firm. Further details
can be checked in their website @ www.metaitechnologies.com
Shelly Verma is on the faculty of the Department of Economics
at the University of Delhi. She has designed and authored comprehensive
online programmes along with supporting books for Managerial economics,
Leadership, Mathematics, Cost accounting, Indian economy, MBA examination
training programs, GRE and GMAT for Indian and US companies. She
is affiliated with various training institutions for Verbal and
Logical Reasoning, Group discussions, PDP and also does career counseling.