A lot of people (especially recruiters) cringe at the thought of psychometric testing being a standard part of the job selection process, however from the employers point of view psychometric testing can be a cost-effective, valid and objective way of getting the right person for their job. The information from these psychometric assessments can supplement other information collected including interview notes, reference checks and demonstrated work history so that decisions are balanced and fair.
Psychometric testing provides a way of reducing the bias and amount of “guesswork” involved with recruitment methods which rely on interviews, resumes and reference checks alone. Employers can get information about how an individual might cope with stress, how well they work within a team environment and how they might make decisions or take risks. By providing an ‘even playing field’ for candidates and giving decision-makers an objective, and statistically valid measure of ‘job-fit’, Psychometric testing has many advantages to both parties.
A typical assessment “battery” consists of a personality profile and verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning. Personality profiles examine an individual’s character traits. They measure such things as sociability, activity level, attitude towards detail, etc. Reasoning tests are typically designed to evaluate abilities and potential in various areas, including speed and accuracy, ability to work with abstract, verbal and numeric data and problem solving. As such, the tests are almost always timed and there is little expectation for people to complete all the items.
These assessment reports not only help with the recruitment and selection process but have ongoing benefits for both the employer and employee. They can be utlised for the training and development planning for new employees, induction creation and performance management. Having a greater understanding of what drives and motivates the employee will help the employer engage with the employee and get greater results. Personality profiles can also help with career guidance and mentoring, with each assessment report breaking down the employee’s style preferences in team roles, leadership styles, subordinate styles and career themes.
The reason that so many leading organisations invest time and money in the thorough assessment of people is to save costs in the long term. Getting the right person for the role the first time eliminates the need to repeatedly advertise, train and replace new staff.
This is why I believe psychometric testing can be a valuable component in many job processes.
Nyssa Hurt – Corporate Services Manager / Psychometric Administrator