Psychometric assessments have become a powerful aid for large to small businesses in recent years. It assesses candidates on their potential growth, motivation, and the “role vs fit” requirement. That means candidates aren’t selected or promoted based only on their CVs and work experiences.
But in this age of digital disruption, why exactly is it so important? Why is it no longer enough to only look at a person’s CV and undertake a traditional interview anymore?
The most common, and not to mention costly, mistake made by most businesses is when they’re looking to make a decision on someone. You have so little evidence to suggest that the candidate can perform to the level they say they will.
How would you know if they can become a leader? What kind of development plan will they need to help them become the finished product? It’s very rare that someone is already on point.
Why not just do an interview?
You first have to acknowledge the fact that the traditional process has flaws. Some business owners would hire someone in their own image, which can cause problems.
This is where Psychometrics comes in. Unlike psychological testing, psychometric assessments can be done by anybody. Modern psychometric assessments have started to take a “design first” approach, providing test takers with easy to read, data-rich tests. It’s a way of mitigating risk, so you don’t take selection bias or end up with a group of clones.
Psychometrics also offers a way of affirming a decision. It gives you supplementary data points to confirm that the candidate would be a great fit. This means that you are less likely to make bad hires based on gut feel which is inherent in the interview process.
How exactly does it work?
First of all, it’s important to note that ‘testing’ is a bit of a misconception since it implies a right and wrong. Psychometrics, in actuality, looks for preference and a style.
There is no wrong or right here. You’re assessing a fit: if they’re not a good fit it’s never going to work out. Besides, good assessors can tell if candidates are giving them an answer they think you want to hear.
More so, it doesn’t only offer you a definite yes or no answer on a candidate. What you find in the assessments can be used to build a development plan for that person as well.
What are psychometrics looking for in a person?
A balance in skillset and mindset is what you’re trying to get to the heart of. That’s the key.
Skillset is about the competencies required to perform the role. It can be strengths, derailers or development areas.
Meanwhile, mindset could involve something like how they respond to failure. The desire to tackle abstract ideas or how someone works in a team is part of this as well.
Of course, psychometrics can’t make any decision perfect, but it can make the decision much better informed, thanks to those key data points. It can even help you, as the recruiter, prepare for the interview.
To the workplace of the future, identifying and developing the right mindsets for your business is going to be crucial. Psychometric assessment is key to that because it has future-proofing at its core.
How can using psychometric assessments in recruitment help you?
Generally, psychometric assessments are utilised at the beginning of the selection process. It’s a good strategy that’s used to eliminate large numbers of candidates to result in a small pool of suitable candidates.
Reports show that psychometric assessments help improve recruitment outcomes, which in turn saves money in both the short and long term.
Aptitude assessments are incredibly beneficial since it provides a quick gauge of how much the potential hire knows. It can provide information about how well they can do the work the role will require. CVs may provide information about a person’s education, but this may not always be representative of their current skill set. Aptitude tests can provide a more realistic assessment of a candidate’s skills.
Personality testing, on the other hand, is favourable on a more holistic level. It provides business owners with data on how well the potential hire will fit in with the rest of the group. It’s a good tool to know the type of management structure that they can thrive under or whether they are better off working individually. This lets you select personality types that match the role you’re looking to fill.
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How can using psychometric assessments help you after hiring?
Apart from recruitment, psychometric assessments also have a place in other aspects of the business that deals with employee ability and personality.
Often, it is easier and less risky to develop existing employees instead of scouting for new recruits. Aptitude tests can provide data on the preferred ways of learning, levels of knowledge, and even motivations of employees. This all helps to focus their training activities by helping them set goals as well as identifying weaknesses and strengths. The objective nature of these tests provides a neutral platform for discussion which means that there’s less chance for conflict.
Psychometric assessments can be scaled up to look at the spread of skills and personalities of your workforce. Consistently, it’s been reported that highly diverse teams outperform teams of similar people. The data provided by these tests can be used to create the best structure that focuses on diversity in both personalities and skills. It can also identify any existing personality clashes that hinder productivity so you can move people to the more suitable groups.
Employees who feel valued and understood often tend to perform better and are less likely to leave the business. Psychometric assessments can pave the way for business owners to better understand their employees, their values and motives which in turn creates more motivated employees.
Does one model work for everyone?
There’s an appropriate level for each and every one. As mentioned above, you can use it for shortlisting or higher up in your business pyramid. There are even more objective methods which use business simulations at higher levels and it becomes more advanced as you go up.
You have to think about the cost of failure, particularly for management levels. The consequences of hiring an unsuitable manager can be very serious.
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Keep in mind!
Psychometric assessments are useful in securing the best person fit for the role.
Of course, you need to only utilise reliable tests created by accredited providers to make sure you get what you signed up for. Trustworthy sources will have no problem showing off their accreditations, research and achievements. They’ll be more than willing to explain how they’ve been reviewed by other professionals, how their tests were developed, and how to read and trust the results.
A note of caution: bear in mind that any attempt to standardise human behaviour against a set of generalised principles may show flaws at some time.
Ultimately, when you take time to really get to know your future and current employees beyond their resumes and test results, you can uncover new ways to improve your team and business.
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