How Can Organisations Make the Most Out Of Psychometric Testing?

September 16, 20158:16 am945 views

Psychometric testing has been gaining prominence as of lately in the recruitment sphere. Confidence in psychometrics is even higher. The increased spread of psychometrics reflects a more general trend towards employers hiring on attitude and potential, rather than purely looking at qualifications and experience.

There has been a noticeable confidence in using the tests in conjunction with other selection methods such as competency tests and structured interviews, as well as an appetite for expanding their use across the organisation beyond recruitment.

Long established in the hiring process, it is no surprise that recruitment and selection ranked top in terms of how organisations use psychometrics tools. Although the use of and confidence in psychometrics has increased, competency tests are still the most popular form of test used in recruitment and selection. These tests help gauge whether applicants had the specific skills needed for the role.

According to a recent study by PersonnelToday in conjunction with NetworkHR executive search on more than 350 HR professionals found that 78% felt psychometrics were a powerful tool for recruitment selection, while 88% said they either had “quite a lot” or “a lot” of confidence in the results these tools could produce

Psychometric profiling is a powerful tool in recruitment selection. A psychometric tool in-house reflects high level of psychological expertise and experience, as well as potential expense, required to build a reliable test from scratch internally.

See: Psychometric Testing Gains Traction in the HR Industry in India

The overall preference to use skills tests over psychometrics applied to HR, too. Competence tests in specific skills for the role and general ability tests featured more highly than psychometrics in tests.

Where there is reticence about using psychometric tests, this was often around cost or a lack of understanding of how the results might be applied. This was also reflected in the level of training undertaken for tests – almost one-third of organisations did not require test facilitators to take specific training before running tests.

“Psychometrics has definitely become more ingrained in recruitment culture,” says Chris Rowlands, director at Network HR Executive Search. “Managers and HR professionals are under more pressure than ever to prove their hiring decisions are both accurate and well-conceived.”

While measuring softer attributes is clearly evident, psychometrics still comes second to the most common type of selection testing – competence – with 70% of respondents saying that their organisation tested for specific skills for a role used. Psychometric testing was used by 52% in selection, followed by general ability (50%), numeracy (45%) and literacy (45%).

Rowland further argues that the status quo is a legacy of “old-school” thinking towards candidate assessment within the recruitment industry, which will slowly update.

“Really, psychometrics should be moving into talent management and L&D to help identify skills gaps and training needs. At their best they are a very powerful tool in understanding how best to support an individual’s personal development, but only 26% use it for talent management.”

Psychometric tests can never be used as a standalone tool to determine individual’s suitability for the job role or to interpret reports. HR professionals who have greater experience and familiarity with psychometric testing should be able to make use of such tests widely across the organisation.

Also read: How to conduct globally consistent assessment across different markets?

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