Have you ever employed someone who really didn’t get on with the rest of the team? Or someone whose integrity wasn’t what you thought it was? Or someone who needed hands-on management to deliver when you thought they could work on their own initiative?
If you have, you are not alone. These mistakes however, can be very costly and may even damage not only your reputation but your team as well. Perhaps next time you might like to think about using some formal testing and psychometric assessment during the recruitment and selection process.
When used by competent and appropriately qualified individuals, the best thing about properly developed psychometric tests and questionnaires is that they lead to better judgements and are therefore more likely to be more valid than decisions made by other means.
In broad terms, psychometric tests are a relatively economic, quick and simple way of understanding an individual’s unique behaviours, style, and approach to work life as well as identifying their core motivations, strengths and other traits. All essential qualities that are required in today’s competitive job markets.
I like to use different tests for different purposes – I do not believe that there is one test that is suitable for all. Tests can be done before or at the time of the interview, but should not be used as the sole method of candidate selection. Keep in mind that such tests could also be unlawful if they discriminate against candidates of a particular race, sex or age or who have a disability. Suitable tests should therefore only be used if they are well designed and relevant to the job.
For example alongside personality questionnaires and analysis, you will want to check out the potential of the candidate joining your company. Now, if you’ve already got a robust job description and person specification, you’ll know and understand what level of skills and attributes you will be looking for. So, for an administrative post you might be looking at completing an on-line 15FQ+ questionnaire with reasoning tests; for a senior manager the WAVE Professional together with the Professional Aptitude tests.
These tests are relatively quick for the candidates to complete. One of the shortest is only 10 minutes long. Costs will vary of course depending on the amount of candidates, tests and level of services you need.
Interpretation of the results however is fundamental. Upon completion, reports are generated and sent to the qualified administrator who will give feedback not only to the candidate but also to you as the potential employer. Interpreted with skill the results can help you:
Drill beneath the surface to find out what someone is really like.
Decide which qualities will be most important in the new person joining your team.
Check compatibility and prevent potential issues from becoming major problems by sharing the applicant’s profile with their manager. (In this way the investment from psychometrics can roll forward from recruitment into development and management.)
Help individuals to understand themselves and others better. (If compared with the job role, gaps can be defined and discussed. You can then use the profile to plot progress towards a training goal.)
Acquire the language of “people-understanding”
One of my favourite psychometric tools is the Four Groups 4G questionnaire which I’ve used successfully in not only recruitment but also for team building and talent management. The completed and complex reports give an overall picture of compatibility, work styles and communication amongst team members and their leaders. It’s been invaluable in resolving issues and building relationships.
A company’s success depends upon its people.
Psychometrics can help build that success by getting the right people in the right roles, by helping them to understand themselves and others, and by enabling the company to build a better, clearer vision, drawing on the strengths of all its people. Used by employers for successful recruitment & selection and management & team development, the long-term cost benefits are considerable: including reduced costs of recruitment, lower staff turnover, less under-performance and minimal mis-deployment of staff resulting in increased profits, better staff retention and raised morale.
With over 18 years of experience using a wide range of psychometric tools, I’d love to be able to give you more information on assessments, recruitment & selection, management & team development and to help you avoid costly personnel mistakes; so please contact me.
Lynn Tulip Chartered MCIPD, PgDip Guidance & Assessment
As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts!