Benefits of Psychometric Testing
With countless businesses looking to employ, the current workforce skills shortage is proving a significant challenge, making finding the right fit more important than ever. So how do you know if someone is the right fit for your business? In recruitment, snap opinions are often formed that led to unconscious decisions being made. It only takes one-tenth of a second to form an impression on someone, one-tenth of a second to create subconscious bias, one-tenth of a second to decide if someone is the right fit.
Unless you are an athlete competing in the Tokyo Olympics, it would be a fair assumption that you wouldn’t have given much thought to minuteness which is one-tenth of a second. However, that’s all the time it takes to make subconscious assessments of people based on insufficient evidence. With talent and skills in short supply, it is crucial for businesses to obtain reliable data and information on their applicants. Using psychometric tests during the recruitment process can be incredibly beneficial for virtually any business to better understand their candidates, their skills and to eliminate subconscious bias from the process. Read on to understand why!
Psychometric testing as part of the recruitment process aims to provide employers with an accurate and unbiased insight into applicant’s personal strengths and weaknesses. When these tests are incorporated into your recruitment strategy, it makes it easy to assess and compare candidates. Businesses can have confidence in shortlisting appropriate applicants and making offers of employment as recruitment decisions are based on reliable psychologist developed testing rather than snap unconscious decision making.
But before you jump into using psychometric assessments, there are a few things you need to know:
1: Not All Psychometric Tests are the Same
There are three key types of tests:
Personality or Work Style – These describe everything from personality types through to work style and at the high-end leadership style and potential.
Cognitive Ability – These measure learning ability and the ability to work with complexity. They come in various forms, with numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning tests the most commonly accepted measure of “smarts”.
Skills and Ability – These measure everything from attention to detail, typing skills, and proficiency on Word, Excel and Power Point.
It is critical that the right tests are selected for the role – which means that the “one-size-fits-all” approach is often not that effective.
2: Not All Psychometric Tests are Made Equal
To keep it simple, there are two classifications of Psych Tests – Those that predict job performance and those that don’t!
Buyer beware when it comes to selecting tests and a provider. Some tests are highly effective at “describing personalities” such as if someone is more introverted or extroverted. However, this has nothing to do with on the job performance. In fact, many of the best sales people are introverts (contrary to public perception) because they are really great at one thing most extraverts are not – listening!
The best tests are those that are backed by research to be predictive of job performance and include cognitive ability and work style assessments that must be mapped back to the team and company culture and requirements of the role.
These tests can be used in volume as highly effective “screening” tools or in smaller volumes for short listed candidates
3: Cognitive Ability is the Single Best Predictor of Job Performance
Despite how fashionable Emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ) became 10 years ago, the evidence remains that for jobs that require a level of complexity, intellectual grunt is the single best predictor of job performance.
This is not to say that to be effective we all need to be rocket scientist’s, but a minimum standard of intellectual capacity is required to firstly – deal with complexity and secondly, learn quickly.
For roles that require fast learning, independent thought, dealing with smart clients or numerous first-time situations, an assessment that measures cognitive ability is a must have as part of your recruitment tool kit.
4: The Cost of a Bad Hire can be up to 3x their Base Salary
Think about what goes into hiring a person into your team;
- Recruitment fees and the time taken in interviews to get to the point of providing an offer
- Preparing for them to start and completing the administration tasks to set them up
- Induction, Onboarding and Training them into the role & business
And then double all of the above, when you need to hire a replacement for the original bad hire.
Considering that the cost of a bad hire is up to three times their base salary (and more if you are in client facing or sales roles) at what point is it worth investing into psychometric testing?
My personal view of this is that all roles should use psych testing no matter how junior. However, there are a few things needed in order to get this right:
- Make sure you are using the right tests for the role
- More senior or high-risk roles should always have the support of an Organisational Psychologist to explain the nuances around the interpretation. It is the expert interpretation of the data that makes a difference – reading a computer-generated report will not provide a high level of predictability.
- The cost should be reflective of the level of role and hence the impact of making a poor hiring decision.
If the right choices are made, psychometric testing will provide you with a wealth of information on how to motivate and manage a new hire, their probability of success in the role and how well they will fit your desired company culture. Much of this information can’t be gleaned from an interview alone, and it certainly can’t be obtained in one-tenth of a second!
The topic of psychometric assessment can be overwhelming and knowing where to start in designing your assessment protocol can be difficult. The team at TalentCode HR are always here to assist you and provide you with advice to get you started in the right direction. Feel free to call our team on 1300 559 585 for a discussion on how assessments can benefit your business.