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Psychometric testing: Time for a reality check

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HC Online | 18 Sep 2013, 12:01 AM Agree 0
Employers that favour psychometric testing over other recruitment methods may be missing out on some of their top talent, one expert says.
  • MrD | 18 Sep 2013, 03:53 PM Agree 0
    A couple of years ago I was working on a temporary basis for a large Federal government department. Out of the 50 or so colleagues who were also in the same team as myself, I was consistently one of the highest achievers, and regularly applied skills that were beyond my job role to other areas of the business. For my efforts, I received a commendation from an assistants to the commissioner of the department. I was well liked by colleagues and management.

    When a permanent position became available (at the same level and performing the same duties as my temporary position), I jumped at the opportunity and applied for it.

    The second stage of the recruitment process was purely psychometric testing. My psychometric test results indicated that I was not suitable for the position. Without considering any other means, I was removed from the recruitment process. While the department may have settled on some good candidates, without tooting my own horn too much, I honestly believe they missed out on at least one exceptional candidate.

    I've since moved on from that position, and now have a management position where I've been involved in recruiting staff of my own. I can now see how difficult it is to select a candidate from a short conversation, a resume and some reference checks - particularly when you have the volume of applicants that the government department would have had.

    I can now see value in the use of psychometric testing as a means of evaluating candidates, but I firmly believe that psychometric testing should only ever augment more traditional recruitment tasks, rather than being a sole deciding factor.
  • RivercityIR | 19 Sep 2013, 07:06 AM Agree 0
    Biggest load of nonsense since the Church of Scientology.
  • Chris Golis | 19 Sep 2013, 08:15 AM Agree 0
    Appointing the first level supervisor or foreman is probably the most critical decision an organisation faces after appointing the CEO.
    There is no track record to judge how you will perform as a manager. So the use of psychometric testing prevails.

    However you should be able to ask the organisation what potential deficiencies were uncovered during your test and what training you should undertake to improve your competencies.
  • MrD | 19 Sep 2013, 09:39 AM Agree 0
    When I asked the organisation in my previous example for some feedback on my psychometric testing, I was told that it could not be provided as the scoring mechanisms were protected by patent/copyright laws and revealing any information about how a score had been achieved would jeopardise the validity of future testing as candidates would be able to potentially manipulate the results by answering in a certain way.
  • Chris Golis | 20 Sep 2013, 03:24 PM Agree 0
    I would have thought under the principle of informed consent that you should be able to see the resulting report. The copyright argument is poppycock. You are not asking how the report was scored - you are asking to see the results.

    Again validity of the personality test should also be called into question. If it was a DISC or MBTI test you would certainly have grounds for complaint and redress unless you signed a waiver form.
  • Michael | 25 Nov 2015, 03:41 AM Agree 0
    I believe we adapt to suit our environments so the notion of profiling your most successful earners and then dismissing people who don't follow a similar profile is disgusting at best. What happened to interviewing candidates. To prove what a complete load of garbage this system is, simply look around the workplace of a company that employs this method and see the diversity in all of the people. Surely they should all be the same if this test is to be believed. Load of Junk Science,.
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