Are your psychometric tests up to scratch?

The use of psychometric testing in recruitment has grown exponentially – but are your screening processes doing the job they were designed to do?

Are your psychometric tests up to scratch?

Recruiting employees who are the right fit for your company is easier said than done – so it is not surprising that the use of psychometric testing to screen job applications is on the increase, even for non-client facing roles.

Understanding how to optimise psychometric tests can help you find employees with specific traits that are best suited to the position you're trying to fill, Paul Forti, from PCM Management Consultants, says. He lists the following points as essential for HR to keep in mind to ensure the effective use of psychometric tests:

Make sure they're legal: Not all tests are equal in the eyes of the law. If a test is not properly created or administered, it could be considered discriminatory. Hiring an experienced personality testing firm or consultant can also mitigate your risk, but that can end up costing a lot of money – depending on the scope of the testing, number of employees, and type of test administered.

Create a detailed job description: It's critical to understand the job for which you're hiring before you apply the test. If you need a salesperson who is outgoing and good with people, you're going to be looking for a different personality type than someone who works with numbers in the office all day.

Choose the test that measures what you need: There are many different personality tests available to employers, measuring everything from “morality” and “integrity” to whether a person is an introvert or extrovert. Be sure that you're measuring the criteria you need for the position you wish to fill – or you're wasting your time.

Be aware of the test's limits: While reputable tests can tell you what personality traits a person has, the tests can't tell you whether the person will succeed in the job. Work environment, management style, corporate culture, practical experience and training all have significant impact on the performance of an employee. A test can tell you some things about an individual, but it should not be used in place of extensive interviewing and reference-checking.

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