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Why Use Psychometrics in the Workplace?

Nov 27, 2018
by Kimberley Wallace, Consultant
0333 400 7920 | kim@employassisthr.co.uk



You’ve heard the phase ‘psychometrics’ before, but do you know what it is, and how can you use psychometrics to enhance your people processes and business performance?

Psychometrics is a branch of psychology concerned with the quantification and measurement of mental attributes, behaviour and performance of humans.

Psychometric test are used in:

  • Education – leaning development and aptitude – think SATS;
  • Health – for learning disabilities, behavioural issues, drug and alcohol issues, brain function testing after injury and trauma;
  • Business – occupational testing for team building, career development, recruitment and organisational culture.

The original psychometric tests measured a person’s intelligence quotient (IQ), for example the Stanford Binet IQ test. However these only measured a person’s cognitive capacity.

Psychometrics nowadays sets out to measure a much larger range of human behaviours, competences and attributes. This is more fitting for today’s workplace, where someone’s ability to do a job is more than just their intelligence; it’s also about their social skills, motivations, adaptability, interests and motivations.

There are many different types of tests but most businesses use psychometric tests to measure competences such as an individual’s verbal and numerical ability, as well as personality traits. 

Data shows that 75% of the Times Best Companies to Work For and 80% of Fortune 500 firms use psychometric testing in their businesses. 

So why should you consider using psychometrics for your business? 

Recruitment

Most people (including me) find it harder than others to make as good an impression as they wanted to during an interview. Some people are just better at interviewing than others.

Tangible elements such as qualifications, experience and skills are easy to assess during an interview. But a candidate’s behavioural traits and personality, not so much.

Most interviews follow a structured process and this formality could mean that certain candidates aren’t able to demonstrate how well they may fit into an existing team, their approach to doing the job itself or their personal motivations. This is where using psychometric testing can enhance your interview process.

A personality assessment can provide deeper insight to an individual’s approach to work, how they may deal with challenging situations, their social style and their motivations.

A range of competency assessments can also be undertaken during the recruitment process to assess a candidate’s ability in the following areas:

  • Verbal reasoning;
  • Numerical reasoning;
  • Deductive reasoning;
  • Inductive reasoning;
  • Situational judgement ability;
  • Spatial ability;
  • Mechanical comprehension.

The benefits to using psychometrics during the recruitment process are endless:

  • Gaining deeper insight into applicants’ competencies and personalities during the recruitment process;
  • Helping you to select the right candidates for the right roles;
  • Adding additional value and insight to the recruitment process;
  • Placing the right person in the right role could increase business opportunity and drive growth;
  • Improving the quality of hiring decisions, which are usually based just on interview panel opinions of candidates.

Team Development

Psychometric tests can be administered to a whole team. The results of these can help provide insight in the following areas:

  • Using competency testing and personality profiling for internal development opportunities – ensuring you pick the right person for the right job and limiting internal bias in the promotion process;
  • Using assessments for team development plans;
  • Using personality profiling to understand motivations and approaches to work within a team; identifying how and why people work differently plus any skill gaps within the team (e.g. interpersonal strengths);
  • Using competency testing to understand any competency gaps within the team (e.g. numerical reasoning) and shaping future recruitment around skill gaps;
  • Competency testing can be used to support organisational change programmes and making an assessment on the talent pool across the business.

Coaching 

Psychometric profiling can also be used on a one-to-one basis and is particularly useful for coaching sessions. 

  • By profiling your leaders, you can gain greater insight to their potential and areas for development;
  • Profiling your line managers can help identify where they may need to develop further attributes (such as strategic competencies) to enable them to move up to director level roles.

If you are interested in recruitment or developmental psychometric profiling, then please contact Kimberly Wallace on 0333 400 7920 or email kim@employassisthr.co.uk.

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