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How to select candidates for the job using psychometrics

How to select candidates for the job using psychometrics

over 1 year ago

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​In an era in which culture and talent retention have become the cornerstones of business growth, psychometric testing is increasingly being used by employers, both in the HVAC sector and elsewhere, to source candidates who are the “right fit”.In fact, the latest stats indicate that more than three-quarters of companies in the prestigious Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For rankings are advocates of using psychometrics in the hiring process.

What is psychometric testing and is it right for your business? 

Psychometric testing is designed to give an insight into the behaviours of a candidate. It’s sometimes known as personality profiling, although psychometric tests can also be used to measure aptitude too. In fact, many employers use a mix of verbal and numerical reasoning, spatial awareness and personality questions for a rounder picture of skills and motivations.

Is it the right approach for you? Hiring someone who seems to have all the right skills on paper but doesn’t perform well when they arrive is costly and time consuming. If you have struggled to find employees who integrate well with your teams or if your recent hires don’t stay long, psychometric testing could help you identify people who best suits your culture.

Testing is also a way of narrowing the field for jobs that attract high volumes of applicants, particularly when many of the tests can be completed online without taking up valuable HR time.

Psychometrics may be useful for your business but they should only ever be one element of a rigorous recruitment process.

What are the benefits of psychometric testing?

Interviews are not necessarily the best environment to determine character and soft skills. Classic questions about strengths and weaknesses are designed to do this but most candidates have carefully prepped answers at the ready which may hint at a flaw, only to present it as a hidden strength. All this means is that the interviewer is no wiser as to the true limits or development potential of the candidate in front of them.

If a psychometric assessment has been carried out prior to interview, the employer has more to go on. They can then use the interview to explore areas of concern and focus their questioning around situations which may cause difficulties for that candidate.

Psychometric tests vary in quality and scope. If cultural fit is important to you when you’re hiring, some tests can incorporate questions that assess the type of environment a candidate prefers to work in and their values. Again, any information drawn from the tests can be useful context to explore further at interview.  

Be aware of the limitations of psychometric testing

Although psychometric tests are designed to make it harder for candidates to manipulate answers, people can still choose to respond with the answers they think the employer wants to hear. Psychometric data should only ever be one part of a wider process. Tests also vary in quality which means the answers people give may not give a true reflection of how they will actually perform. The questions are asking the candidate for their own opinion of themselves and this isn’t necessarily how others see them.

One of the biggest challenges of testing is making sure all candidates are treated fairly. Psychometric testing may put some people at a disadvantage, particularly if they have disabilities, language barriers or different cultural backgrounds. This is one reason why testing must be delivered by licensed practitioners.

Done well, psychometric testing can provide useful data for informed selection and increase the chances of filling a role with someone who is right for the job and will stay with your company. The costs involved can be balanced against those of having to revisit the recruitment process if things don’t work out. They should always be part of a process that takes into account information gathered from CV, interview and possibly even other performance related or practical tasks.

If you would like to know more about integrating psychometric testing into your recruitment process, or for tailored advice on developing a robust recruitment process for your company and for specific roles, contact Thornhvac on 0115 871 4777. To find out more about how we work visit the client section of our website for details of our recruitment services. You can also read some of our client testimonials.