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Combine different tests to get more accurate results

24 Feb 2011

Combine different tests to get more accurate results

Personality tests, the Emotional Intelligence test, and the IQ test are examples of the wide variety of tests and questionnaires available to the public. Applied to the field of human resources, these tests may be very useful, as is confirmed by Patrick Leguide, the founder of Central Test.

How are these tests useful to HR?

Nowadays, as companies recruit, there is an increasing emphasis on avoiding selection errors. In other words, companies concentrate on hitting the right target on the first try. Aware of this growing trend, some candidates have become experts at portraying an idealised version of themselves. Likewise, the right candidate for the job may portray a lesser image of themself under the stress of an interview. Consequently, it is common for an employer to make the wrong recruitment selection after such short interaction with the candidates.

When appropriately used during the process of recruitment, the tests can decrease the margin of error and confirm a candidate's competence for a specific position. For instance, when presented with a charismatic candidate who seems to be right for the job but lacks the requirements for the position, the tests will help the recruiter in their decision and will determine the accuracy of the recruiter's first impression. When used appropriately during pre-selection of the candidates, the tests are also a time-reduction tool. Our Sales Profile Test is a good illustration of this in that it is a mixture of a personality and an aptitude test. For a position in sales, this test will quickly determine the candidate's true sales competency.

Can we rely on the results of a single test?

The tests do not provide a complete evaluation of the candidate. They must be used as an extra tool in the process of recruitment, together with an interview and references. The test results can also be very constructive when used as a debriefing tool. A recruiter may acquire practical knowledge about the candidate's personality by discussing their results and observing their reaction to them.

Psychology is a behavioural science that provides insight into a candidate's personnality, but it is not a factual science. For this reason, I believe that simultaneously administering several tests would result in more accurate and applicable results. 

For instance, administering a global personality evaluator such as our Big Five Personality Test, together with a Reasoning Test, would be helpful when searching for a candidate with a technical personality. For sales and managing positions, more specific tests such as our Sales Profile test, our Management Skills Test, the CTPI, or our Emotional Intelligence Test can be combined with our Professional Profile to yield a detailed perspective on the candidate's suitability for the position.

With such a variety of choices, how do you decide on the right test?

First of all, it is important to verify the criteria of the psychometric validation for the desired test. We recommend requesting the manuals and explanatory documents for the psychometric validation of each individual questionnaire used. The way in which the test was constructed is also crucial. In some tests it might be easy for the test takers to decipher what some of the questions are trying to measure and what the appropriate answer is according to the image they wish to portray of themselves. 

At Central Test, thanks to our social desirability scale, our tests are sensitive to cheating. Due to the structure of our tests and carefully worded questions, our tests are able to decode if the test-taker is being honest in answering the questions. Furthermore, to avoid any more errors, we ensure that the results can easily be interpreted and that they are comprehensible to the candidate.

Moreover, the tests are not designed for all personality profiles. For instance, our Professional Profile Test is targeted to a population with a college-level of education. Therefore this test would not yield accurate results to individuals only holding a high school diploma. In contrast, we offer a test called the BF5 that is designed for a population with a lower level of education. The target population is therefore an important element for the test results' accuracy.

Interview by Sandrine Guinot, NaoPresse