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Psychometric tests

The 3 best reasons for using psychometric tests

eye 110 Published on 27 Jan. 2014
tag #Cognitive bias

The pursuit of data has become a vital part of any decision-making process, and those who work in the field of human resources know this only too well. It is a question of obtaining relevant and objective information about potential employees, putting coherent guidelines in place for tracking employee performance, and having clear ideas about talent mobility.

Psychometric tests are essential for providing complete and objective data in order to make good recruitment and talent-management decisions.

1. Test results are easily quantifiable

A flawed recruitment policy or bad decisions made when promoting employees can end up having catastrophic consequences.

Let's look, for example, at the actual cost of a flawed recruitment policy: if a bad recruitment choice comes to light during a new employee's trial period, the cost to the company will be, on average, more than 50% of the employee's yearly salary, while the cost of replacing an established employee is estimated on average to be 150% of their yearly salary. With this in mind, the aim of psychometric tests is to evaluate human behaviour and to better assess the likelihood of a person succeeding in a particular role.* It follows that the predictive validity of psychometric questionnaires is the main factor in anticipating how well an individual will perform in the workplace. The use of questionnaires in recruitment and in the context of internal mobility makes it possible to identify those people who are most suitable for particular roles. For instance, people who obtain good results in reasoning tests are more likely to use analysis to resolve complex situations.

2. Tests reduce the effect of cognitive biases

Evaluation is often limited to the interview alone, which is only useful if it is used together with a range of appropriate objective indicators. A number of scientific studies have shown that there is only a 14% correlation between a candidate's capacity for "self-promotion" during interviews and their performance once employed in a role.*

Assessment results might be falsified by, among other things, the assessor's background and cognitive biases (their stereotypes and prejudices), or by a lack of self-awareness in the person being assessed. Unlike traditional selection methods, psychometric tests provide key indicators which facilitate decision-making in an objective and non-discriminatory way. These standardised measuring tools draw on a statistical approach and make it possible to study the differences between individuals using a common calibration. According to the aforementioned Schmidt & Hunter study, using these tools in addition to interviews reduces errors in selection by 24%. Central Test uses a combined, comprehensive approach in order to better identify potential in terms not only of expertise but also of suitability for vacant positions or for specific workplace culture.

3. Effective training is all one needs to be able to use today's tests

We no longer live in a time of clinical questionnaires and overcomplicated reports with results that cannot be interpreted without the help of a psychologist.

These days, the majority of test developers offer assessment tools which have been specifically devised for use in the workplace and which, while being ergonomically simple, also respect scientific validation standards. The reports, which are immediately accessible online, make for pleasant reading, with graphs providing a quick overview of the subject's main traits. Central Test's reports also include customised feedback, thus reducing the risk of over-interpretation. But in order to fully grasp the dimensions evaluated by the tool and better interpret the results, training must be given. This is true regardless of the assessment context, and whether it involves recruitment, internal evolution, skills assessment, or reclassification. Central Test provides training sessions which enable the user to concentrate on the main points and quickly become self-sufficient. Whether they are used for candidate recruitment, strengthening employee commitment, retaining the most efficient staff, or increasing company productivity, psychometric tools play an essential role in establishing an efficient talent management policy.

* Schmidt, F. L., & Hunter, J. E. (1998). The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings. Psychological Bulletin.

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