Assessment and Psychometric Testing Tips

admin  -  Feb 26, 2013  -  No Comments

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With increased pressure on organisations to get the best performance from their people, having accurate information about individuals’ skills and attributes is more important than ever. Increasingly, managers are required to make assessments of their people, whether this is for:

Recruitment – through competency based activities and psychometric questionnaires.

Retention – through an effective performance management process, analysis of training/development needs or to establish the amount of a pay increase.

Promotion – through identification and measurement of ‘business specific’ leadership skills that will help to deliver sustained success over time.

Organisations often implement processes that require a very accurate assessment of an individual without ensuring that these processes are absolutely fit for purpose. There can also be a tendency for managers to rely on a ‘go with what I know’ approach. This can often lead to the use of a psychometric test that is not suited to the process and that doesn’t effectively deliver an accurate prediction of an individual’s skills and performance.

The following are two key factors to consider when implementing assessment tests:

1. The importance of the right test

We live in a world governed by stringent employment laws and so the need for accurate information/evidence gathering should be a primary consideration when making decisions around the type of psychometric questionnaire being used and whether it is fit for purpose.

It is worth remembering that for a psychometric tool to give useful and predictive information about an individual, it should have been designed to be used in that particular environment.

Many personality profiles are not designed in this way and yet are still used to ‘shoehorn’ information from a process. There is often a tendency to use questionnaires that are familiar and comfortable rather than precise and appropriate.

Organisations that seek HR Consulting are often looking for impartial recommendations regarding the most appropriate psychometric tests for their organisation and roles, in order to enhance the assessment process and measure the skills and abilities of each candidate. This prevents over-reliance on interview performance when making a selection decision.

2. The role of the interview

The use of interviews during selection and assessment are a useful method of collating data about an individual and are more effective if they are competency-based, with the competency questions asking about the skills and behaviours required for the role. However, as interviews collate information which is self-reported by the candidate, the assessment process is far more effective when interviews are used in conjunction with measures of a candidate’s demonstrated behaviour, such as asking a candidate to: complete a psychometric test, deliver a presentation, and/ or take-part in a role-play exercise.

Bespoke assessment exercises, such as presentations or role-plays also measure the competency behaviours required to perform well in the role, assessing a candidate’s demonstrated behaviours. This increases the robustness of the assessment and the likelihood that the successful candidate will perform well in the role.

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