Why should you care about Psychometric Testing?
Picture this – The average cost of a bad hire is approximately their compensation for a year. Couple that with the high attrition rate, it becomes a necessity to attach way more significance to the Cultural & Behavioral fit of applicants than the three quarters of hiring managers who don’t.
When used correctly, Psychometric and Behavioral Assessments improve the chances of new employees succeeding. Unfortunately, too many organizations use the wrong psychometric assessments or the right ones in the wrong way. Like there is a right way for everything, there are only a few things that organizations need to change in order to max out the usefulness of these tests while going close to eradicating any risks.
Common Mistakes while using Psychometric Assessments
There are loads of companies selling off-the-rack Psychometric Assessments, Cognitive Assessments and Personality Tests all around the world. Organizations and HR teams are being sold Psychometric Assessments purely in the name of Data-Driven Hiring, Cultural Fitment Test
Mistake #1: Psychometric Tests without Valid Standards for Job Performance
Psychometric Tests are not just run-of-the-mill personality tests one takes for fun. The primary aim is to find a level of correlation between Predictor variables (Traits of Candidate) and outcome variables (Traits of a Successful Hire).
Organizations are often guilty of focusing on the predictors, or “independent variables,” than on what is being predicted, or “dependent variables.” Any organization that doesn’t have a regular evaluative measure of employee performance on the job, then there is no baseline for them to correlate performance prediction based on the psychometric test results.
As a rule, organizations must use appraisals as a feedback loop to continuously update the Benchmarks of Psychometric Assessments based on job success.
Mistake-2: Choosing the Wrong Psychometric Tests
Each Psychometric Assessment must, or rather should, have a scientific theory backing it. Many organizations choose a Psychometric test as a broad brush to understand applicant traits and behavior without understanding who it is relevant for, and how it must be analysed.
For instance, while the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is quite popular with many organizations, you can’t use it for employee selection. The MBTI was not developed for that purpose and is not intended for personnel evaluation — even the test’s publisher warns against using it in that way.
Long story short, you cannot fit a square peg into a round hole.
Mistake-3: Impression Management & Gaming the Assessment
Organizations must be aware that today’s applicants are always a or two step ahead of the system. Psychometric Assessments have been around long enough that some candidates may give in to the temptation of “gaming” the results.
HR teams often commit this criminal sin of not comparing the candidate’s references and interview ratings with the results of their Psychometric Assessment. Archaic as these two are, they work best in tandem with one another. Psychometric Assessments are best used to validate the judgement based on those two parameters.
If a candidate for a sales job seems shy and understated in interviews and is described as quiet and introspective by her references, but shows as a people person who is the star of the show based on psychometric test results, the discrepancy becomes a tad too suspicious.
Xobin’s Psychometric Tests have built-in measures that indicate whether a candidate’s pattern of responses may reflect an attempt to come across a certain way or whether the candidate’s answers are incongruent with one another. Using a combination of psychometric tests can help organizations get a more wholesome, 360 Degree picture of the applicant.
Here is how psychometric assessments, when rightly implemented – helping large organizations ace the recruitment race.
Mistake-4: Not Sharing Results
Often, organizations ask candidates to sign a document waiving their right to see their results. But they should consider sharing results, as the results are immense. Not just in an ethical sense, but for the realists, in a pragmatic sense too. This is because you are going to be helping them become better applicants the next time around.
All good candidates benefit from the feedback on the basis of a validated, job-relevant psychometric test report. The candidates who receive and accept offers will appreciate that the reports can provide an accelerated basis for discussions about their “on-boarding.” Other candidates who do not receive or accept an offer will still appreciate your professional courtesy of sharing feedback with them. This will help them when they apply elsewhere.
Psychometric Assessments for Job Success
The best organizations constantly strive to improve their screening cycles by paying attention to predictor variables, outcome variables, and the correlations between the two. Once hiring managers and HRs utilize the right thought-process to select and employ the right psychometric tests, they also raise the statistical probability of selecting and retaining the right talent, too.
Go on, Give it a Try
It’s best to think of Cognitive Assessment and Psychometric Assessments as a scientific experiment. Your organization starts off the experiment with the hypothesis that psychometric assessments will predict job performance. If an assessment doesn’t predict performance over time, you can always choose to stop using it and get another.
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