TSI Blog

Measurement of the Mind

August 6th, 2014 by Alison McKinney

Selecting the right person for the job has never been more important than it is today. Mistakes are costly and has long been a problem that many employers have struggled to address. Poor selection may have catastrophic consequences for both the employee and the organisation adversely affecting employee engagement levels.

From the organisation’s viewpoint, the cost of employing and training an unsuitable candidate can be very high in terms of lost productivity and revenue, reduced efficiency, increased absenteeism, reduced morale, the cost of the selection process itself and the cost of retraining new personnel.

From the employee’s perspective, being selected for the “wrong” job may have consequences ranging from loss of motivation, reduced job satisfaction, increased work stress, failure to progress in their career, not to mention the more clinical manifestations such as depression and anxiety.

Organisations have attempted to resolve the ‘right person for the right job’ problem by using a variety of methods to help with the accurate selection of candidates.

Psychometric assessment is one of the most effective forecasters of future job performance. More and more often, employers are now turning to psychometric testing to aid in selection decisions as well as evaluating existing personnel.

So, why use psychometric assessments?

Objectivity – good psychometric assessments are standardised on a large sample and provide normative data across a wide range of demographics. Selecting the right tests will allow organisations to establish talents that may have otherwise not been evident.

Validity – psychometric assessments are a more valid method than job interviews, academic achievement & reference checks, but when used in connection with these are highly predictive of future job performance.

Cost – the cost of selection errors can be massive for both the employer and the employee. Psychometric assessments help to lessen costs while making the most of potential ‘job fit’.

It shouldn’t be surprising these days that, at the very least, people should expect to supply the potential employer with a professionally presented resume along with a covering letter, be prepared to participate in a number of interview rounds, and in a lot of cases, complete a number of targeted psychometric assessments.

So what exactly is psychometric assessment?

They are a tool to aid in the candidate selection and decision making process, finding ‘the right person for the right job’

There are many different types of tests, but generally they are used to measure how people differ in their motivation, values, priorities and opinions with regard to different tasks and situations. In terms of personality, the tests can give an organisation an indication of the working style favoured by a candidate and how they interact with both their environment and fellow co-workers.

Psychometric assessments are helpful at analysing the more ‘hidden’ traits of an individual. Formal education and past experience will not always provide a clear, up-to-date assessment of these personal skills. Aptitude tests, for example, could help to provide a better, more realistic and current view of a candidate’s abilities than a formal certificate of education.

Psychometric assessments do not and should not stand alone as the only selection method.

They are carefully developed for specific purposes and need to be utilised for the purpose for which they were intended. The tests used in the selection process are purposely designed to help fit a candidates talents, personality and attributes to a job that suits them.

Want to know more about how organisations can benefit from having the right people in the right jobs? Then why not contact us on +44 (0) 1255 850051 – we look forward the hearing from you.

Written by Alison McKinney
Alison McKinney is the Project and Quality Assurance Manager at The Survey Initiative, a dedicated employee research organisation devoted to helping its clients gain insight and understanding into what drives employee engagement in their business. Alison has extensive experience in project management and quality assurance and has recently worked on projects for clients as diverse as: WSP Middle East. Natural History Museum, Peverel, Marine Stewardship Council, Accor UK &Ireland and Thompsons Solicitors. Visit http://www.surveyinitiative.co.uk for more information.

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