What are psychometric assessments?
The term psychometrics refers to the scientific measurement (metrics) of human mind (psycho), and includes the analysis of attributes such as personality, intelligence, emotional intelligence, risk-taking behaviour, learning style and more.
The key word is scientific – these assessments are created by highly trained specialists and are built on extensive bodies of research that define specific attributes and provide techniques for measuring them properly. Credible test publishers can prove that the tests that they create yield meaningful and consistent results that predict real-world behaviour.
How do they help in hiring?
Picture the scene …. You are interviewing a promising candidate but you are concerned about their potential for creating strategy. You feel they have relevant experience but developing a winning strategy in this new environment will mean being able to see less obvious opportunities, having an antenna pointed toward the market and being smart enough to correctly recognise patterns and apply information.
Psychometrics tell us about potential. In this example, an analysis of personality may tell us how open to new experiences an individual tends to be, how creatively they problem solve or how thorough they tend to be when planning. Ability tests tell us about mental capacity; how effective they may be putting the pieces together and choosing a course of action likely to work. Unlike interviews which typically examine what has happened in the past, psychometrics help us see the future.
Do they really work?
A famous 1998 study, which was replicated in 2016, examined 19 different methodologies for selecting employees and found that the best single predictor of workplace performance was an ability test, indicating that ability (or intelligence) can account for at least 25% of a person’s performance. Personality was also shown to be a strong predictor, and is particularly so when specific job-relevant traits are first identified and then examined.
Though not as predictive as ability tests, structured interviews are also strong predictors of job success, offering valuable supplementary sources of data. Therefore, a robust selection process should include a range of methodologies to tap into both past experience and future potential.
What about development?
The value of using psychometrics doesn’t need to end with hiring. Studies show that when used in development and on-boarding these assessments can affect the speed at which issues are accessed, the depth at which coach and coachee can explore and the nature of the discussion.
If you would like to learn more about how psychometrics can help you to hire and develop star performers reach out to your HERO consultant today.
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