Making a ‘right choice’ in the world surrounded with options and more options is no less than finding a needle in a haystack!

Sometimes we end up choosing a right pick, and sometimes we end up learning a good lesson. There is no end to the vicious cycle of making choices. We have to keep making selections throughout our lifecycle, which can smoothly steer our future away from the confusion storm.

Taking a right decision for oneself only is so difficult, think about taking it for an entire organization! There is a huge amount of confusion that goes into choosing a right candidate for the job role, when choices are many.

Emergence of Psychometric Testing

Finding gems with the right skills and hiring value adding employees to the workforce is one of the biggest challenges that recruiters and employers had been facing and continue to face. Prolonged hiring procedure has been cited as one of the two major obstacles that are hindering the process of headcount growth, as per the survey conducted by MRI Network Recruiter Sentiment Study.

Today, the selection procedure has gone a level higher than mere checking a candidate’s educational background, work experience, intellect and personality for hiring right people. An individual’s intrinsic personality, situational judgement ability, motivation, interests, integrity, emotional quotient, mental abilities, cultural fit, and behavior have started taking a major lead in the recruitment game nowadays. These aspects give a deeper insight of the potential candidates and are assessed through the science of psychometrics today.

The term ‘psychometrics’ is buzzing around the world as the new tool for recruitment, team building, employee development process, and choosing right people. The potency of psychometric tests in ensuring a candidate’s abilities, competencies, behavior and cultural fitment at work is gradually making organisations believe in them.

A study conducted by Tata Strategic Management Group (TSMG) on ‘Psychometrics in Indian Organizations’ shows that 52% of the organizations are currently using psychometric instruments. While, 74% of the non-users aim to use these assessment instruments within next 1-3 years.

The findings also reveal that by 2016, the adoption rate of psychometric instruments will be 87%, signaling to a bright future of psychometric tests in India.

Why Psychometric Assessments? 

The influx of psychometric assessments has given a positive push to recruitment and selection, training and development, and promotion processes. From filtering bulk job applications to predicting a candidate’s behavior or cultural competencies, these tests are getting widely used across different organisations at different stages of employee cycle. These tests not only save you from bad hiring decisions’ cost, but also evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates beforehand.

As a pre-screening tool, psychometric tests are speeding up the recruitment process today. Saffrey Champness, an accountancy firm required 11 months for hiring graduates before introducing these assessments, but after using these tests the hiring time plunged to 4 months [1]. Saving a lot of hiring time, energy and money of the company.

For studying the worldwide trends and usage of psychometric assessments, an international assessment specialist cut‑e conducted a survey across 14 countries on 2.776 respondents. The findings of the survey have been compiled in Global Assessment Barometer 2016 report. The key highlights of the report are given below for your ready reference.

Iceberg Model of Behavior and Psychometric Assessments

Have you ever seen an iceberg? It is a large mass of ice floating in the sea with only one-tenth of visible tip and rest nine-tenths part lying underneath the water. The Iceberg Model of Behavior is based on this very same concept. It says that only 10% of the components including skills, knowledge and experience possessed are visible like the iceberg’s tip, making up for a person’s on-the job demonstrative behavior.  

Rest 90% of the components are the drivers leading to on-the job demonstrative behavior that remain hidden beneath the visibility level. These drivers of behavior are values, traits, motives, ethics, beliefs, self-image, social role, commitment, motivation, adaptability, creativity, leadership, emotional quotient, etc. Recruiters are required to have their work cut out to catch glimpse of these veiled qualities.

 

 

Many a times, interviewers are mistaken in judging candidates by their visible behavior. They get fascinated to certain qualities of an individual, but are later surprised to find something entirely different turning up after his/her hiring. This happens because of the drivers of behavior that remain dormant and react differently only when put into different situations.During an interview, the interviewer is only able to assess the visible aspects of a candidate’s behavior.

The hidden intrinsic qualities today are being mapped with psychometric assessments, which provide recruiters and employers an insight into the candidates’ strengths, weaknesses, natural skills and aptitude to take up a job role. These tests have very finely refined and advanced the selection process by becoming a counterpart to interviews.

The recruitment process is getting better and more efficient with insemination of psychometrics. Moerdyk has expressed himself in Mittner’s article (1998) by saying that if psychometric tests are handled with insight and sensitivity, they remain the most effective way of predicting behavior.

 

 

Why You Should Try Using Your Hands at Psychometric Assessments

To keep yourself evolving with time, acceptance of new technology has become the need of the hour. Education, past work experience or interviews were not always providing a clear picture of candidate’s mental capabilities and personality. Something additional was required to keep pace with the dynamic market situations and grow businesses further.

It is then, psychometric assessments were brought to the foreground with amazing benefits to predict performance of applicants. One of Harvard Business Review report even says- “When hiring, first test and then interview” [3].

Listed below are the benefits of assessments that you can reap.

 

Objective Results

Researches show that psychometric assessments provide objective and scientific data to check candidates’ suitability for specific job roles, by measuring their cognitive abilities and behavior. Unlike interviews, these assessments remain free from biased or prejudiced judgement of the interviewer. Tangible and scientific data is received to compare candidates’ strengths and weaknesses.

A report published in Harvard Business Review mentions that many studies have termed unstructured interviews as the worst predictors of on-the- job performance [4]. Mental ability, personality or aptitude tests on the other hand offer a fair and objective chance of getting selected. One common test given to all the candidates gives them an equal opportunity to prove their worth. Many organizations like Mettl and others offer readymade assessments to the user organizations.

Economical

Psychometric assessments are often seen as very expensive recruitment tools to improve the performance of an organization. The price of buying them at once might sound heavy, but on contrary these tests save you from making wrong hiring decisions that incur even greater losses. As per a report published by Harvard Business Review, bad hiring decisions lead to 80% of the employee turnover.

 

 

Psychometric assessments on the other hand filter out the candidates having desired cultural fit, commitment towards work and organization, and job role satisfaction. Ultimately giving right fits to an organization who can add productivity and save it from the cost that is higher than buying assessments.

Saves Time

Another myth stringed to psychometric assessments is that their addition to the regular HR practices will ascend the recruitment time. These on contrary have fast- tracked the weeding of weak applicants, eventually decreasing the hiring time.Recruitment begins with

Recruitment begins with manual sorting of eligible applications from the pile of resumes. A time consuming process of gliding through every resume, before moving on to various rounds of interviews. With the introduction of psychometric assessments, screening of bulk applications has become faster, inexpensive and more effective. Today, an employer does not have to sit back, filtering resumes one by one.

 

[1] http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/with-psychometric-testing-you-can/

[2] http://www.sajip.co.za/index.php/sajip/article/viewFile/52/50

[3] https://hbr.org/2013/11/when-hiring-first-test-and-then-interview

[4] https://hbr.org/2016/04/how-to-take-the-bias-out-of-interviews