Young lady sitting in an office for an interview

Using psychometric assessments in the recruitment process

Many businesses worldwide have long been reaping the benefits of psychometric tests. This invaluable candidate assessment method can help businesses save time and money. Psychometric tests provide a rounded view of a candidate, revealing their logical processes, aptitude for problem-solving, and ability to interpret and analyze a range of data. It can even help identify an individual’s long-term potential by exploring and measuring their type of personality, behaviours, and cognitive ability. Just as important, they also provide an insight into their integrity and how they might fit into an existing team.

Advantages of using psychometric assessments?

Psychometric tests are transforming how recruitment is being conducted throughout organizations. Hiring managers, in particular, are turning to psychometric tools in order to recruit the best possible candidates in a more efficient, consistent, and reliable way.

By measuring traits such as aptitudecommunication style, and emotional intelligence in a candidate upfront, they can develop a much clearer picture of the candidate and a more robust gauge of their suitability for a specific role or position.

Here at Omega People Solutions, we offer a range of psychometric assessments that’ll ensure you hire the right personnel for your company. In this helpful guide, we’ll cover the advantages of psychometric tests in recruitment, of which there are many.

Among some of the top benefits, companies may experience increased job satisfaction, lower staff turnover, and even more robust succession planning. Let’s delve into some of the advantages of psychometrics to explain them in further detail.

What are the key benefits of psychometric tests?

As previously mentioned, there are several benefits to using psychometric tools for recruitment purposes. These tests are designed to provide objective and measurable data to help managers make informed decisions for hiring. Psychometric assessments such as a skills assessment test explore aptitude and ability by measuring a candidate’s intelligence levels against others.

In other words, they can help managers delve into how and why a candidate might act a certain way, for instance, during a high-pressure sales call or when working as part of a team. Psychometric testing can assist hiring managers in:

1. Understanding how people will behave at work

Understanding how someone will behave in the workplace is key to hiring. Psychometric tools that focus on behaviour and personality will be able to provide you with data indicating a candidate’s preferred communication styles, their ability to stay calm under pressure, and what motivates them as an individual. 

2. Identifying leadership potential in job applicants

A key determinant of leadership potential, leadership assessment tests will help you determine whether or not a candidate could be a future leader. In doing so, they can support better succession planning. The insight these kinds of tests offer help to inform 121s where progression is a crucial point of discussion. They can also maximise engagement and ambition levels among employees.

3. Accurately testing general intelligence of candidates

Psychometric assessments explore aptitude and ability by measuring a candidate’s intelligence levels against others. This method of measuring cognitive ability can inform how long it might take a candidate to pick up new skills, how well they’ll deal with words or numbers on the job, and how quickly they might process information, for example.

4. Interpreting candidate emotions and their ability to maintain relationships

By assessing the emotional intelligence of a candidate with psychometric tests, you can derive how well they might work with other team members, understand their specific way of communicating with others and predict what kind of manager they might be.

Are there any other advantages of using psychometric assessments?

Up until now, we’ve focused mainly on the benefits of psychometric tests as they pertain to employee assessment; however, the organisational gains extend well beyond this. Integration of psychometric assessment with the candidate selection process can result in recruitment efforts that are more time-efficient, cost-effective, consistent, and standardised.

As a result, psychometric testing can become an invaluable business asset that not only streamlines recruitment but also ensures a robust selection process designed to surface only the most suitable candidates. Psychometric assessments help:

1. Bolster face-to-face interviews

Face-to-face interviews – whether structured or unstructured – help to form an initial impression of a candidate. That said, nerves can present a fundamental factor in how someone might come across. For instance, someone could perform terribly in an interview but possess all the skills and characteristics needed for the job. In the same way, a candidate who gives a great interview doesn’t always equal a great employee.

Using psychometric tools alongside interviews means you don’t have to rely on face-to-face performance alone. You’ll have more takeaways and insights to hand, which helps to make decision-making a lot easier.

2. Save time across the recruitment process

Psychometric tests offer a great deal of information about a candidate in a short space of time. That makes these tests an invaluable investment for mass recruitment drives, such as graduate assessments, when you’ll need to whittle down to a shortlist from a large pool of applicants as quickly as possible.

3. Highlight candidate skills and abilities (rather than just education and experience)

A candidate’s CV or resume may outline their professional achievements and educational background. Still, it won’t necessarily delve into a detailed skillset review relevant to the role being recruited. This data is invaluable in identifying the right skills or personality traits for the particular vacancy in question.

4. Forge consistency throughout recruitment

Psychometric testing allows you to work with a trustworthy model repeatedly, creating uniformity at macro and even micro recruitment levels. It also offers benchmarks and insights you can revisit later down the line to help with the progression and engagement of future employees.

Does psychometric testing work?

Psychometric assessments help employers make more effective and informed decisions in the hiring process, generating more information about a candidate, showcasing strengths and weaknesses, and identifying potential progression opportunities for later on.

But do they really work?

Studies have shown that psychometric testing can, indeed, save time and money while recruiting, and employers have admitted to feeling more confident when choosing candidates. Experts in the field maintain the reliability and accuracy of these tests and advise that these tools are best used alongside traditional methods such as face-to-face interviews. One study found that 75% of The Times’ Top 100 Companies used psychometric testing alongside other tried and tested recruitment methods and tools.

A psychometric test benchmarks candidates in a way that is often difficult to do with other methods, such as interviews. By scoring candidates on set criteria, it becomes easier to distinguish standout candidates and shortlist the most promising ones more quickly.

With all that said, more traditional assessment methods do still have a place. In other words, psychometric tests on their own are not enough to inform all hiring decisions. Companies can make the most out of their recruitment process when using psychometric testing alongside other traditional recruitment methods. And it’s crucial to ensure recruiting is performed optimally, given the costs of poor hiring. In fact, the cost of a poor hire doesn’t only relate to recruitment fees, training, and loss of productivity – it can also have a severe impact on company morale and culture.

The cost of a bad hire?

The repercussions of hiring the wrong person can be dire. It is estimated that four out of ten employers stated that a bad hire will cost them at least R325 000 over a one-year period. This is why companies sometimes take a long time to reach a decision when choosing a candidate to fill a vacancy. 

Interviews, psychometric evaluations, credit, and reference checks all lengthen the hiring process – and can contribute to making employers lose sight of who really is right for the job. 

There are many stories that demonstrate how a bad hire can impact revenue, clients, and other employees. Take, for example, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s top engineer, Daniel Mtimkulu. His team was responsible for a R600 million project to design locomotives. Deep into the project, Mtimkulu’s qualifications were questioned, and he was suspended, impacting the project and company. 

What are the real costs of a bad hire?

​​Lowers revenue

A bad hire can have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line. Not being able to perform the job means that the new hire will cost your company time and money. This is especially problematic if you’re involved in public service delivery.

Ruins reputation

Company reputation may be tainted by a bad hire. Although your client relationships should be strong enough to withstand a bad hire, the person will leave a negative impression.

Lowers productivity

The rest of the team will have to compensate for the bad hire’s poor performance, affecting productivity.

Negative employee morale

About 95% of employers confirm that a bad hire impacts company’s morale. Studies show that it costs a business about one-fifth of an employee’s annual salary to replace a bad hire. When you consider all of the costs associated with employee turnover, it is vital to take every precaution to avoid hiring the wrong person; the right candidate takes time and patience. It’s important to know, fundamentally, what you need in a candidate so that you can ensure you meet your requirements. Remember that no hire is better than a bad hire.

Some of the things that you can do to achieve this include:

  • Consult with a specialist company
  • Thoroughly check references
  • Establish specific candidate requirements
  • Evaluate the candidate’s abilities against these requirements

As we’ve explored, there are so many benefits to using psychometric testing for recruitment purposes. Here at Omega People Solutions, we offer a wide range of psychometric tools to suit your needs. We cover all angles of candidate profiling, including assessing everything from behavioural styles to personality traits, helping you hire the right people, and creating an engaged and motivated workforce.

Get in touch today to find out more about what we can do for your organisation.

Article by: Lulene Adendorff

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