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Occupational and psychometric testing

We offer a complete psychometric and occupational testing service from our qualified test users with industry standard qualifications (based on a syllabus of assessments developed by the British Psychological Society). These qualifications mean our consultants can use psychometric tests published by a wide range of UK test publishers.

Psychometric tests can be useful for recruitment, training, development and coaching.

Psychometric testing in recruitment

Hiring or promoting the wrong person for the job can be a costly mistake. Some have estimated the cost to be around 25% of the individual’s basic annual salary; but this doesn’t take into account the management time taken to interview them, handle any performance issues and manage them out of the business. Nor does it take into account the reputational damage and drop in productivity that is associated with poor recruitment decisions. Even if an employee has the skills to perform the role, personality clashes can lead to a worrying drop in morale for all concerned. Further costs are incurred if a temporary member of staff is required to cover the work whilst a replacement is recruited.

Given these potential costs it’s surprising that typically only limited resources are attached to the recruitment and selection process in many organisations. Quite often, recruiting managers rely on their ‘instinct’ or ‘a gut feeling’ when recruiting without gaining any objective understanding of whether the individual has the skills and ability to perform the role they are recruiting for.

One way of reducing the chances of hiring or promoting the wrong person is to invest in the use of Occupational  or Psychometric Testing. This is broadly divided into two types: Ability Tests and Psychometric Assessments.

Occupational testing

The first group examines people’s skills at performing certain tasks. Examples include tests on verbal and numerical reasoning, comprehension, typing speed, not to mention the ability to use IT packages such as Word and Excel. Whilst these tests might look simple, it’s amazing the number of people who struggle with basic numeracy or that are IT illiterate. Wouldn’t it be better to weed these people out during the recruitment process before you actually hire them?

Psychometric assessments

Psychometric assessments attempt to quantify aspects of an individual’s behavioural style. For instance, the degree to which an individual is introverted vs extroverted, or calm vs anxious. Various different tools exist (OPQ, Thomas International (DISC), Eras’s Quest Profiler) but in general the candidate completes an online questionnaire from which a personality profile is produced. These can be used as a powerful tool in the recruitment process and provides avenues for further questioning.

For example, if you’re interviewing, you may want to ask further questions if the profile of a potential sales manager indicates that the candidate tends not to be at ease in social situations, prefers not to engage in activities that involve trying to convince or influence others, and may be sensitive to criticism. Used in conjunction with other methods, such as probing interview techniques and a competency based interview, these assessment tools can be a useful addition to the recruiter’s arsenal.

Psychometric testing for employees

The use of psychometric assessments doesn’t stop at the recruitment stage. For managers, gaining an understanding of how aspects of an individual’s behavioural style will affect his or her performance at work can be very useful.   It enables managers to be able to create project teams in which the team members’ working styles are more likely to complement each other rather than lead to potential clashes.

It also gives both the individual and the manager an awareness of potential areas for development, such as assertiveness training or influencing skills.   Whilst it’s not possible to change someone’s behavioural style, being able to have an awareness of both your own and others’ strengths and limitations can only be a good thing.

For very little investment, Occupational Testing provides managers with a powerful tool to better understand their most valuable resource: their people.

For more information on how we can help with psychometric and occupational testing in recruitment, training, coaching or team development, please call us on 01271 859 267.