By Fleur Hellemans

Following the madness of the covid-19 many businesses have initiated a “hiring freeze”. This is to be expected during a time in which economic uncertainly reigns supreme and the outlook for the future can only be described as nothing short of turbid, especially given the number of second-wave outbreaks that have arisen.

For those companies that are hiring, a different type of challenge has arisen - one of separating the great candidates from the good candidates, especially at the shortlist stage.

Presently we find ourselves in a situation where the market is full of very good candidates, but (as always) trying to find the right candidate with the right capability, drive and cultural fit is an enduring problem. But part of the solution is quite straightforward, and it’s around adding psychometrics into the mix.

Here are five reasons why using psychometrics are more important today:

It’s science. You can’t argue with the science. Developing a psychometric test is not the kind of endeavour that can happen overnight. Constructing a proper, valid and reliable psychometric assessment is a whole other world of complexity. Organisational Psychologists have spent over five decades researching, creating and rigorously testing psychometric assessments that are robust enough to predict when and why a given person will be successful or not in a given job. To be taken seriously, the test developers have numerous hoops to jump through. This involves conducting an intricate statistical analysis to determine which items should be eliminated from or retained in the item pool and whether additional items need to be developed. Another challenge is ensuring that psychometric assessments remain up to date and relevant. This usually means that tests need to be continually updated over time, based on feedback and new research in the field.

They can help with the second interview. A robust process usually means that you’ll end up interviewing potential candidates on more than one occasion. Want some help with that second interview? Ensure you get them to carry out a psychometric assessment beforehand. They can reveal, amongst other things, potential strengths, weaknesses, behaviours and personality. If you’re using a good organisational development consultant, they’ll be able to provide you with a list of tailored questions specific to that candidate that will enable you to get a better understanding of their preferences, capability and cultural fit.

Can help with reference checking. Just like the instance above, getting a candidate to carry out psychometric assessments will give you areas to explore with their referees. Good reference checking is more than just asking “would you hire them again?”. Having a tailored list of questions specific to the candidate enables you to carry out reference checks that glean useful, relevant information.

Can offer insights that you might miss on cover letter & interview. Sometimes you may miss some signs or indicators that someone is ideal (or not) for the job. This can be especially true in situations where there are several parties involved in the interview process. But by getting the candidate to sit an assessment, more information is revealed. Coupled with follow up interviews and reference checking, the margin for error is greatly reduced and the results will help to reinforce your good judgement. I don’t need to tell you about the cost of a bad hire!

Offers insights around cultural fit, motivation and capability. Is the candidate really motivated in areas important to the role? Sure they have the qualifications but will they fit the culture of your organisation? What about their drive? Assessments can help and will offer insights that interviews and CV checking will not. Finally, if you’re unsure of a candidate’s capability to be able to do the job, there are assessments for that too.

In conclusion, making the right decision in todays market is tough. A combination of both fiscal and time pressure means that there is even more demand to get it right. Whilst it is not easy, making use of the right tools for the job can alleviate a tremendous amount of uncertainty, and that’s where psychometric assessments can help. If you’d like to know more about how assessments can help you and your hiring processes, please get in touch.

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