5 January 2020 posted by Recovery Partners

Recruiting new employees can be a costly and time-consuming process for organisations, that can still result in the wrong candidate being chosen. You’ll not only be paying a salary to someone who may not be performing to expectations, but you might also incur additional training costs, employee morale and reputation costs. A bad hire drains energy and time and can have a negative impact on workplace culture. While you’re busy managing personality conflicts, your business and culture is likely to suffer.

Many organisations in Australia continue to rely solely on academic achievement and work experience when selecting new employees. Whilst both can provide valuable information, they don’t always provide an accurate picture. As many psychologists who have studied this topic know, job tenure does not predict job performance. Furthermore, the way a candidate presents during an interview could be very different to how they act on-the-job.

This is where psychometric assessments come in to play. The tests provide measurable, objective data and can provide additional information regarding candidate capability to perform specific tasks. Today, over 18 percent of organisations use psychometric tests in their hiring process, and based on the ability of such tests to increase the predictive validity of a candidates potential for success, it is no wonder more and more are adopting this into their recruitment strategy.

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What is psychometric testing?

Psychometric testing is a standardised and scientific method designed to objectively assess a candidate’s suitability for a particular role based on their cognitive capability and personality—traits which can be difficult to assess during a standard interview.

The tests are structured to accurately evaluate a candidate’s capacity to process information, work with others, and cope with the particular stressors of a job. By leveraging psychometric testing, you can determine if a candidates’ capabilities match those needed to perform specific tasks associated with the role you are recruiting for.


How does it work?

Psychometric tests are usually conducted on location, under supervision, and using a computer. The use of computer-based assessments has made it easy for candidates to take the tests over the internet, from their home which can help create a fast and efficient process.  

The assessments can measure a range of attributes including; motivation, intelligence and overall personality profile. Psychologists interpret the results based on their knowledge of links between these traits and job performance. The tests are usually tailored to specific tasks and industries to ensure all required skills are effectively screened.  

For high risk and more demanding roles, the assessment process can be scaled from basic initial screenings to high-level assessments. When necessary, candidates can be asked to take more than one test, or participate in an interview with a trained psychologist.  

Some examples of what is measured include:

  • Personality and how it aligns with the role/ organisation
  • Leadership skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Orientation to teamwork
  • Ability to follow instructions and work independently
  • Ability to manage stress, pressure, and work demands
  • Safety behaviours

Rather than just relying on a candidate’s appearance, education and previous experience, psychometric tests allow you can obtain a complete picture making it easy to determine whether a person will thrive within your organisations culture. They could just be what you need to get your hiring right.

However, before you rush and incorporate the assessments into your hiring process, there are a number of factors you should consider to ensure that you use the right tests and in the right way.  


Factors to consider:

1. Know the law

Keep compliance in mind when adding psychometric tests into your pre-employment screening strategy. You must ensure that you are not inadvertently discriminating against certain groups of individuals. You should also ensure that the person administering the assessments meets all the standards of competence set by Australian Psychological Society (APS) for test use.

2. Know your business needs

If you don’t have well-defined job roles and measures of performance, psychometric testing will be less effective and accurate in predicting the best candidate. Preparing with a solid understanding of the demands of the role, the team enviornment, and the organisation will help get the desired results. 

3. Reliability and validity

When implementing psychometric assessment in your organisation, you should make sure that the tests you choose are reliable and have been scientifically validated. Each test should measure what it’s intended to measure and produce similar results every time.

In addition, you should obtain the informed consent of your candidates before providing them with tests. Make sure they understand how the data they provide will be used and who will be provided with access to the results.


Leveraging psychometric testing

Psychometric tests that are implemented in the right conditions can be genuine and reliable indicators of future job performance, resilience, cultural fit, and engagement. When used correctly, they can significantly increase the chances that new employees will succeed.

At Recovery Partners, we provide psychometric testing for a range of industries. Our team of qualified psychologists is always on hand and can help you review your job roles and recommend the most suitable psychometric assessments ensuring that you hire the candidate most suited to your company culture.

For more information, you can make enquiries here. Alternatively, our consultants love to have a chat, so go ahead and give us a call on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789).

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Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au