Psychometric and Skills testing

Getting it right first time

In a competitive economic climate it is increasingly important for all employers to ensure that their selection procedures are accurate first time, every time.

The high cost of recruitment, the damaging effects of rapid staff turnover, and the inaccuracy of a typical unstructured interview all highlight the need for accurate selection methods. Testing in its many shapes and forms offers an objective insight into candidates and helps provide a breadth of information not attainable in the interview alone.

Which test?


The psychometric market can be an expensive minefield for the uninitiated. There are two main types of psychometric test:

a)     Ability/aptitude tests - these tests measure ability and or aptitude in certain areas such as verbal, numerical, critical and spatial reasoning. These tests have right and wrong answers and so measure how well a candidate performs in a particular area

b)     Personality profiles - these are not tests in that they do not have right or wrong answers. They provide information about behavioural traits in particular circumstances giving indications of:

  • Likely reactions to stress
  • Leadership qualities
  • Introversion/extroversion
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Problem solving
  • Reliability etc

There are different tests for different job levels, age groups, company types etc so it is important to choose the most suitable

Reliability and validity

A test is valid if it measures what it says it will. All the better-known tests have validation reports as evidence of their measurement performance. Avoid using tests which have not been properly validated. Reliability refers to the ability of a test to accurately predict performance. Again the better known tests have standard norm groups for a great many job types. You can also create customised norms based on successful performers in your own organisation .

Properly used psychometric tests are powerful assessment tools. However inexpert administration and interpretation can negate the benefits they provide to an organisation as well as having potentially damaging effects on the individual. It is not possible to put all your candidates under a microscope but psychometrics offer the next best thing.

Attwood Cozens works with qualified, accredited testing organisations including SHL, Myers-Briggs and Opra and we are able to advise clients on the best tests to use in particular circumstances.

Auckland University also has comprehensive information on psychometric testing including useful links to websites for sample tests and further information.

 

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