Hiring the right people has always been one of the most important tasks in any business. And it’s not getting any easier. The Great Resignation has led to unprecedented numbers of workers around the world leaving their jobs, dissatisfied with stagnant wages, job dissatisfaction, COVID -19 safety concerns and lack of work flexibility.
This has changed the dynamics of hiring and increased competition for top talent. Take, for example, the situation in the U.S., where an incredible 4.54 million people quit their jobs in March of this year, bringing the number of job openings to a record 11.55 million. It takes an average of 36-42 days to fill one of these jobs, costing an average of $1,633 – a huge time and financial investment.
Competition for the right employees is intensified by the growing skills gap caused by trends such as e-commerce, automation and digitalisation, where those with in-demand skills can be more selective about their roles they take. It’s not just about skills alignment; it’s also about company culture, as people want to work for employers whose values they respect. A Flexjobs study found that the most common reason for quitting is poor company culture.
With so many people leaving their jobs, it’s clear that something in the hiring process needs to be corrected, and hiring managers are under pressure to get it right. In the age of data-driven insights and analytics, many now recognise the value of psychometric testing for hiring.
The benefits of psychometric testing
Psychometric tests are used to assess applicants’ skills, personality, knowledge, and potential. They provide an objective, standardised approach to this process. Some hiring managers prefer unstructured interviews, where the interview process evolves naturally. This is understandable because it reflects the organic way people normally meet and connect with each other.
Regardless of the professionalism of the interviewer, however, this process is inherently subject to bias, and an applicant may be favoured for a number of personal reasons. This bias may be unconscious, such as a preference for individuals with similar educational or social backgrounds, or conscious, such as sexism or racism.
One of the benefits of psychometric tests is that they eliminate bias, “gut feeling” based assessments, and the tendency to connect with people about common interests, cultures, etc. They provide quantitative, comparable data about a job applicant’s suitability.
How job candidates see psychometric tests
It’s never too early to start building trust among employees in the corporate culture. By using psychometric testing, you can even start during the hiring process. Comparatively evaluating applicants based on tests they’ve all taken gives employees a sense that the process is fair and provides a solid basis for justifying your decision.
When applicants believe they’ve been given a fair chance, they’re less discouraged if they don’t get the job. Conversely, the person you’ve selected for the job will feel that they were chosen on the basis of merit and ability, which will help them begin their career with you with a positive attitude.
Building a dream team
A key benefit of using standardised tests to assess the potential of workers is that they provide a comparative assessment of the skills of team members. If you’re assembling a team or assigning a team to a particular project, a database of psychometric reports provides an overview of the qualities of the workers so that you can select those whose skills and personalities complement each other. Or, if your current workforce lacks a suitable candidate, you can use it to speed up the search for a new employee.
At a time when hierarchies are breaking down and employees are increasingly working in cross-functional teams to respond quickly and effectively to changing business needs, this type of dynamic, data-driven approach can help drive business agility.
Establishing your metrics
There’s little point in evaluating employee performance potential if you’ve not determined what good employee performance means in your organisation. These will be similar, if not identical, to your key performance indicators. Examine your business requirements and find out which quantifiable measures of employee performance meet those requirements. Then you can look at more nuanced characteristics that fit the position, team, company culture, or industry.
For example, a leadership position is likely to require someone with good communication skills, confidence, stress tolerance, and natural leadership qualities, while a programmer may need patience, logical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
Pick the right psychometric test
Once you’ve established your performance measures and desired personality traits, you can select a test, or series of tests, that measure both technical and personality traits. Choosing the right test is critical. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, for example, is an exploratory self-reporting process that helps people make informed decisions about their personality type. It’s useful for self development, but not for hiring.
Hogan Assessments, on the other hand, are about your reputation and how you are perceived by others, so it gives a more holistic impression of how you are likely to be seen in the workplace. Hogan measures personality traits, derailment risk, and core values, providing a more accurate indicator of job performance.
The real cost of not using psychometric testing
Precise indicators of job performance are critical to avoid the cost of making the wrong hiring decision. Companies struggle enough to fill their vacancies and retain talent without worrying about replacing unsuitable employees. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates the cost of a bad hire to be at least 30% of what that person is expected to earn in the first year. That’s a huge loss, not to mention the impact on team morale and cohesion.
A versatile recruitment option
Although many companies use psychometric testing late in the hiring process, there’s no hard and fast rule as to when it should be used. The use of psychometric testing can help provide deeper insights into candidates that may not have been revealed during preliminary interviews or assessments, to distinguish between similarly promising candidates, or to objectively confirm a decision that’s already been made.
However, they can also be used to screen large numbers of applicants, saving recruiters time and money. It is often best to use them in conjunction with other assessments, including interviews, to reduce the risk of applicants engaging in impression management, where they present an idealised or unrepresentative version of themselves on the test.
Are you looking for a psychometric assessment solution?
With more than four decades’ experience, Talent Select uses a range of psychometric tests to help businesses choose the right people based on an objective appraisal of their abilities, personalities and leadership potential. Visit talentselect.com for more information.