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Taking the search process to the next level

October 21, 2019

The beginning of psychometric testing

Psychometrics is the science of psychological assessment and measures individual differences in abilities, aptitudes, attitudes, behaviour, and intelligence. This form of testing is not a new concept, and although it may have appeared ‘off the grid’ in recent years, it is continually proving its worth in the executive search sector, proven by its 10-15% increase in usage each year.

Dating as far back as Ancient China, where it was used to understand armies and positions of power, the tests as we know them today, were formed by Francis Galton in the 1880’s as part of his work to discover the origins of intelligence and his creation of a framework to measure the human mind. It is a critical tool for hiring managers across multiple industries in the modern world, and currently 75% of Fortune 500 companies use psychometric testing for recruitment purposes.

How does it work and what results can you expect?

The aim of this test is to provide a guideline and insight into how a candidate will handle specific responsibilities and situations in a workplace environment, allowing the company to tailor it to their work culture and goals. The results allow employers to have an insight into a person’s deeper psychological motivations, which are not always uncovered in the initial interview process.

Psychometric tests allow an extra layer of credibility to the selection process, to help avoid pursuing candidates that may pull out of the process further in, or to start the role and then find they or the company are not suitable for each other. Certain psychometric providers, such as Thomas International, issue a report that is concise yet informative and gives a great deal of analysis to support the hiring manager in making a valid decision.

How can we use this testing?

We see the true value that can come from psychometric testing to help clients understand candidates better. The Personality Profile Analysis Assessment (PPA), for example, is a short 8-minute test that measures personality and behavioural patterns at work.

This is in no way a deciding factor as to whether a professional should be hired. However, it can equip clients to support a candidate’s strengths, areas of improvement, inherent behaviours and motivations that make them tick.

For senior executive hires, emotional and social intelligence play a vital role in determining success in a company, with studies showing there is a continuous link between EQ and effective leadership.

Psychometric testing should not be used in isolation and is not a way to eliminate professionals that do not fit a certain mould, but it is an undeniably effective way to offer an extra layer of unbiased, regulated and scientifically credible insights to the overall selection process.

For more information on the matter or to find out about our services please contact Matthew Eames, Managing Partner; matthew.eames@eamespartnership.com.