So in your opinion is psychometric profiling of any value or is it another black art shrouded in mystery?
Whether you are recruiting, managing a team or looking to develop personally, psychometric profiling is an available tool to you and your business to help you identify the right candidate for the job, or how teams could work better together or what training an individual may need.
There seem to be a lot of companies out there offering various versions of profiling for small businesses, which one is the right one to choose?
If, like me, you find this a bit of a minefield and are not sure where to start, the following article may be of interest to you to help you better understand the options that are out there for you. It is written by Lynn Tulip and provides you with the Essential Things You Need To Know About Psychometric Tools.
Psychometric tools for selection and recruitment
Psychometric tools, tests or instruments are all the same.
Using psychometric tests in an objective way is an excellent way to assess how well candidates will perform in a role. For recruiters and employers it is essential to recognise which applicants not only meet the job specification and have the abilities to carry out the job but also fit into the company and work well within a team.
Psychometric tools can help you sort the wheat from the chaff.
‘A psychological test is any procedure on the basis of which inferences are made concerning a person’s capacity, propensity or liability to act, react, experience, or to structure or order thought or behaviour in particular ways.’ – The British Psychological Society
From the employer and recruiter’s perspective it’s important to ensure that the candidates’ results are used in conjunction with other information collected around the recruitment project to base the selection decision. The results of any psychometric test should not be used as a stand alone tool for recruitment; remember that the CV and interview are also part of the assessment process.
What psychometric tools should you use?
Firstly it’s essential and critical to ensure that you know what you are wanting to assess. So what’s the position? What are the competencies and behaviours required in the job description and person specification? Once you have identified these then you are able to select the right test/s.
Next, you need to find a qualified practitioner who is licensed and able to administer and interpret the tests. Remember too that is good practice to give robust feedback to all applicants that complete the exercises.
Working with your professional you can then decide if you are going to measure ability or personality or indeed both. A combination of exercises is the most thorough way to measure elements of aptitude, personality, intelligence, motivation or behaviours.
Different psychometric tools for aptitude and ability
1. Numerical reasoning – basic numerical data is presented in various forms, such as tables, graphs, problems and number sequences. Questions rely on basic arithmetic and evaluate the candidate’s mathematical intuition
2. Verbal reasoning / Critical thinking – text passages are presented and candidates need to respond commonly with a “True/False/Cannot Say”. These tests require critical reasoning, firm grasp of English and good argumentation skills. They may include vocabulary questions and sentence completion exercises.
3. Abstract reasoning / Inductive reasoning / Diagrammatic reasoning – candidates will be asked to recognise logical patterns through sets of shapes
4. Accuracy and speed tests – demanding both accuracy and speed, these exercises look for the candidate to identify differences and mistakes in data.
Psychometric tools for identifying personality, discovering motivation and measuring potential
There are a wide range of personality questionnaires which offer recruiters the opportunity to discover behaviours, traits and motivation alongside potential and personality. Once again it is imperative to find a qualified consultant to administer, interpret and feedback.
These tools are specifically called questionnaires since there is no right or wrong answer. However from the profiles it is possible for you to identify how well the candidate will fit in your company; what their attitude is to risk; how they relate and communicate with others; what their preferred style of working is and other such important character traits.
1. Personality & Motivation questionnaires – untimed exercises which have a long list of questions with a choice of 2 or more answers; often the questions are repeated with similar wording looking at consistency
2. Situational judgement – these are often role specific exercises that are designed to identify how candidates would react or respond to real life work-like situations
Again, it is not advisable to make a decision on selecting a candidate from their profile however using the results in conjunction with a tailored interview will give you a good deal more background and build your objective data so you can formulate a sound decision.
Psychometric tools are a quick, effective and often automated way to help sift and select the best candidates. More often than not your candidates can complete them through an online portal which is easily accessed. The tests themselves should be from reputable publishers and be valid and relevant for the purpose. Results will be given back to you and the candidates as a normed score and relative to a comparison group. For example:
If a test had 10 questions and the candidate got 8 correct; it would not necessarily mean that they had scored 80%. It would depend on the overall results of the comparison group. This reported scoring means that candidates can be compared fairly and equitably.
Alongside selection and recruitment, there are other workplace and personal solutions for using psychometric tools and these would be:
1. Talent management and promotion
2. Team development
3. Personal development
4. Career counselling and development
Article from guest blogger – Lynn Tulip
Lynn Tulip is a BPS level 2 accredited career management & HR specialist, highly experienced in the administration, interpretation and feedback of a wide range of published psychometric tools. She is author of Get That Job and Can’t Get That Job.
The UK’s financial sector is systematically failing SMEs, which could provide the greatest source of innovation, jobs and growth, according to a submission to the Independent Banking Commission (ICB) by Will Hutton executive vice chair of The Work Foundation.
His paper, co-authored with Paul Nightingale from SPRU at Sussex University, shows firms with the greatest potential for high growth are the most likely to face financial restraints on their growth. This is leading to a “discouraged economy in which innovation, investment and dynamism are stymied by a self-serving and inflexible banking sector.”
OH services can play an important role in helping to maintain workplace health and wellbeing in this sector. Anecdotal evidence suggests that small businesses can receive huge benefits from the provision of readily available OH advice, providing there is awareness of the issues that motivate the SME and the ability to motivate and educate the small business in seeing the bigger picture.
While SMEs experience the same types of difficulties as larger businesses, there are a number of differences when focusing upon the OH needs of this sector.
Subject to Parliamentary approval, the Default Retirement Age (DRA) is being phased out over a transitional period running until 30 September 2011. Details will be set out in Regulations coming into force on 6 April 2011.
The last day employees can be compulsorily retired using the DRA is 30 September 2011, so the last day to provide 6 months’ notice required by the DRA provisions is therefore the 30 March 2011.
Employers can still use the DRA between 30 March and before 6 April 2011, but if they do so they must use the short notice provisions, under which an employee could claim compensation (subject to a maximum of eight weeks’ wages).
Employers will not be able to issue new notifications of retirement using the DRA on or after 6 April 201
Read full article and download full ACAS Guide: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3203
Real Business asked entrepreneurs for their views on the government’s decision today to phase out the default retirement age. Most business owners have given the decision the thumbs up.
Glenys Berd, MD of online footwear retailer LoveThoseShoes.com, says it’s an “excellent move”: “Whether someone retires should be about their ability to continue to do the job, not some arbitrary thing such as age,” she says. “However, there has to be better mechanism to allow employers to force retirement where someone is no longer capable, it’s a very difficult area.”
Read more opinions: http://realbusiness.co.uk/employment/retirement_age_change_the_reactions
The survey found that 76% of businesses are optimistic about the coming year, with more than three quarters predicting either a more prosperous year, or the same level of success as 2010.
According to the poll of over 2,100 firms conducted by Orange, 74% of small companies are considering introducing flexible working options in 2011, citing staff efficiency as the main driver.
British firms will face considerable uncertainty and greater risk of tribunal claims if the government fails to tackle the unintended consequences of scrapping the Default Retirement Age (DRA), a leading business group has cautioned.
According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the government needs to urgently clarify its position on retirement rules and how it will respond to businesses concerns, before it scraps the DRA next year.
Despite announcing that the DRA will be phased out from April, the government has not yet produced any guidance or draft regulations to clarify for employers or staff what the new legislative framework will look like. The removal of the DRA will be one of the most significant changes to employment law in 2011.
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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is raising concerns that the additional cost to the UK economy – estimated to be some £2.5bn, or £7,140 per new mom – could act as a deterrent for small firms to take on new members of staff.
Under the current maternity and paternity system operated in the UK, an employer would pay an employee on maternity out of business funds and claim the full cost back from the government. The worry is now that these costs will have to be shared.
For a small business with a full-time employee on an average wage of £25,428, the new proposals could therefore add an extra £7,140 to payroll costs.
Read full article: http://realbusiness.co.uk/employment/eu_maternity_plans_will_cost_smes_7000