Remember my story about hiring Norman the sales guru? Norman likes doing sales – he relishes the social contact, the challenge, the chase. This is what makes him good at sales. Psychometric testing can identify who is suited to your job and who isn’t. But it goes deeper than that.
Firstly the Role of PSyChometric Testing in Recruitment
As Steve Jobs says: “Recruiting is just finding the needle in the haystack”. Psychometric testing is a scientifically validated tool that you can use to save you time finding that needle in the haystack. And to stretch the metaphor; to make sure you don’t find the “wrong needle”.
The technically correct way to use psychometric tests in recruitment is:
- Define what behaviour types are better for the job you are hiring for. (Shortcut tip - test existing successful job holders because they've already proven that they suit the job),
- Test Job candidates and compare how closely they match the ideal psychometric profile,
- For job candidates that test differently to the ideal profile, ask interview questions specifically designed to test if concerns raised from a "personality" mismatch actually manifest in capability differences. Note: just because someone is not an ideal psychometric match for the job does not mean they are a bad fit for the job. Because the behaviour profile only identifies tendencies / preferences, in reality some people are exceptionally good at adapting their behaviour to the situation and have developed excellent compensatory techniques for "weaknesses". A psychometric mismatch should never disqualify a candidate from a job - it should only give you an additional data point of concern to investigate. And the opposite is also true - just because someone has an ideal psychometric match to the job does not mean that they will be a good hire!
But I also know that not many recruiters have the skills or time to follow this ideal process and so a perfectly workable alternative solution is:
- est job candidates
- Analyse the report to see if any potential concerns are raised
- Speak to job candidate to ascertain if any of these potential concerns are actual problems for the job they have to do. As above this isn't a hard data point, it's just a potential warning flag.
WHEN TO DO PSYCHOMETRIC TESTING IN THE HIRING PROCESS?
Good psychometric profiles cost money. Personally I don't believe it's worth spending the money early in the recruitment process (but some firms have the budget). And the test isn't the final check (the final check is the reference check). That means you should be using psychometric testing as fits into your recruitment process somewhere around 2nd interviews and before final interviews. This is because then you will still have time to address concerns raised.
Also it's a good tool to help you decided between your short list candidates. There's not much point in waiting until you're down to a single candidate because then you're not choosing between strong candidates. Instead you only have a single candidate which means you have a situation of scarcity. This scarcity distorts your decision making.
Psychometric Testing : More than Job Matching
In my opinion behavior profiles are like instruction manuals for people. Excuse the comparison but you wouldn’t want to buy an expensive new machine if it didn’t come with an operating manual. So why would you want to hire a new member of staff and not know “how they work”. Now people aren’t machines so you might say the comparison isn’t fair. You’re right; people are much more complicated than machines and more likely to cause problems! If only managing employees was as easy as using an iPhone, only it isn’t; Managing is hard. And people are different, what works with one person doesn’t work with another person. To continue pushing metaphors, imagine if every iPhone worked in a different way.
Make Managing Easy, Use an Instruction Manual
A behavior profile will not only tell you who is suited to a job but will also tell you:
- What motivates and demotivates your employees,
- How your employees communicate,
- How your employees respond to pressure,
- What your employees strengths are and
- What potential limitations your employees have
This will make managing your employees so much easier. You can get more proven techniques to make managing easy with the www.boss.camp program. It will show you what they didn't teach you in school about people management in just an hour a week.
What Psychometric test to use?
You've probably heard of names like Myers Briggs and DISC profiles. Choosing a test can be challenging. My experience is that there are a lot of good (reliable, accurate) personality models. I recommend the DISC system because:
- It's validated (tested as consistent, accurate, reliable)
- It's simple enough to put into practice - you don't need to be a psychologist,
- Yet powerful enough to provide practical, useful recommendations
There are many service providers of varying quality. There are many service providers of varying quality. Pick one that is reputable, accurate and most importantly provides actionable recommendations. I have researched providers and I buy DISC assessments in bulk and I resell these over here: CLICK TO GET DISC ASSESSMENTS
Next Steps - 3 ways to put psychometric tests into action:
It's easy to experiment with using psychometric tests in the workplace. My top three recommended actions to get going are:
- Take a psychometric test yourself - it's a good gauge to see how they work, where they're accurate, what their limitations are. Personally I believe it's a self discovery journey to better define your strengths, how people perceive you and what tendencies could be holding you back.
- Find out how to apply behavior models in practice. This can be as an introduction in everyday life to communicate better, understand different people better and have better relationships (DISC101). Or to find out how to use behavior models to better manage and motivate your employees (DISC102).
- Give your employees (and prospective employees) a psychometric test. This is a good way to match the right person to the job. And it's a great way to find out how to better motivate your employees and what their strengths and weaknesses are.
People are different which is wonderful but one of the reasons why managing is so difficult. Different people have different strengths and matching the right person to the job is the single most important thong for you to get right as a manager. Psychometric testing is a powerful people management tool for in staff selection, motivation and retention.
Helpful resources related to this article:
I don't provide Psychometric testing. But what I do do is that I’ve tested service providers and negotiated bulk purchasing deals with them to provide the best deal for you. Validated DISC psychometric test is available here.
Using personality models in everyday life for better communications and relationships. Understanding your own profile and how people perceive you (DISC101 - DISC for everyone)
Getting more from your employees by adapting your management techniques to different people. To better motivate, manage and retain employees. Better understand your employees strengths, weaknesses and natural tendencies (DISC102 - DISC for Managers)
Do you have any comments, tips or suggestions about using psychometric testing to improve the quality of new hires? Please help the rest of us out and share in the comments below.
The Hiring and Interviewing Series
This is part of the Interviewing and Hiring Series. This series covers how managers can increase employee performance through hiring better employees. And how managers can avoid common hiring mistakes.
Topics in the Series Include:
Other Relevant Resources:
Power Interview Pack: The complete set of interview questions to get the best candidate for the job. Increase employee performance through hiring the best staff and avoiding bad hires. Link here.
Hiring for Performance: How to hire the best employees and improve employee performance, engagement and retention. Link here.
Employee Onboarding for Performance: If employee onboarding goes wrong, your new hire may leave you in the lurch or become a demotivated low performer. But motivate and integrate your new hire well and you will have a happy, productive team member. Link here.
If you think about it, the job of a Boss is to get people to do stuff. But getting people to do what you want must be one of the toughest things in the world. That’s why WWW.BOSS.CAMP is about making managing easy in just an hour a week. The program includes topics such as:
- How to hire for performance,
- How to motivate employees,
- What are bad employee motivators,
- What you must do as a manager but isn't on your job description,
- How leaders get power,