We spend a large portion of our life in the workplace, so finding a role that suits your personality, values and interests can have a significant impact on our well-being and happiness – Laura Harrison.
What do we talk about when we talk about psychometrics?
Laura Harrison is the Head of Psychology at Psycruit who delivers personality and ability assessments, as well as behavioural assessments, also known as situational judgement tests. When it comes to psychometrics, Harrison says, the scientific part is important to bear in mind; that is what distinguishes a psychometric personality questionnaire, from a personality quiz you might see at the back of a magazine. A psychometric refers to a scientific measure of a psychological attribute. That attribute could be knowledge, skills, behaviour, values, attitude or personality.
“Our personality is our preferred or typical style of approach that we are likely to take. If this is not aligned with the performance required in the role, it is unlikely that it will be a good fit for us in the long run.”
How are psychometric assessments beneficial for recruitment?
As human beings, we are bad at making judgements about people, due to a variety of cognitive biases. Our judgement of someone´s ability or personality is likely to be skewed by these biases. Many companies are there-fore using psychometrics to measures these attributes, since it offers an objective measurement, devoid of bias. According to Harrison, it all starts with a clear definition of what it is you’re looking for. What are the attributes, abilities and soft skills needed for someone to be successful in this role? Then it is a case of understanding the most objective, fair and effective way to measure these things.
“Having multiple forms of assessment is good practice to ensure your decision is never based solely on one result. These two things can help a business ensure they get the right person, doing the right job.”
What is the catch?
Still there are those who feel uncomfortable using psychometric assessments, and maybe you are one of them thinking “there must be a catch”. Now and then, Harrison meets people with concerns over whether they work, if candidate can fake it or saying that they are not an accurate representation of the individual.
“As psychometric test publishers, we are held to really high standards when it comes to managing these risks. I believe some people are not aware of this.”
However, misinterpretation of a result could be a potential risk during the evaluation, if let’s say the evaluator interprets a personality scale preference to be an indicator of ability. In other words, it’s important that you know how to make accurate interpretations if you are going to evaluate a person’s responses. Harrison continues by emphasizing one of the most crucial parts of psychometric test design: to ensure the assessment has “validity”, i.e. ensuring the assessment is fit for the purpose for which it is being used.
“The more closely linked the assessment is to the actual demands of the role, the more valid it will be. Customising the test design is one of the simplest and most effective ways of achieving high levels of validity within your assessments.”
The landscape is changing rapidly – how does this effect recruitment processes?
Changes in the job market means changes in the hiring process. Employers look for candidates whose values and attitudes matches their company and candidates want to find a workplace that suits their personality. Finding a role that suits your personality, values and interests can have a significant impact on our well-being and happiness, Harrison says. She considers the core purpose of delivering psychometric assessments and creating bespoke solutions for clients, is helping individuals and organisations to find happiness at work.
With new methods to find the most suitable candidates with the right qualities, does this mean that traditional job applications such as cover letters will no longer be relevant? According to Harrison, cover letters will still have a considerable part in the recruitment process, but the way in which we use them and the emphasis that is put on them will continue to dramatically reduce.
“I think people believe CV´s help them see candidates as human beings, rather than just a “score”. The problem is, there isn’t enough information on a CV for us to really get to know that person, but there is lots of information that might trigger our biases and create misperceptions.”
Being an expert at developing and implementing psychometrics, Harrison knows that soft skills are far more indicative of future job performance compared to hard skills. She believes the importance of soft skills will continue to grow and that these attributes will always remain crucial, even in those jobs where hard skills might seem as more desirable.
“Having an appetite for learning, a motivation to develop and an adaptability to change, are all examples of soft skills which will affect performance in any type of role. As employers start to prioritise soft skills even more, it will be challenging for those recruiters who is still taking a more hard skills focused approach. This requires recruiters to really understand their candidates, and how to present them to clients effectively.”
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Psycruit is an online assessments platform who delivers psychometric assesments that are used to build a more well-rounded view of a candidate’s personality in relation to the role being applied to. Studentwork use these assesments in all our processes to identify and measure individuals personality traits. Being better informed about the candidates needs and motivations allows us to make better decisions and provide our customers with tangible ROI.
Do you want to know more about soft skills and how you can include personality assesment in your recruitment? Find out how we togehter with a publicly listed Nordic company implement a modern web-based recruitment system, enabling continuous improvement and ensuring that the company remained ahead of their competitors.