Recruitment & Retention Articles

After you've spent resources onboarding your new employees, the true task becomes retaining them. Finding top talent and keeping them around is what makes most growing businesses competitive. New technology and the changing workforce is shifting the age-old processes HR managers have relied on.


How Psychometric Testing Can Improve Your Recruitment and Selection Process

07 December 2017
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Recruitment and selection is never easy because it invariably involves trusting a new person to join your team and do the job before you know them. Psychometric testing can lessen the guesswork of hiring and onboarding new staff.

Your recruitment and selection process, no matter how much success you’ve had with it in the past, will always have an element of randomness, of chance. There’s no avoiding it. You don’t have a crystal ball to sense how a new employee will perform in your organization, department, or team. There are simply too many variables to control to ensure that every hire is the right one.

However, you’ll never grow if you don’t recruit, so you have to take the risk and trust yourself and your HR department (if you have one) to help train and set up every new employee for success from day one. Some businesses are testing potential employees to try to eliminate some of the variance and guesswork that always comes with the hiring process.

What is Psychometric Testing?

Psychometric testing scores test subjects on objective cognitive skills, such as general intelligence, verbal and numerical skills, and abstract reasoning. These tests are designed to rate participants on their ability to perform the cognitive functions that a position entails. You wouldn’t hire someone who can’t lift a box for the shipping department. Psychometric testing helps you figure out which of your potential job candidates can do the mental heavy lifting their position requires.

Tailor Your Own Test

You can find psychometric tests for basic cognitive skills your position requires, but you don’t need a degree in Psychology to add to or change the test to better fit your needs. Think about what you will be asking your new recruits to do on a daily basis and try to pose those problems to them in the test. The more you customize your test, the better it will help your recruitment and selection process.

Pitfalls of Psychometric Testing in Your Recruitment and Selection Process

The benefits of psychometric testing include being able to conduct assessments on a large scale in a relatively short time. You’ll know instantly which of your candidates is up to the job. However, even customized psychometric testing isn’t perfect. There will always be an element of chance when bringing on new talent.

Psychometric testing isn’t always completely fair. There’s a chance that online participants in the test, for example, are cheating, looking up the ‘right’ answers for each question. You also can’t control all test conditions remotely. One way to battle this is to test candidates on the day they interview.

Another common pitfall is simple blindness. A bad score on the cognitive skills test might not mean a bad candidate, just like an excellent score on the test doesn’t necessarily indicate a great candidate. Be sure you’re grading all applicants on the entire recruitment and selection process before you make your decision.

Remember, psychometric testing is one tool you can use to help in the recruiting and onboarding process. It shouldn’t be the only method for finding the best candidates. When used properly, it can help you make your decisions easier.

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Ben Renner

Ben Renner is an HR expert, writer, and Senior Editor of the Employee Communications Council. He has lived and managed his own business in Denver, Colorado since 2013. Connect with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-renner-97708099/

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