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5 Reasons why every organisation needs to make psychometric testing part of their recruitment and selection

Editorial Team
09/07/2020 7:40 AM

Psychometric tests are
used in the many fields of psychology to measure psychological constructs like
intelligence, personality and interests. In business settings psychometric
tests are used when hiring employees and for identifying their development
needs. Based on my many years of experience in the field of human resources and
occupational psychology here the reasons why I think every organisation can
benefit immensely from psychometric testing.

  1. No
    other methods can test for Cognitive ability, personality and integrity of a
    potential candidate. These three are the biggest predictor of job performance.
    I have shared before ample scientific evidence to show that this is
    consistently the case. Cognitive ability is the biggest predictor among these
    psychological constructs. In an article called 
    The Most Exceptional Talent—The 1% Of The 1%
      Kumar Mehta says  “But through
    years of research, we now have enough data to know what goes into becoming
    exceptional. Whether you are recruiting an athlete, or you are hiring a CEO or
    evaluating a startup founder, the qualities that lead to extreme success are
    the same. Natural aptitude - The genes you are born with are responsible for
    50% of your outcomes. You have to determine whether the individual you are
    considering has a natural aptitude for the role. Some traits you cannot
    develop; you are either born with them or not. Examples include power, speed,
    IQ, logical-mathematical ability, linguistic ability, and others. You can
    refine and improve these qualities, but you cannot create something out of
  2. The
    factors that drive individual performance can not be trained. As indicated
    above cognitive ability is the major driver of individual performance across
    all professions. It is largely hereditary and partly childhood experience.  If you hire an individual without the right
    cognitive ability you will just be wasting your time. No amount of training
    will change the fact that they do not have the capacity for the role. The same
    applies to personality. You can not hire an individual with the wrong
    personality and hope to change them especially if they are an adult.  The best way, as a first step is to ensure
    that after shortlisting the candidates they all go for psychometric testing so
    that you remain with individuals who have the capacity for the role. It is a
    waste of resources to interview people who have no capacity for a role no
    matter how much you like them.
  3. The
    popular and most preferred method for selecting employees is not reliable and
    has low predictive validity. Adam Grant, one of the topmost global Psychologist
    says “Interviews are terrible predictors of job performance. Consider a rigorous, comprehensive analysis of hundreds of studies of more than 1,000 job
    applicants over 85 years by Frank Schmidt and Jack Hunter.
    They covered more than 500 different jobs—including salespeople, managers,
    engineers, teachers, lawyers, accountants, mechanics, reporters, farmers,
    pharmacists, electricians and musicians—and compared information gathered about
    applicants to the objective performance that they achieved in the job. After
    obtaining basic information about candidates’ abilities, standard interviews
    only accounted for 8% of the differences in performance and productivity. Think
    about it this way: imagine that you interviewed 100 candidates, ranked them in
    order from best to worst, and then measured their actual performance in the
    job. You’d be lucky if you put more than eight in the right spot.”
  4. Psychometric tests bring meritocracy into the recruitment
    process. When used properly and at the right place in the recruitment and
    selection process psychometric tests ensures that the organisation only gets
    the best candidates available. A notable trend in this country is that those
    organisations that are hesitant to use psychometric testing have a  corrupt recruitment and selection process.
    Leaders in those organisations are averse to psychometric tests because they
    may not even pass them. As a result, they prefer a selection process which they
    can manipulate.
  5. It is not possible to cheat on psychometric tests if
    administered by Registered Psychologists in terms of the current Zimbabwean
    laws. This is the practice across the globe. Psychometric tests plug in the
    holes they would allow incompetent people to join your organisation.

Memory Nguwi is an
Occupational Psychologist, Data Scientist, Speaker, & Managing Consultant-
Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources
consulting firm. https://www.linkedin.com/in/memorynguwi/ Phone +263 4
481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966 or cell number +263 77 2356 361 or email: mnguwi@ipcconsultants.com  or visit our
website at www.ipcconsultants.com

Editorial Team

This article was written by one of the consultants at IPC

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