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We care about technology-enhanced human systems. So we thought we would share regular thoughts and opinions about why we think they matter so much.

Has psychometric testing had its day?

The recruitment landscape sure has changed of late. The Great Resignation left a great big hole that many recruiters are desperately trying to fill. And candidates have kind of turned into recruiters, very much calling the shots and deciding if a company is right for them rather than the other way around. So, in this new topsy-turvy recruitment world, where does that leave psychometric testing? 

Not all organisations use such tests, of course. Those that do might put psychometric testing at the early stage of the recruitment process to cut through high volume applications and quickly assess which candidates to progress. Others may use testing later down the line for a deeper dive into candidate suitability for executive-level roles. 

With a dearth of candidates applying for jobs, it could be argued that early-stage psychometric testing is redundant in some industries. There may be little point paying out for testing software if the applicant volume just isn’t there. In today’s candidate-led market, psychometric testing may also be a turn off, with applicants seeing it as one recruitment hoop too many to jump through. There are concerns as well about psychometric tests and mental health.The recruitment process can be stressful enough without adding another layer of pressure, particularly in the aftermath of Covid when people may still be experiencing high levels of anxiety.

Obviously recruiters won’t be rushing to ditch psychometric testing altogether. The very fact that it is a candidate-led market means it’s more important than ever to make the right hiring decision, and assessments can certainly help with that. Companies will still be looking to psychometric testing to reveal stand-out candidates and who’s likely to be the best fit for their organisation’s culture. 

Time for a change?

When used well psychometric tests can be a valuable part of the recruitment toolkit – so maybe now is the time to rethink and adapt. 

An often cited downside of assessments is that they’re timed. Some people might underperform under the pressure, which neither makes for a good candidate experience nor necessarily gives accurate results. A pretty simple solution would be to extend the time allowed. And maybe for certain tests the time constraint could be done away with completely. 

It might be useful for recruiters to stop and consider what they want the psychometric testing to actually measure – and reassess where it fits into the recruitment cycle. Handily, we can integrate psychometric tests into your Applicant Tracking System (ATS). We can set things up so answers are sent to the testing company then the scores returned and stored in the ATS. Or – based on the weighting given to us by the testing company – we can build the scores straight into the ATS. Either way, recruiters and hiring managers have easy access to the data in one central place without having to log in and out of different systems.

Also, now would be a good time to look at how psychometric testing can better serve neurodiverse candidates. It’s not just a case of giving extra time to complete assessments

A neurodiverse candidate may have difficulty interpreting a question or understanding the intent behind it. What may seem obvious to a neurotypical candidate can be a minefield of ambiguity for someone with cognitive challenges, so more neurodiverse-friendly questions would certainly help. 

Looking to the future

New technology means psychometric testing is ever-evolving. Some companies are already using gamification and Situational Judgement Tests and in the future we’re likely to see virtual reality tests and hi-tech stimulations embedded in the recruitment process.

This sounds like a good thing to us. Dynamically immersive tests will provide a more exciting user-focused experience for sure. And we’re all for it if assessments are designed to accommodate neurodiverse candidates. That’s not to say this new breed of psychometric tests will or should replace traditional assessments. Depending on an organisation’s needs and budget they may want to use one or the other or both. So, no, psychometric testing hasn’t had its day. But in today’s candidate-led market, where you need to work extra hard to attract and engage candidates, isn’t it good to know you’ve got options? 

Want to talk to us about integrating your psychometric software? We’re here for you

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