Which Psychometric Test?
There are two distinct TYPES of “test” that can be used, and this may influence their use in your business.
Psychometric TESTS are described , as being of the NORMATIVE kind. That is to say that the tests should be strictly controlled and only be administered under control conditions. The report generated will form a “BELL CURVE” norm that can be measured against all others taking the same test. These tests normally fall into categories such as spacial awareness, numeracy, use of logic and many more. Because if the nature and administration costs associated with these tests, they often need to be outsourced to a specialist at a cost to the business reflecting these needs. For these to be valuable to your business, you will need to be able to clearly define your business requirements in relation to the JOB that needs doing rather than the person in front of you. Many people make the mistake of believing they are looking for a person who has “these attributes NOW” rather then having the ability to be able to make use of innate skills that can be transformed later.
The second and quite separate group are the IPSITIVE tools. These are NOT TESTS as they cannot measure one person against another. Once again these tools look to give two or more people the opportunity to be able to objectively discuss one persons preferences . To try and describe validity in this arena is really a non requirement. Objective discussions have nothing to do with validity, something that most HR departments would be wise to discuss internally, as the real need is training managers how to hold objective communications rather than accepting the output of a computer and believing everything it says.
There is another good guide as to the relevance of this type of “test”(misnomer) and that is are you able to describe the traits that you are looking for, using the same tool , such that you create a more focused question set from the two outputs – one being the job requirement as YOU SEE IT and the other being the personal attributes of the employee looking to take on that role.
I only know of one of these type of tools that does that – the orginal DISC tool, used for so many assessments because of it simplicity and ease of understanding for everyone. As an aside, a test that causes you to look at too many variables is likely to fall into the(short term) “interest only category” and not be used after the test has been taken and used by management unless there has been a really good support programme purchased at the same time.
The alternative to this approach would be to “benchmark” all of the people in your organisation over time to allow you to recognise traits that are useful in a job role against ones that or not useful. The cost implications here are obvious and as a business changes so rapidly these days, is not always such a good indicator.
I could discuss this topic for hours as I have been involved in literally thousands of these tests, but I will end now with a simple recommendation that”interactive skills” is a fundamental requirement to making these work in any business.
If you can’t communicate effectively, nothing is going to work for you.