That the human resource is the most critical for an organisation’s efficient functioning, has long been a management truism. That this resource is also an organisation’s most challenging and difficult to manage, is a more covertly, yet universally accepted idea as well!
Organisations have now begun to realise the importance of correct recruitment and deployment of people.
Various different measures and tools have been developed by the HR community to make the selection process as robust as possible. These include:
- Structured Interviews
- Case Studies
- Group Discussions
- Assessment Centers
- Psychometric Assessments
Each of these has their own sets of pros and cons and we won’t get into those on this platform. However, we will try to understand the relevance of psychometric assessments in today’s corporate world.
Everyone recognises that recruitment is a resource exhausting, expensive, and time consuming exercise. Yet, one cannot run away from it. While every company has its own approach toward recruitment, the fact remains that recruitment decisions often tend to be subjective and arbitrary. Using a valid and reliable psychometric test that is relevant to the hiring need that you have, can instantly elevate the soundness of your recruitment decision making. Making the right recruitment decision is cost effective in countless ways: it significantly reduces attrition, enables you to recruit people with the right skill sets, thereby also reducing training costs, it cuts down on the time involved in arriving at a decision, and makes the process objective and scientific.
What are Psychometric Tests?
Psychometrics refers to the science of measuring mental capacities and processes. Traditionally psychometric test is a paper pencil test where you given a set of statement or questions or situation to which you have to respond. On the basis you get an output which is usually in the form of a report, which tells you where you stand across those particular traits, qualities, skills, or attitudes that the test claims to measure. This is the traditional version. Today more and more have gone online. So you can simply log on to a certain site, take the test online, you get your report in your email box usually within a period of 24 to 48 hours.
Some Typical Psychometric Tests
- Personality Assessments / Behavioural Assessments
- Cognitive / Aptitude Assessments
- Skills Assessments
- Values / Motivation Assessments
While the Western corporate world has long been investing heavily in psychometric assessments as one of the parameters to aid in the right job-person match, psychometrics have been slow to gather momentum in India’s corporate milieu. Key reasons for this have been:
- Concern about whether the international tests are relevant for the Indian organisations
- High costs of well-known global psychometric tools, making them unviable to be used on a large scale in Indian organisations.
Relevance in Today’s Competitive World
- Speed and Efficiency:
Psychometric assessments provide a quick method of getting more information about employees. The tests, several of which can also be done online, have a time frame ranging from 10 to 45 minutes. Most reports are turned around in 24-48 hours. This appeals greatly to today’s “quick result” generation of managers and decision makers. Assessment can also be administered on a larger group of people simultaneously, thus bringing in more efficiencies.
- Objective Assessment:
Eliminates subjectivity in assessment and selection decisions. Tests consistently throw up results based on the individual’s responses to the test items rather than subjective impressions or evaluations formed by interviewers.
- Industry Benchmarks:
Psychometric tests are normed against a larger population of similar kinds of candidates. Thus, it provides organisations with an insight into where an individual lies in comparison to the industry.
- Developed by Experts:
Psychometric tests are developed by trained psychometricians after rigorous research, and by using psychometric and statistical principles of the highest order. Thus, they bring in a high level of accuracy, precision and depth to the competencies being assessed.
- Highly Cost Effective:
For many organisations, the biggest advantage that psychometrics have to offer is that they are easy on the budget. Compared to many other third party methods (assessment centers, in basket exercises, panel interviews), psychometric tools enable huge saves to the organisation, while at the same time, maintaining consistent and stable predictive ability.