Psychometric tests: To be, or not to be – that is the question

No one wants to feel like a guinea pig, but what if it was to help you land your dream job? Psychometric tests were initially designed to test a person’s intelligence. Nowadays, they are more commonly used during the recruitment process to assess whether a person will be suited to a specific job.

Studying the mental ability and personality of a candidate, these can reveal a lot more about a person’s mental processes than your standard job interview.

These tests measure ability, aptitude, attitude, motivation, and critical thinking skills to name a few. It’s easy why recruiters and employer may be in favour this method; a cheap and reasonably fast way of matching initial candidates to a job role based on their personal suitability.

It goes some way towards avoiding hiring someone who was ‘so right on paper’, but is then completely wrong on the job.

Growing in popularity since the beginning of the 21st Century, this method has also made a few enemies. Many opponents argue that the tests are unfair and biased. Also, the same tests are generally used throughout a variety of industries, without any specification to the role – making results invalid in many cases.

But do psychometric tests add value to the recruitment process in Facilities Management? And should we be using them at all?

Psychometric tests are governed by a code of ethics, devised by the British Psychological Society. They are designed to test how a person will act and react in a given situation, and how their thinking is structured. This is used to infer whether or not they will be suitable for a particular job.

Used throughout a variety of industries, psychometric tests are particularly useful in the Facilities Management industry, due to the high level of variety and decision-making in the role.

With over 70% of large companies and a growing number of small-medium companies now using psychometric tests in Facilities Management, we can assume that people are finding out the benefits of these tests on the recruitment process.

In theory, using the results from these tests, a recruiter could put themselves in a better position to select candidate for their client. For example, if the test revealed the candidate is not suited to using their creativity to solve problems, and it is a requirement for that role, then it’s in the best interests of the recruiter, the employer, and the candidate to not put them forward knowing it will be unsuccessful.

These tests can give employers a greater insight into what a candidate may be like after the interview process. No one is 100% themselves in an interview, and test results may shed some light on the real personality, values, and interests of the candidate in question.

Used as a method of short-listing candidates, this process ensures those who move into the interview stages possess the correct characteristics to complete the job effectively. They ensure no one’s time is wasted by interviews that definitely won’t amount to anything.

This refined selection process is especially apt in the current FM recruitment climate. With dozens, sometimes hundreds, of people applying for just one job, these tests provide a relatively easy way of cutting a group of several hundred into a manageable number. It saves a substantial amount time that would have been wasted on interviewing many unsuitable candidates.

A trap?

Many employers, however, place too much faith in these results. They believe that these tests will reveal undoubtedly whether a person can do a job or not. These tests merely measure the thinking processes of potential candidates and cannot be relied upon alone.

Psychometric tests are not foolproof. Following them blindly could mean that the perfect Facilities Manager falls through the cracks, or accepts a job that turns out not to be right at all.

It’s likely that psychometric tests will continue to be used for a long time to come; they offer a unique insight into a person’s future behaviour and thought patterns. When used correctly, these tests can be a valid tool in adding value to the recruitment process. If used incorrectly, the results for both the employer and the employee could be disastrous.

Therefore, psychometric tests should not be solely relied upon. When used in combination with a variety of other recruitment methods, the results from these tests can go a long way in finding the perfect job match.

To find your perfect job – without any mind games – call Maxwell Stephens today on 0207 118 48 48 or email info@maxwellstephens.com.

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