Working in recruitment, I was interested to read an article this month asking "Why psychometric assessment?"
To those of you unfamiliar with the word psychometric, don't fall into the trap of breaking the word in two and drawing your own conclusions.
Fear not ye naysayers, psychometric assessment is the process which, through a series of short tests, online or written, assists in profiling candidates and measuring their skills and how they fit into the dynamics of different work environments.
Confused? Don't worry, most people have kept psychometric assessments at arm's length for a while now because they don't really get it. But guess what? All New Zealand Government agencies use psychometric assessments, as do NZX and a heap of multi-national companies based here. They're all using it, and it's on the increase.
In New Zealand more than 100,000 psychometric tests are conducted on job candidates annually. Ranging from an hour to half a day where required, testing can be designed to fit the job requirements.
The creator of psychometrics, Sir Francis Galton, started taking assessments in the 1800s and, because he was a cousin of Charles Darwin, people listened. In New Zealand, psychometric testing has been used for more than 20 years.
Nowadays, all the leading financial institutions use psychometric assessments. This shows you how they feel about getting the right person for the job. Through recruitment, we've heard stories about people joining companies and getting trained, only to leave as quickly as they joined. Why? Well, maybe they won the lottery or inherited a fortune from a long lost relative, but in most cases, the candidate just wasn't the right fit for the organisation.
What's the cost to the company? Industry estimates say that in the first four months, the cost to the organisation is 2.5 times the candidate's salary. So getting the right candidate is crucial to organisations future and their bottom line.
Psychometric assessment may not be a fool-proof way to guarantee the perfect candidate every time. But it is a proven tool that allows you to eliminate the risks associated with hiring the wrong candidate by raising "red flags" to areas worth exploring before selecting the right candidate for your organisation.
So there you go, it's time to embrace psychometric assessments.
Mark Doyle, is client services manager for Shamrock Recruitment Group in Wellington, which caters to recruitment needs for both client and candidate, specialises in commercial and executive recruitment, and psychometric assessment services. See www.srg.co.nz