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Psychometric assessments. Are they becoming an essential work tool?

Annabelle Kirwan FAHRI

Psychometric assessments have been used on and off in businesses for many years with mixed results, but is this now changing? Are they becoming an essential work tool that provides quantitative information to assist with everyday workplace decisions. I think so.

It’s crucial with each assessment to ensure a reputable tool is used. It's just as important to provide participates with a comprehensive debrief of their results so that they can benefit from the process.

Psychometric assessments give a picture of the individuals preferred working style. It is important to note it does not mean a skill cannot be learnt. For example, it might surprise people that my personality profile will show that I am an introvert, yep it is true. My comfort zone, quietly at home with a book or in the garden. Looking at my working career you may have made the assumption I am an extrovert, yes, I have undertaken numerous public speaking events, been the centre of organised events, even considered the ‘life of the party’. This behaviour has been learnt so that I have become comfortable with it. As a leader and a manager, it has been imperative to make those I work with feel comfortable and welcomed. Working quietly alone in an office may not have been very successful for me.

With this in mind, using psychometric assessments gives a picture, but not necessarily the whole picture. The debrief process ensures we explore what is needed but also what may be considered for future development.

Psychometric testing assists with:

  • New candidate appointments

  • Employee performance and development

  • Team dynamics and development

There are 2 main families of psychometric assessment;

  • Cognitive reasoning - the ability to analyse, perceive and make sense of information.

  • Temperament – our deep-seated nature. Our personal human software.

So, as an essential work tool psychometric assessments bring objectivity, clarity and a fresh perspective:

New candidate appointments

Psychometrics prompt specific questions to help us evaluate whether a new employee will be a good fit for a role in terms of skills, attitude and culture. The assessments are designed to measure cognitive ability, personality and, or work behaviour. The information can help with identifying if the candidate will excel in a specific role or career. We flourish at what we are naturally good at, and often therefore more motivated to engage in.

Employee performance and development

My own thought is that employee development and career progression should be self-driven. Although if managers seek to provide assistance and direction, the use of psychometrics will enable them to structure more robust, objective conversations.

Employers undertaking 360 surveys and psychometric assessments can also help an employee identify areas for development. Using both tools enables employees to identify not only development themes, but also how others may perceive them within the team and organisation.

But the future of these psychometric assessments is to make a positive impact in the workplace, enhancing team dynamics and development (rather than focus on weaknesses alone).

Team Dynamics and development

Using these tools provides the manager and team with an aggregate team profile. Overlaying the team’s assessment information to provide a holistic view of their collective workstyle, their strengths and development areas. This approach helps identify how well the team functions and may also identify challenges due to conflicting behavioural styles.

Psychometrics are highly effective to identify similar and different behavioural styles and will clearly demonstrate where a team needs to adjust and improve the behavioural balance when they're recruiting a new member.

For all those teams who may be under performing or face challenging behaviours, psychometrics are a way for individuals to access a fresh quantifiable perspective, enabling them to better understand how their individual profile impacts the rest of the team.

Psychometrics are also an excellent tool to help set up a new project or program teams to ensure they perform to their best.

So, are psychometrics assessments becoming an essential work tool? In my opinion absolutely.

Of course, they are recognised as a traditional method for recruitment, but by fully utilising these tools, we can develop high performing teams, profile team characteristics, assess emotional intelligence, understand how to resolve conflict management and align and develop culture styles. Psychometrics can enable employees, teams, and managers to be far more self-aware, assisting us to embrace the changing role we play at work today, highlighting that they are indeed essential work tools.

Macarthur Human Capital have trained consultants who can walk you and your employees through the assessment process, including debriefing the information to help you and your team unleash your true potential.

Macarthur Human Capital: Unleashing the competitive edge, driven by people

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