The Power of Diversity in Psychometric Assessments for Selection and Development
Selection and development of new and existing team members often comes with a significant investment of time, energy and money. It is important that we see the return on our investment, and minimise the risks involved. One of the tools that assists success in this field is the use of psychometric assessments.
When it comes to offering our clients psychometric assessments, being vendor-neutral is a practice that carries significant advantages for both organisations and individuals seeking to make informed decisions about talent selection and development. While it can be tempting to rely on assessments from a single, well-known provider, this can limit the ‘best’ assessments (or the best combination of assessments) to use for each situation. On the other hand, using several different assessments from different providers within a single selection or development campaign has its benefits.
What are Psychometric Assessments for Selection and Development?
Psychometric Assessments enable us to understand both how people are, and how people can be, in a work environment. We can reliably predict behaviour during both routine work, and in times of excitement, pressure or stress, and give people the support and tools to be their most effective selves.
Why Vendor Neutrality?
Being vendor-neutral means offering a wide array of assessments from various providers. Simply put, it means we don't put all our assessment eggs in one basket. This approach gives organisations access to a rich selection of assessments, each uniquely designed to measure different dimensions like cognitive abilities, personality traits, job-specific skills and provide a more comprehensive evaluation of a candidate's skills, abilities, and competencies. By considering assessments from multiple sources, decision-makers can make choices based on what best suits their specific needs, free from the influence of a single provider's marketing or branding.
Comprehensive Solutions for Selection and Development
Using assessments from various providers allows for a more comprehensive approach to both selection and development. For instance, different personality assessments may focus on various aspects of personality, from the well-known Big Five traits* (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism) to the more specialised 'dark side' personality characteristics (those characteristics, according to the research, that can impede the ability to build and sustain teams, engage people, communicate effectively and manage performance etc.). By using a combination of assessments, we can explore a wider range of personality dimensions, ensuring a more thorough understanding of an individual's preferences and behavioural tendencies.
Another example is, by combining personality and cognitive assessments, we can identify where a preference is likely to be supported by a corresponding ability in that area .
Mitigating Bias and Enhancing Fairness
Each assessment has its strengths and limitations. Relying solely on one provider's assessments may inadvertently introduce bias or overlook important facets of a person's abilities or traits. By drawing from different sources, organisations can reduce these biases and ensure fairer evaluations. This approach avoids a situation where one perspective, methodology, or framework dominates the assessment process. It also provides a broader perspective on an individual's traits, preferences, and abilities, minimising the risk of overlooking crucial aspects of their profile.
Staying Ahead with Evolving Trends
The field of psychometrics is constantly evolving, with new research and methodologies emerging regularly. Engaging with assessments from various providers can allow organisations to stay at the forefront of assessment innovation, and take advantage of cutting-edge tools (such as gamification, or the recent introduction of an Adaptability Quotient assessment) that may better align with current understanding. Exclusively relying on one provider's assessments may discourage exploration of alternative assessment methodologies or innovations, potentially resulting in an incomplete assessment of individuals' abilities and traits.
Flexibility and Customisation
Perhaps one of the most significant advantages of a vendor-neutral approach is the unparalleled flexibility and customisation it can offer. This flexibility extends to various aspects of the assessment process, from selecting assessments, to interpreting results, to planning actions off the back of a comprehensive evaluation. Vendor neutrality empowers organisations to easily incorporate new assessments or replace existing ones as talent requirements evolve. This adaptability ensures that assessment strategies remain relevant and effective in supporting the organisation's goals.
Aligning with Organisational Culture and Values
Every organisation has its unique culture and values, which play a vital role in employee success and satisfaction. Vendor neutrality allows organisations to select assessments that not only measure job-related competencies, but also align with their culture and values. For example, an organisation emphasizing innovation and creativity may seek to use a tool that measures traits like open-mindedness and adaptability, in combination with a more standard suite of personality assessments. Where traditional providers may only be able to offer one or the other, by remaining vendor-neutral, we can incorporate both types of assessments into a single assessment package.
In the realm of talent selection and development, remaining vendor-neutral when it comes to working with psychometric assessments stands as a powerful strategy, and offers a path to more precise talent management. By embracing a diverse range of assessments, organisations can offer tailored solutions, reduce biases, stay ahead of industry trends, and align assessments with their unique culture. In an environment where a one-size-fits-all approach to assessment often falls short, vendor neutrality emerges as the pathway to a more precise understanding of individuals, and a more successful talent strategy. We encourage organisations to consider what they are current assessing, the value it contributes, and what gaps could they fill by incorporating or revising the combination of assessments they use.
Psychometrics should be used as part of a suite of assessment tools and practices, and no single test should be used in isolation. Different assessments have different purposes, and it is important to work with a qualified and accredited practitioner who can recommend the right tool for you and your business. To find out more on how we can support you, please get in touch with Tara@k3.co.nz.
*The five basic personality traits is a theory developed in 1949 by D. W. Fiske (1949) and later expanded upon by other researchers including Norman (1967), Smith (1967), Goldberg (1981), and McCrae & Costa (1987).