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5 min read - June 12, 2024

Utilising Psychometric Assessments in Your Business - Part One: Demystifying Psychometrics

In today's competitive business landscape, you need every edge you can obtain to get ahead. Psychometric assessments can be a powerful tool to unlock potential, improve team dynamics, and ultimately boost your bottom line. But what exactly are psychometric assessments, and how can they benefit your business? We have created this 4-part series to give you greater insight into what they are, what we offer and how they can benefit your business – ‘better together’.

Put simply, Psychometric assessments are used to measure an individual’s cognitive ability, personality, or behaviours. Designed by psychologists they can measure all sorts of variables to do with someone’s mental performance, including personality, knowledge, skills, attitudes, behavioural patterns, and future academic or role performance potential.

In business terms, they enable employers to find out more about an individual and how they work, to get a better idea of whether they are the right fit for the role or culture (for new hires), or their optimal focus areas as part of a development framework.

The most common Psychometric assessments available to employers, are:

Personality Assessments: The tools that measure a person's personality characteristics, and behavioural tendencies. Designed to provide a data-driven picture of an individual's personality day-to-day as well as when under pressure or stress, helping businesses to understand individual and team strengths, potential weaknesses/areas for development and motivations.

These are often the elements that can be harder to access in conversation, interviews, or from a CV.  Robust personality assessments enable employers to have greater insights into an individual’s thinking and problem-solving styles, their motivations, how they like to work, as well as their interest and capacity for leadership, sociability and relationship building through to stress resistance. Bringing about insights into role and cultural fit.

At K3 Consulting, we apply a vendor neutral approach, which means selecting assessment tools that are fit for the specific assessment purpose, with a history of validity and accuracy at assessing current behaviours as well as predicting future performance. Time and again the accuracy of our interpreted reports is validated with those taking the assessment. They often reflect on how ‘spot on’ our interpretation is in terms of how they feel, where they have faced struggles or challenges and where they are motivated to succeed.

Whilst the majority of reports we produce are interpreted reports, meaning customised reports from raw data as applied to the need being assessed, we also offer a selection of computer-generated report options; again, with a focus on being vender neutral and selecting based on the tools proven track record for their validity, and their fit for purpose.

Ability Assessments: These assessments are in the form of aptitude (cognitive) tests that measure the ability within aptitude areas, most commonly verbal, numerical and diagrammatic aptitudes.  With verbal and numerical assessments containing a series of written material followed by questions which need to be answered by the candidate, based on the information presented to them. The results are then measured against a relevant ‘norm’ group, which is a group of people at the same role level as the candidate. Verbal and numerical abilities are based on learned skills; therefore, an individual’s educational background and experience are likely to influence how well they perform.

Whereas diagrammatic assessments usually present candidates with a series of patterns, where one of the items is replaced with a ‘blank’ and they have to find the option that best replaces the ‘blank’. These are more indicative of how a person thinks and problem solves. At one end of the spectrum a lower score would be more indicative of a systematic thinker, someone who needs to follow steps and processes to problem solve, where a higher score may indicate an individual that can look across a range of information and quickly see and pull together outcomes or resolutions faster than others - often linked to the ability to see ‘the bigger picture’. Those with scores in the middle are suggestive of people than can flex their thinking either way, and either operate in the detail and structure or think conceptually when needed.

Role/Job Skillset Assessments: These assessments are more refined to access a person’s competency across specific role criteria within a role, for example the SHL Scenarios Managerial Judgment tool, measures the ability to evaluate ‘real’ challenging and complex situations and decide on the appropriate and most effective ways of handling them. It also measures an individual’s ability to size up new challenging situations and identify or make sound judgments in dealing with them. Tools such as the Path Framework, generate a competency report that assesses a candidate against key role specific competencies, such as those associated with successful salespeople.

Key points to consider in selection of assessments:

  • Be clear on what you are wanting to measure, understand or gain from the assessments.
  • Select assessments that are fit for purpose.
  • Ensure the assessments/tools you select are backed up with research & data supporting their validity for use in business.
  • Ensure the people in your organisation are using the outputs fairly and wholistically. Assessments are only one piece in a puzzle and should not be relied upon solely in decision making.
  • Harness the full value of the information gained within assessments by integrating it into the employee EX (experience) such as within goal setting, agreeing communication pathways or supporting for areas that are more challenging for the individual.  

Read Part 1 

Read Part 2 

Read Part 3 

Read Part 4 

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