Psychometrics: What our professional partners are seeing in practice



What a difference a year makes. The Coronavirus Pandemic has transformed the way we work, leading many industry experts to predict that among the major HR trends for 2021, we’ll see a need for expanded skillsets, data-based recruitment methods, more flexible working practices and an emphasis on wellbeing and resilience.

Add to that movements such as Black Lives Matter and Me Too, and increasing calls for more diversity and inclusion across the globe and we’re likely to see a greater emphasis than ever before on objective decision-making in recruitment and on reducing the effects of subconscious bias.

Tanya Hudson and Susan Kealy are organisational psychologists with Kinch Lyons, a trusted distributer of the Podium assessment suite and online psychometric testing accreditation programme.  They caught up for a chat to discuss the powerful role that psychometrics can play in these trends.  The key take-aways from their discussion are highlighted below.

 

Virtual Recruitment and On-boarding

Interviews and on-boarding are currently virtual for most companies. This means hiring managers cannot get an in-person sense of someone in the way that they would with a physical interview. Therefore companies are beginning to rely on more objective data-based sources, such as psychometrics, to help them understand their candidates.

With respect to on-boarding, the first few weeks of induction can be a great opportunity for HR and management to learn more about a person’s values, learning styles, and how they can best be supported. As people are on-boarded virtually those data points cannot come through the same in-person means and so psychometrics can help to fill that gap.

 

Remote Working

Given the dramatic increase in remote working, and the probability that many companies will continue with these practices after things return to normal, an enhanced skill set is now needed.

Employees working from home will need to be self-starters and independent workers as well as to be reliable, and organised. Personality and values-based assessments can be a great way of identifying who will succeed within this new structure.

Diversity

There is increasing organisational focus on diversity and inclusion,  alongside a growing awareness of our own susceptibility to our subconscious bias, which can be an enormous problem in selection, where interviewers may unwittingly prefer those who appear more similar to themselves, or form other non-job-related-perceptions.

Psychometrics are a source of objective data, and companies that introduce them can be seen to be making a commitment to fairer hiring practices, leading to more diverse workplaces.  Ultimately, as much research has shown, diversity will likely have a positive impact on culture, innovation and the bottom line.

 

 

Employee Support and Development

Change and uncertainty has meant that employee wellbeing and resilience is fast becoming a workplace priority, and organisations are looking to psychometrics to provide frameworks to help them to create support and development programmes for their people.

Increased home-working may mean that extra support is needed, as employees struggle with isolation, a lack of communication, work-life balance or more.

Psychometric tools such as Podium’s “Pulse” survey is designed to help organisations gain a real-time understanding of an employee’s well-being and unique challenges, and to determine how to best support people.

 

Process Review

The economic uncertainty resulting from the pandemic has forced many companies to delay projects which they had scheduled. Companies have had more time to review and optimise their internal procedures and to put into practice plans that may have existed for some time.

Given that psychometrics are one of the strongest predictors of employee performance, it is likely that many companies simply have had more time to modify recruitment practices in order to incorporate them.

All of these developments have meant that people are waking up to the power of psychometrics and we are beginning to see a push for HR teams to become accredited and savvy in the ways of these tools.

 

 

 

 Tanya Hudson and Susan Kealy are organisational psychologists at Kinch Lyons, an international psychology firm specialising in the selection and development of human capital and a trusted partner of Podium. 

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