Why NOT to Use Psychometric Assessments as a Tick-box Exercise

Psychometrics can truly help many organisations reach their full potential, but how can you get the best use out of psychometrics for your organisation—and more importantly, demonstrate return on investment?

Why NOT to Use Psychometric Assessments as a Tick-box Exercise

16 Mar 2018 by  Nada Osama

People tick boxes on a daily basis; to ensure they have achieved or completed a certain task on simple to-do lists, such as picking up the weekly shop. Others use checklists for more significant decisions such as choosing a field of study, career, or even a life partner.

While these may seem like reasonable checklists to make, is practicing a tick-box methodology relevant in the world of talent management?  Is it important for employers’ checklists to include psychometric assessment, and does it help employers promote themselves as employers of choice?

There are many ways in which organisations utilise psychometric assessments—that is, to predict future job performance, to gauge an individual’s readiness to take on more responsibility, or to identify potential leaders. Those benefits come in different shapes and forms; such as an ambitious fresh graduate with lots of potential or an experienced CEO with a visionary mind-set. Thus, when it comes to using psychometrics, employers have the opportunity to tick the right box that sits next to selection, development or promotion of their talent depending on their people and organisational requirements.

In recent times, psychometrics have gained popularity—and rightly so. The science behind psychometric assessments enables organisations to get the right person-job fit as there are often strong correlations between psychometric assessments’ scores and performance on the job.

In the Middle East, there are a growing number of organisations that use psychometrics to enable people decisions. However, many treat the implementation of psychometric assessments as a ‘tick-box’ exercise—to have the comfort of collecting data on individuals, and, often, to report back to senior management that this step has been covered. Over time, the value of assessments gets questioned. So, are organisations really getting the best use out of psychometrics, or are they only implementing them out of perceived necessity?

Here’s a guide to ensuring that your organisation is using psychometrics effectively:

1. Establish clear objectives

Ask yourself: Why do I need to use psychometric assessments—to hire talent, identify high potentials, or to redeploy people into better fitting roles?  The type of assessment tools and how you apply them would greatly differ depending on your purpose. Understand your business plans and the views of key stakeholders, in order to determine the real objectives for implementation. 

2. Evaluate the tools

Before establishing a process that relies on psychometric assessment data, review and evaluate the science behind the tools. Do they measure the key constructs that are important to you? Do the tools look and feel appropriate for the target audience? Can scores be evaluated against appropriate benchmarks? Is there an appropriate track record of these tools working in your industry? Are the results easily interpreted?

3. Plan the practicalities

Invest time in understanding the practical elements of the implementation process, and determine the stage in which psychometrics should be introduced. Can the process be automated? How will participants access the tools?  Who will support with any technical issues? Asking these questions will help you gain insight on process, time and return on investment. Accordingly, you can allocate and train an internal team to champion and master the process.

4. Get broader buy-in

Make sure you link psychometrics to your organisational strategy. Organisations that seek the best talent should consider aligning best practice processes within their strategic direction. In return, this will enable employers to promote and standardise the process throughout the organisation and make better decisions in regards to their human capital.

5. Validate the Return on Investment (ROI)

Your assessment data should help you answer key questions about your talent: What makes them strive? What do high achievers have in common?  What’s different about your talent, compared to others in the industry?

Psychometric assessments can help you learn more about your people, and target organisational areas for improvement, such as work processes, teams, etc. The bottom line is, psychometrics should enable you to predict higher performance, increase employee engagement levels, and lower turnover rates. The only way for psychometric tools to be sustainable is if they demonstrate ROI.

Based on research and practical experience, psychometrics can truly help many organisations reach their full potential. In cases where they don’t, it is quite often because their implementation has been a ‘tick-box’ exercise. Given the importance of getting people decisions right in today’s environment, it’s timely to ask the difficult questions.

Start a conversation with us

Want to know more about the implementation of psychometric assessments? Download The Real Psychometrics Checklist, and get in touch with us.

Nada Osama

Nada is a consultant for Aon Assessment Solutions and part of the cut-e team in the Middle East and Africa. Nada is an HR professional and Talent Management Specialist with extensive experience with using online psychometric assessments and data analytics to inform smart people decisions across various industries including financial services, oil & gas, retail, telecoms and public sector organisations.

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Nada Osama
Nada Osama
Dubai, UAE
Mina Morris
Mina Morris
Dubai, UAE