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The Future of Work – The Place of Psychometric assessments

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Psychometrics is the measure of latent qualities of an individual and this can be mental qualities, personality, interests among others. It is a science that has developed over the years, not without its fair share of problems and controversies. But each phase has made the process better, more accurate and more relevant to the workplace today.

Psychometric assessments exist to measure Diversity.

In the local space of talent development, we find that assessments have far much better use underpinning initiatives such as training, coaching, succession planning and team building. In recruitment, it is different. A lot of organisations use psychometric assessments to give them additional information about candidates before an interview. A very, very, small percentage keep the assessment data once the person is hired and not much data is stored for consistent review towards understanding what constitutes successful candidates.

When I was doing my internship at a psychometric evaluation firm way back, what struck me was that the team that administered these assessments took them so seriously that they had quarterly check-ins to evaluate the data that they were collecting using these assessments. They would keep all assessment results and have several items that they tracked over time. It helped get insights into what was working and what wasn’t. One such insight revealed to a certain organisation that a certain level of numerical ability was absolutely necessary for their candidates to be a successful fit at the organisation. They noticed that, the people who tended to excel, all scored within a certain range of this scale. And there are other items or constructs that were also reviewed and discussed. This information was then used when interpreting results in the future roles. And It is my considered opinion that we shall see more of this kind of data collection and analysis moving forward.

It is only a matter of time before more sophisticated techniques are used in the recruitment process. There has been some development into using psychometric testing in a virtual World. Where the candidate gets to meet virtual co-workers, get asked a few questions and give their answers based on their judgement. Research and investment is in assessments that can integrate easily into today’s talent leader workflows, like chatbots and SMS messaging, which provide next-level insights into a candidate’s desires, ambitions and overall behavioral patterns. Gamification will also be a must.

But that is not all. Using an assessment only at the recruitment phase is really just touching the tip of the iceberg. It is true that it will greatly enrich the interview process allowing more creative questioning. The inclusion of a psychometric expert in the Human Resource Function of talent acquisition will be a necessary strategy when we talk about the ‘War for Talent”. This will allow for use of the assessment over the lifetime of the assessment. The introduction of a toolkit of assessments to aid the organisation in guiding talent management through out the talent cycle will also continue to grow. It is in this realm that the psychometric assessment lead will provide value.

Assessments will be able to help in the following areas:

  1. Helping us make more data driven decisions: We make decision about people in an instance. If you follow the ladder of inference as coined by Chris Argyris, this will be formed by our beliefs, our values, moral code, how we are feeling, and other subtle processes that help shape opinions. As we continue to study ourselves, we shall definitely begin to embrace the necessity to arm ourselves with more information to be more objective.
  2. Psychometrics allow us to be curious about who we are. They allow us to approach recruitment from an innovative, creative and critical thinking perspective.
  3. The use of psychometric assessments, and especially if they are open to all and are part of the norm in an organization means that the career decisions are not only in the domain of the employer. But also with the employee. Both parties gain insights into what they require and what career paths will be optimum. This is essential as people crave more autonomy and say in their career path.
  4. Attracting the right talent will be a key element in a company’s ability to remain relevant. Now more than ever, if we consider that we have so many highly qualified persons in the job market. And competition means always innovating. Therefore, picking the right candidate with more accuracy increases the chance of innovation for growth in the teams.

The Talent Acquisition space will continue to evolve as the workplace changes and as Business continue to adopt different models. This Multi Billion-assessment industry is will keep growing as we develop assessments that continue to support the ever-evolving workplace. We shall need to keep up.

Author: Vicky Karuga

Vicky Karuga is the Managing Director of Profiles International EA that is dedicated to providing businesses and organisations with information they need to make effective decisions about their most important resource; People.

Profiles International EA
Profiles International EA