Article · 5 minute read

Why Use Psychometric Assessments?

By Dan Hunt 7th December 2022

After spending more years in Talent Acquisition than I care to remember, I have recently been able to change direction and pivot into a world that has long been an area of fascination for me – the world of psychometric assessments. As the saying goes, ‘a change is as good as a rest’, and I’ve had the good fortune to have joined Saville Assessment as Managing Client Partner.           

Having spent an awfully long time in the thick of hiring for various organizations, what has struck me is the relatively small amount of time recruiters are able to spend actually thinking about the assessment process and whether it is fit for purpose.

But regardless of whether you are hiring early talent, experienced hires, or senior execs, surely the ultimate goal is the same – to find the best possible talent for the business areas that you serve. And for that goal to be successful, the assessment process needs to be as robust as possible.

This got me thinking… why aren’t psychometric assessments used more commonly in all aspects of talent acquisition?

Over the two decades I’ve spent in recruitment agencies, RPO, and corporate TA teams, the number of organizations I’ve encountered that routinely use psychometric assessments for all roles is extremely small.

Now, before I continue – clearly many businesses do use them, so if you’re reading this and consider yourself an assessment guru, you are excused, and get a gold star! But I’m surprised that given the data on the ability of psychometric assessments to measurably improve quality of hire, they aren’t routinely used for all hiring.

So, Recruiters….. why could that be?

I only have time to review the applicants, not the process

I have been there, and the struggle is real. This isn’t a criticism – far from it – and the pressure to deliver strong candidates swiftly is all consuming. However, whatever your role in TA, work smarter – not harder, ensuring you spend time where the most value can be added.

Using appropriate assessments at the right stage in a process can significantly reduce the volume of CV screening or phone interviews you may need to conduct, so you can focus on tasks that add more value to your business and improve the quality of candidates that get to the shortlist stage before they even meet the hiring manager.

There is too much admin involved

The last thing that anyone needs is yet another administrative task to undertake. However, the majority of psychometric assessments are administered online and in the candidates’ own time – firstly, ensuring a better candidate experience than asking them back to the office again for another round of interviews. A range of services are available from Saville Assessment to make the administration of assessments as simple as possible. Provide us with candidates’ email addresses and we can take care of it, or our assessments can be integrated with your ATS, making the facilitation of assessments as simple as possible. Onerous administrative task avoided!

A question over the validity of psychometrics against other types of assessment?

When used as an integral part of an assessment process and alongside a structured interview, the use of products such as aptitude assessments and Saville Assessment’s Wave personality questionnaire can reduce the risk of a poor hire to 1 in 50, compared with a risk of 1 in 5 for some other forms of assessment, such as case studies, role play or oral presentations.

Therefore, regardless of whether your organization is making 50, 100, or 500 hires a year, reducing the risk of hiring a poor performer to 1 in 50 is reducing the risk of a lot of poor performers! It isn’t difficult to see the measurable impact this could have on the performance of your business. 

The perceived cost of engaging with an assessment provider?

Measured against the overall cost to a business of a poor hire, the initial recruitment cost, the loss of business time from hiring managers to interview candidates, the possible lost revenue or clients,  and the time, cost of their exiting from the business – only to have to go through the whole process again soon afterwards to replace them – I would argue that the small initial outlay for appropriate psychometric assessments is extremely good value.

Indeed, a case study by Saville Assessment demonstrated that Sales Executives for one company hired as a result of using Saville’s assessments sold an extra $248,000 per annum EACH in policies versus those who failed the assessments.

Therefore, when thinking about the larger overall cost to the business of a poor performer, why wouldn’t you ensure that your new hire was as scientifically likely to succeed as possible?

It is true that Business Leaders can push back against what they perceive as additional steps to a process, but ultimately the goal of everyone involved in the hiring process is to hire as strong a candidate as possible, and to equip a business with the best possible chance of success, whatever the role.

Therefore, surely the question to ask is not whether you can afford to use psychometric assessments, but whether you can afford not to?

About the Author
Dan Hunt 

Dan is Managing Client Partner at Saville Assessment. He has a wealth of experience working as a Talent Leader at some of the world’s biggest brands, including BP,  Amazon, BSkyB and Johnson & Johnson. 

You can connect with Dan on LinkedIn here

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