Psychometric Vs Competency Assessment

There have been many discussions about the use of Psychometric Assessment Vs Competency Assessments, The main one being which one will give the best results. I don’t believe there is a definitive answer to that question. I think the question should be which one works for you.

Like many situations you need to have a strategy. The first should be to identify the positions you need to recruit for and look at the levels of the role. The level of the role will determine which recruitment assessment tool you should selected. You should also note which attributes you wish to identify during the assessment.

I applied for a Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant position at a high profile social media company. The first stage of their interview process was a Psychometric Assessment. I have done many of these assessments before but what made this one different was the relevance to the role. The Psychometric Assessment given was a mathematical one which in my mind would not identify whether I was good for the role or not. What would have been more appropriate would have been a personality and occupational Psychometric Assessment.

My positive experience of Psychometric testing had been when I was given a Myers Briggs Psychometric test as part of a development review. This test was a very good test for me as it was the right level of testing based on my level and occupation which was a Lead Resourcing/HR Business Partner.

Psychometric and Competency based assessments can work effectively hand in hand. I would say were I believe competency based assessments can be used in isolation I do not think the same for psychometric testing.

When dealing with high volume recruitment you may wish to run an assessment centre. Again one should be clear from the outset what skills and personal attributes you are trying to assess. You can hire an external firm to provide an assessment service or you can buy ‘off the shelf’ which you can tailor to your needs. Having chosen which avenue you wish to travel you should be ready to select the appropriate individuals within the organisation that can deliver the assessment. Even when using an outside company you should also ensure that you have internal employees involved.

So what of the other role of assessments. It is said Psychometric testing and Competency based testing can prevent unconscious bias by making a decision based on the result rather than the person. However, there are ways for the result to be manipulated which was bought to my attention by a trained business psychologist. Assessments based on CV’s can be open to bias. In some instances it can give away a persons ethnicity. There are also questionnaires given to ask questions about race, religion, sexuality opening up opportunity for poor process management.

If the assessments are managed appropriately, the tools can be used not only for general recruitment but as part of a diversity drive, assessing unconscious bias, emotional intelligence assessment both for internal and external recruitment. Its all in the how and the why which will make the difference on success.

Choose wisely, take the time to review your needs and identify the results you are looking for also make sure you have the right people undertaking the process. Twitter: @EMCLimited