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Research aim and objective:

There is an old saying that you cant make a silk purse with a sow ear's. Redundancy management are considered to be key push and pull levers of an organisation. Hence recruiting and selecting the right people is paramount to the success of the organization and its ability to retain a workforce of the highest quality. Therefore the main objective is to how the psychological test like psychometric tests helps the firm to get the suitable candidate for the job, thus enhancing the process of recruitment and selection.

Alex Blythe, (2008), in his article, Psychometric profiling: Mind your profile , states that, "Organisations tend to recruit people for their technical skills, but fire them for their personalities," says Raymond Walley, managing director of recruitment firm Success Dynamics. "Psychometric profiling can help those organisations identify the right personalities at the selection stage and avoid those costly and unfortunate errors."

Business Objectives are to understand

Since I belong to a recruitment background I have a personal objectives from this research which are as follows:

Literature Review:

Psychometric tests have been used since the early part of the 20th century and were originally developed for use in educational psychology. These days, outside of education, you are most likely to encounter psychometric testing as part of the recruitment or selection process. Tests of this sort are devised by occupational psychologists and their aim is to provide employers with a reliable method of selecting the most suitable job applicants or candidates for promotion.

Psychometric Test is a field of study concerned with the theory and technique of educational and psychological measurement, which includes the measurement of knowledge , abilities , attitudes and personality . British Psychological Society .

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development defines psychometric testing in this way:

"Tests which can be systematically scored and administered, which are used to measure individual differences for example in personality, aptitude, ability, attainment or intelligence, are supported by a body of evidence and statistical data which demonstrates their validity and are used in an occupational setting."

Sean Howard, sales director of SHL group says that CVs and interviews alone are not accurate enough to assess job applicants. F.W .Taylor (1911), stressed on the importance of selection for the particular job - 'the best man for the job'. Taylor insisted that the candidates should be selected on the basis of skills and abilities which are tested. However many organisation fail to follow the process.Working in teams has become has become an universal mode has almost become universal mode of organising work today -but getting the right blend of personality has proved to be most confusing and complex task (Belbin 1981; cf Barker ,1999).

Human Resource in Canon -UK says that Psychometric tests provide additional relevant information and can aid the recruitment process by ensuring that all candidates are treated fairly and benchmarked against a common comparison group.

Broadly there are two forms of psychometric tests suitable for selection processes

Tests will only be administered and interpreted by users holding the relevant qualification at the appropriate level.

Psychometric testing enables organisations to make informed recruitment decisions through objective insight into the personalities and abilities of candidates. Using an impartial, 'vendor-neutral' approach, Reed Consulting's Assessment, Development & Talent Practice provides the most suitable and reliable psychometrics for assessment,development and talent management.

In Reed Consultancy psychometric test is used as an assessment process to 'screen-out' a large number of candidates in a cost-effective manner, or as part of a more comprehensive process that enables organisations to select the right talent for each role.

Robert Edenborough in his Assestment methods in recruitment and Selection Process says that 'Psychometric test are used in the early stage of the recruitment and the selection process. This is to understand how the candidate would fit in with the other members of the team or to explore particular issues of concern or personal characteristics such as thinking out of the box and not readily assessed by other procedures applied.

A study by American Management Association reveals that 39 percent of companies surveyed use personality testing as part of their hiring process. However, ipsative personality tests are often misused in recruitment and selection, where they are mistakenly treated as if they are normative measures.

Walley says companies have become much more accepting of psychometric profiling. In particular, he believes that companies are increasingly keen on using it to identify leaders. At a senior level, technical skills are often less important than personality, and so psychometric profiles can be invaluable.

But they are fraught with difficulty. There are many tools to choose from, and potential for significant problems if they are used incorrectly. So, any organisation that is determined to recruit the right leader should invest time in getting to grips with psychometrics.

Psychometric profiling or testing describes a wide range of activities. David Bevan, director of communications at IT recruitment firm InterQuest, says: "The questions are designed to provide information about predicted behaviour in different circumstances. This in turn reflects character and emotional standing. The findings can be used to indicate a person's aptitude for certain activities, how they would react in a working environment, and whether they work better individually or within a team."

Gwyn Rogers, head of executive assessment at human capital management consultancy Penna, says psychometrics should be considered as risk analysis tools. "Organisations need to understand the underlying causes of behaviour of their leaders, especially when you consider that about 40-50% of senior management appointments fail and that the direct cost of replacing a senior person is up to six times their annual salary."

Despite these potential benefits, psychometrics has a bad name in many quarters, primarily because there is no regulation of the market. As Caroline Beard, from business psychologists Xancam, says: "Anyone can devise their own test and stick it online for people to buy. It may sound obvious, but anyone getting into this area for the first time should always seek expert advice, whether from a qualified business psychologist or the British Psychological Society."

CVs and interviews alone are not accurate enough to assess job applicants Sean Howard, sales director, SHL Group , 7th feb

Even interviewing has its problems, with independent research showing that 43% of HR directors think interview questions, body language and intuition, are not enough to detect the honesty of a candidate.

SHL's own research reveals that 57% of people think it is acceptable to bend the truth in an interview - the 'traditional' recruitment processes are clearly not enough.

Structured, competency based interviews are found to be a more accurate predictor. Since this technique identifies the competencies required for a specific job, structured questions that ask the candidate to prove their relevant skills can be developed. This makes it much harder for candidates to fabricate their experience.

While there is undoubtedly still a place for CVs and interviews, psychometric assessments are now invaluable in clearly ascertaining a candidate's abilities and competencies. These tools are not only becoming far more accessible, but also provide HR directors with an accurate understanding of a candidate's ability that cannot be gained through CVs and interviews alone.

Laurence Collins, (2005), in his article, Do psychometric tests deliver value, states that, of activ8 intelligence, explains the concept behind some new award-winning technology which surpasses the use of psychometric tests.

It is hard to dispute the rise in popularity of psychometric testing over the last decade.

A January 2007 survey, reported in The Daily Telegraph, suggested that up to 70 per cent of British organisations now use some form of psychometric assessment in their recruitment processes, while three quarters of organisations surveyed by the Institute for Corporate Productivity said that they used psychometric measures in the selection of executives.

For almost all types of roles, at all levels, there is now a test that claims to 'predict' who will make the best employee. So, if the claims are accurate and the power of such assessments are as strong as the providers would have us believe, why does finding a 'good hire' still feel like so much of a lottery?

While many professionals believe that the study of mind and behaviour has a crucial role to play in the pursuit of ever more progressive assessment techniques that withstand scientific scrutiny for their validity, a growing body of people has their doubts. They believe that these things offer little in the way of real-life validated evidence of success and mask the real requirements that employers have in making a key selection decision. This growing body of doubters has a point. Despite a massive volume of academic supportive literature, little evidence exists from live business environments as to the effectiveness of the measures used in selecting high performers - despite the insistence of researchers of the potential for this.

With an increasing number of organisations spending a significant portion of their recruitment budget on psychometric tests with no evidence of their effectiveness, where is the measurement that shows the ROI of psychometrics? Before making an investment in HR and, in fact, business, you have to build a business case. Yet few companies appear to do this when considering the use and licensing of psychometric tests. There seems to be a blind faith in, rather than a considered review of, these tests' ability to add value to the recruitment process.

Technology is now enabling HR to progress beyond psychometric tests to predict the performance of a candidate. Artificial intelligence is a fairly new concept to HR but is already being used by leading organisations to cut recruitment risks. It works through extracting multiple sources from recruitment agencies, HR systems, assessment providers and performance management systems and then places the data in a central repository.

From here, the system automatically scans all items of data, training itself to spot linkages and correlations that traditional straight-line regression tools - as used by most psychometric assessment product providers - are unable to identify. Once trained with sufficient levels of data, it can be used to predict future outcomes as new 'previously unseen' data is interrogated.
Nadia Williams, (2008), in his article, Competency-based interviews and online psychometric tests are best for choosing candidates, states that, The survey, which questioned 133 employers with a combined workforce of just over 1 million employees, shows that the most widespread alterations to interviewing practices involved the use of competency-based interviews.

Half of the employers polled had started using them, while 65% have improved their use of them. Four in 10 respondents increased their use of this approach, while 15% devolved responsibility for their use to line managers, and 10% changed their use of competency-based interviews to comply with employment legislation. Between 2006 and 2007, there was also greater take-up of online selection testing. Just over two-thirds (68%) of the employers polled began using this technique as part of their selection process, while 32% increased their use of it. Twenty-six per cent improved their use of online testing to increase its effectiveness, and employment laws forced one in 10 to change their use of online testing.
Employers said changes to the use of online pyschometric tests had the biggest impact on improving the cost-effectiveness of recruitment, while changes to the use of competency-based interviews were regarded as the most effective way of improving the suitability of candidates.

The findings also show that face-to-face psychometric tests - where the candidate completing the test and the test administrator are both present - are also gaining in popularity. More than one in four (27%) have reconsidered their use of such tests in their selection procedures. Just under half (47%) have started using these tests, while the same number have improved their use of such tests to make them more effective, and 20% made changes to ensure their tests complied with employment legislation.

Caroline Dunk, (2004) in his article, Psychometric Tests are failing companies and candidates, states that, Established psychometric tests, used by many companies when assessing potential recruits, are no longer effective according to Caroline Dunk, principal at cda, the organisational development and change management consultancy. She also suggests that not only are the standard tests outmoded, but in response to the increasing demand for something new and relevant, the market has also seen an influx of poorly designed and validated personality tests.
"I believe that personality research is unable to deliver a sufficiently useful or comprehensive model for contemporary working styles," states Dunk. "There has been a dearth of well-researched new ideas since the advent of the 'Big 5' theory of personality in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the corporate world has moved on.
"Flatter hierarchies, the increase in remote working and project-based teams, and a focus on objectives such as empowerment, ongoing change, lateral development, innovation and continuous improvement have rendered the existing psychometric models obsolescent. To support these changes, we need personality tests that provide new perspectives on behaviour at work.

"To be useful, new tests must be carefully developed to high standards of validity and reliability. Unfortunately there is nothing to stop someone designing a test on the proverbial 'back of an envelope' and taking it to market without putting it through a rigorous (expensive and time-consuming) programme of validation. "Poor quality tests trap the unwary and contribute to the growing concerns about the misuse of psychometric tests. The well-respected Steve Blinkhorn, chairman of Psychometric Research and Development, commented recently on 'the great underworld of psychometrics: shoddy personality tests and 10-minute quickies that tell you "everything you need to know"'.
"Real damage is done to individuals and organisations by poor tests, which deliver inaccurate and misleading information. The companies and the candidates are being let down.
"Businesses need something innovative and reliable that that gets away from the traditional 'tick box' test format. I suggest the personality testing industry needs to look at using a more radical approach - such as speech patterns - to identify personality traits.
"The time is ripe for a change. It's time the UK psychometrics industry delivered something new to meet the needs of today's working world."