What Is It?
Psychological testing (often referred to as
Psychometric testing) provides an efficient
means of measuring both the abilities, plus
the kind of personality a person has. Testing
is ordinarily conducted in a supervised environment
and certain kinds of testing are timed. Ability
is related to our IQ and as such, is affected
by our verbal (language) and computation (mathematical)
skills. Both these components are affected by
the speed at which we process information. However,
ability as measured by psychological tests,
is a poor predictor in and of itself, of a person's
aptitude for a job/position. This is because
we need other attributes (personality factors)
in order to apply such abilities. Personality
factors include our attitudes, values and beliefs
etc. that cluster together and determine how
we commonly act in given social, challenging
or boring situations etc. Beyond certain thresholds
of ability, it is the personality factors which
often 'make or break' a person's success and
longevity in a particular job/position. So effective
testing uses a mix of tests to assess both abilities
How Does Testing Work?
Putting together groups of tests (a battery)
for use in comparing various applicants according
to how well they match the job/position requirements
involves a systematic process based on the following:-
- The use of reliable
tests, ie tests that come up with the same
scores for the same person on different test
occasions. Reliability is therefore a necessary
(though not sufficient) factor for any test
- The use of valid
tests; ie tests that measure exactly what
they claim to measure is also critical. Just
as a pressure gauge is not helpful in measuring
engine RPM; so too, a test that claims to
measure 'critical thinking' will hardly be
helpful if its actually measuring, say 'attitude
- A clear understanding
of the range of attributes (ie abilities and
personality)of the kind of person that performs
well in the job/position is absolutely vital.
Experience has demonstrated the traps in simply
assuming what these attributes are, rather
than jointly clarifying the correct profile
of attributes required.
How Does Testing Fit Into Your Current Selection
In order to maximise the possibility of identifying
the best candidate/s for appointment, it is
critical that testing be considered as part
of an overall recruitment and selection process.
This is necessary to avoid testing, being either
under or over weighted in the final selection
decision-making. Typical issues in this regard
- That advertising
and marketing initiatives employed to initially
attract applicants, be targeted and maintain
minimum standards of integrity. Simply casting
the net wider in the form of a generic or
at worst, misleading invitation for applicants,
simply invites later difficulties for all
- Conversely, trying
to provide too much information at point of
interest can also result in possible candidates
making pre-emptive and ill-informed judgements
about job suitability.
- The use of selected
interview panels of experienced individuals
is necessary. Further, the use of structured
interview formats that allow for the appropriate
weighting of reality-based selection criteria
remains an important part of the selection
judgement by reducing interviewer biases.
- Critically, the integration
of interview and testing outcomes with particular
emphasis on the value-added capacity of testing
to provide information about personality factors
has been found critical. In the absence of
objective testing, interviewer bias invariably
occurs as a result of how well (or not well)
the person performed during interview. Interview
behaviour is a demonstrably inadequate predictor
of on-the-job performance.
- The thorough scrutiny
of past work histories and reference checking
with particular focus on the feedback by immediate
supervisors, colleagues and (if possible)
subordinates, will often provide further confidence
prior to final appointment decisions.
What Are The Benefits of Commissioning PBI?
- PBI principals have
extensive experience in psychometric testing,
for a wide range of organisations and organisational
- PBI has a strong
commitment to effective utilisation of psychometric
testing within an organisation's existing
recruitment and selection processes.
- PBI personnel make
themselves available for critical post-testing
consultations to enhance final decisions regarding
- PBI has necessary
experience, resources and infrastructure to
enable efficient turn-around times for test
- PBI's pricing policy
provides value-for-money services at highly
- PBI is an ethical
business that is committed to professional
and pro-social values (see Operational Values
PBI - Operational
PBI has adopted the following values and operating
principles for all its services.
- To operate at the
highest level of professional standards in
all areas of operations including marketing,
service negotiations, intervention design,
service delivery, evaluation and reporting.
- To provide service
delivery that is primarily tailored, targeted
and based on valid diagnostic and design approaches.
- To operate within
the ethical and established constraints of
both organisational and individual confidentiality
to provide balanced and measurable outcomes.
To provide a focus on proactive; pre-emptive
and preventative approaches wherever possible
to assist individuals and organisations.
- To provide an holistic,
multi-disciplinary and integrated service
based on a clear duty-of-care for organisation
and individual needs.
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