When candidates hear the phrase “psychometric testing” they tend to react either with apprehension, or curiosity. Many may even ask "what is psychometric testing?"
Psychometric testing was developed by industrial and organisational psychologists in the 20th century. Some people have completed some form of psychometric testing before, perhaps to help with goal-setting, or have done so without realising (such as a personality test).
However, when it comes to testing for a role, the nerves tend to set in. Some candidates are excited to see what the test will reveal; usually these are people who have completed psychometric testing before and have some idea of what to expect. Others approach the testing with dread, having completed enough tests in the past to know that they don’t enjoy the process!
Some may believe that their results have led them to miss out on jobs or opportunities in the past, or have had another negative experience when taking a psychometric test. It's true that psychometric testing can help in the hiring process, but testing results are not the only thing hiring managers consider when making their final decisions.
Many candidates, particularly those who have not completed any testing, are intimidated by the combination of facing the unknown and having their cognitive abilities or skills tested and measured. They may be reminded of exams at school or university, with all the associated pressures and stressors.
At TalentEdge Consulting, candidate care is important to us. That includes allaying candidates’ fears about testing, answering their questions, maintaining robust data protection policies, and whenever possible, helping them to perform at their best. Our candidate care strategy contains a few key elements.
TalentEdge Consulting always attempts to make phone contact with candidates, to provide a human point of contact when we send out testing. Frequently ,this is the point where candidates express their anxieties, which they may not feel comfortable discussing with a potential new employer. We welcome the opportunity to reassure candidates, attempt to allay their fears, and remind them that psychometric assessments are just one piece of the puzzle in the recruitment process.
It often helps candidates to be reminded that their interview, work experience, references, and education are all equally important when an employer is considering their application. Psychometric testing results can be helpful, but are not the final word on whether or not a candidate is accepted or rejected.
Some candidates are only completing one test, others are completing five or more! Therefore, we always encourage our candidates to read our testing instruction emails in full at least once before beginning the testing. Twice is even better! Our emails have comprehensive instructions on preparing, practicing, and setting up for testing, and sometimes include attachments with further information on specific tests. It is vital that candidates read our instruction emails carefully, so that they are equippedwith all the information they need to take the tests.
Most of the psychometric testing assessments that TalentEdge Consulting uses include practice assessments, either just before the assessment or accessed via a separate link. We always encourage candidates to complete all of the practice assessments. They may not be exactly the same as the actual assessments, but understanding the format and getting in the right headspace for completing an assessment can really help to assuage the fear of the unknown that grips so many candidates faced with testing!
It is also a great way to remind candidates who have completed testing before of the format and feel of psychometric tests. Practice tests only take a few minutes, and can be a really helpful tool when preparing for psychometric testing.
The TalentEdge Consulting policy is to offer verbal feedback on assessments to all candidates who complete psychometric testing, regardless of the outcome of their application. This can be very encouraging to candidates, as it creates a feeling of exchange – they invest their time in taking the assessments, but they get something out of it even if the recruitment process does not go their way.
In our feedback sessions, we take the time to explain each assessment and what it measures, the scoring system, and what each candidate’s score means with regard to the cognitive ability or personality preference being measured. Our aim is to make sure that candidates leave the feedback session with an understanding of their psychometric testing results in context.
Our candidate care policy is designed to facilitate a positive experience for candidates, and help them manage their anxieties and apprehension around psychometric testing.
By guiding candidates through the process from start to finish, from preparing for the tests to comprehensive feedback on their results, we aim to de-mystify the psychometric testing process and improve the experience of testing for candidates and hiring managers alike.