A few years ago, I was chatting to a potential client who was considering implementing Psychometric testing as part of the recruitment process for his medium sized business. He had heard about it from mates who worked at a large corporate and was simultaneously skeptical and intrigued.'You know what has always worked for me', he began our conversation, 'If I'm thinking of putting somebody on, I take them down to the pub, buy them a few beers and they tell me their life story.'
Now it was my turn to be intrigued: 'Wow, really?'
'Yep!' he nodded. 'You learn everything there is to know about somebody once they have a few drinks in them!"
'So, when you are interviewing them, are you also drinking...?' I asked, a little baffled.
'Of course!' he laughed.
"...and you've never worried your judgement was impaired?'
His eyes narrowed, so I took a different tack:
'How has that worked for you so far?'
'Pretty great, actually' he said and then, as I didn't respond and waited for him to expound further, he admitted that staff turnover had hurt the business and despite some great appointments, there had been some catastrophic ones as well - it was hit and miss.
What I ended up telling him, as I do all my clients,is that Psychometric testing wasn't designed to fully replace a person's intuition. Equally though, neither should intuition completely ignore the data which Psychometric testing delivers. Psychometric testing can identify red flags utilising tools that are designed to identify anomalies or inconsistencies in a candidate's story. It can be invaluable in providing a road map of avenues that a prospective employer might want to further explore in an interview. It is not Gospel, but one essential recruitment tool - among many - including the interviewer's intuition. Psychometric testing serves to provide almost always the only source of objective input in the recruitment process. Referees are not as valued as they once were; resumes are merely glanced at. Astute businessman use data to drive strategy. HR strategy should be no different. SME's who don't have their own internal HR departments can access these tools using qualified and registered consultants on a pay-as-you-go basis once they have shortlisted candidates. Ultimately, the cost for most test batteries is less than the cost of an enthusiastic night of beer pong anyway - though granted, not as much fun.