As organisations become more sophisticated in their use of analytical data, one of the biggest challenges is knowing how to incorporate those insights into decisions about people; who to recruit and how to get the best out of them.

Businesses often make poor hiring decisions because they rely too much on intuition and other subjective, less-valid forms of assessment. Intuition can play a role in decision-making, but it needs to be considered alongside other objectively measurable data. Without the insight and clarity that comes from objective measurement, organisational strategies end up no more than an optimistic shot in the dark.

Here are Steople’s 5 Tips to help HR get the most out of psychological assessments for recruitment:

1. Does the tool really predict performance on the job?  The most important thing to look for in any assessment tool for recruitment is “predictive validity” – i.e. how accurately does the tool predict future performance and/or behaviour (note: the best tools correlate with future performance of around .5 whereas the average to good tools are around .3 and poor tools are below this); so make sure you get this data given to you for any tool you use for recruitment and selection

2. The “so what” factor:  you may use a tool that is a good predictor of performance but if you do not use a provider that can help you clearly interpret the results and what they mean for you, then you may be none the wiser. To help you understand exactly what this means for the likely on-the-job performance of the candidate then you need someone who can interpret the results for your context otherwise you may be making a poor decision. Ensure you use well-qualified and commercial psychologists to help make the best decisions

3. Data Integration:  no test is perfect at predicting future job performance; interviews are not perfect; CVs are often not accurate and reference checks are also very flawed; so given this, you can increase your chances of getting it right by integrating the data from all these sources. One of the best ways to use psychological assessments is to use them between the first and last interviews so that you can probe into potential areas for development or weaknesses in the final interview to help make your final decision

4. Cognitive or ‘abilities’ tests:  to enhance the likelihood that you will “get it right” it is best to use a combination of cognitive tests (verbal, numerical and abstract) as well as behaviour style profiles; cognitive tests when used together are more effective at predicting future performance with a correlation of about .5; when used with a highly predictive personality or behaviour style profile (around .5) you significantly increase the likelihood that you will ‘get it right’

5. Flexibility to use the right test for the right roles: you are best to use an assessment company that is not also a test publisher because you need the flexibility to be able to use the right tool for each different set of roles rather than using the same tool for all your recruitment needs; one size does not fit all roles and companies that sell tests as well as test interpretation may not be truly independent and free from bias when selecting the right tool for the job

To discuss your assessment needs and how to ensure you are getting the most out of your assessment process, contact Steople today.