Author Profile Picture

Jamie Town

Read more about Jamie Town

Psychometric testing for your recruitment teams: The overlooked ingredient to hiring success?

Could psychometric testing your recruitment team (not just candidates) be the overlooked ingredient to hiring success?

Businesses are blowing huge sums of money on hiring employees only to see them walk away within months because they are a poor fit for the business.

This is a common trait across many sectors where employees come and go in the blink of an eye. How can we avoid the repetitive nature of continually hiring for the same role? 

Ineffective hiring techniques are often behind this persistent failure to better match the candidate to the role, so rethinking our recruitment processes is vital.

Bad hires

Data from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) estimates the cost of a  bad hire to be three times higher than the salary paid. Get it wrong repeatedly and businesses are staring at a financial blackhole.

In its 2021 Recruitment & Recovery report, the REC also identified that expertise from external recruitment businesses could increase UK productivity by £7.7 billion if they effectively put the right people in the right jobs. Other findings indicated that only 52% considered companies in the UK were recruiting efficiently.

As parts of its conclusion, the report stated that HR teams need to work hard to make sure the recruitment process delivers productive and engaged staff.

Is a successful outcome filling the role the main priority? If the individual leaves after three, six or 12 months was it really successful if you have to start all over again? 

Engage the hiring team

To overcome flaws in the recruitment process, one potential solution is to use psychometric testing at the onset – for both candidates and recruiters.

Psychometric testing candidates is not a new process, but testing the recruitment team overseeing the hire is rarely considered or implemented.

How is how to get started with this approach

1. Use psychometric testing to benchmark the role

If someone is already in the role, you’ll know the experience and skills required to perform it, but not necessarily the characteristics and behaviours of that individual. Testing will deliver a more rounded view of what is required. Identify the members of the hiring panel who will play a role in the hiring process (eg HR manager, heads of department, CEO). Request that each member of the panel undergoes the psychometric test to identify what behaviours they feel the right candidate would need to be successful for the role.

2. Analyse the results

Use analysis tools to assess the results of the hiring panel’s tests to better understand the type of person the business needs to hire. It will also highlight if there are any differences between the hiring panel. For example, for a sales role, the CEO might want an aggressive individual, whereas one of the other panel members may want someone who is more consultative. 

3. Identify behaviours

The panel can then discuss the findings and fine-tune the characteristics required and a composite of behaviours is agreed for the role. Rather than finding out how someone performs once on the job, you’re assessing how you want them to perform on the job before you even go out and start hiring people for the role.

From the HR side, you have now identified the behaviours the person being hired needs to be able to perform the role well. From this you can create documentation on the behavioural traits required for this person to be successful for the role.

4. Embed the behaviours into the job description

Add this to the job description and you now have a comprehensive performance profile, where you are front loading the recruitment process and reducing the risks of a bad hire.

This is designed to get people into the businesses that will stay with the company long term as, ultimately, it is the behaviours of an individual which will decide if the stay in a job or not. 

Where psychometric testing the recruiting team comes in 

As a business, you set your hiring goals. Is a successful outcome filling the role the main priority? If the individual leaves after three, six or 12 months was it really successful if you have to start all over again? 

Recruitment has accepted this way for decades, but now is the time for HR to change. In today’s job market, it is so hard to get good people into your business – and it’s even harder to keep them because good people are in demand. So, you’ve got to do all you can to match the right people to your company at the beginning. This is where psychometric testing the hiring team takes hiring to the next level.

Recruiters and HR teams are still matching for the same criteria. Experience and skills will always matter but combined with the psychometric testing report on what employers are looking for, it is easier to match behaviours of candidates when they do a reciprocal test. 

There is no excuse for businesses to not be adopting ‘right-first-time’ recruitment.

Uncovering loopholes

This method also highlights candidates that potentially were not necessarily the first option. Their CV may not match all the criteria on the job description but the behavioural profile is a real strong match. This adds extra objectivity into the process. It can close down any loopholes and also remove any bias in the hiring process.

What’s the impact?

The ultimate aims of using talent assessment tools is to deliver ‘right-first-time’ recruitment, which in turn reduces hiring costs. In Choosing the Right Assessment Tool McQuaig highlights a 75% year-over-year improvement in hiring manager satisfaction as well as a 75% year-over-year decrease in hiring costs.

There is no excuse for businesses to not be adopting ‘right-first-time’ recruitment. Using a range of talent assessment tools and starting ‘in-house’ with hiring panels is the first step to finding a great match.

Interested in reading more on this topic? Josh Bersin urges businesses to stop using ‘post and pray’ recruitment

Author Profile Picture

Get the latest from HRZone.

Subscribe to expert insights on how to create a better workplace for both your business and its people.


Thank you.

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Subscribe to HRZone's newsletter