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Allen Associates, Chatsworth House, East Point Business Park, Oxford OX4 6LB

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01865 335 600

I have been using employment agencies for years and without a shadow of doubt; your professionalism, enthusiasm and commitment to ensuring that I find the perfect assignment has really impressed me. Well done Allen Associates

Candidate Testimonial - March 2017
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Psychometric Testing

Some employers request that short-listed candidates are given psychometric testing as part of the recruitment process. Others are interested in offering it to existing employees – for example to better understand or improve team dynamics or identify individual ambitions or aspirations.

Allen Associates works closely with two chartered psychologists, Heather Freeman-May and Dr Julie Bullen, both based in Oxfordshire, who have an excellent reputation in this field. They specialise in the use of psychometric assessments for selection and career development purposes; Julie is also heavily involved in training and executive coaching.

Please contact us if you’d like to find out more about this specialist area and we will put you in touch with Heather or Julie for a more in-depth discussion of your needs.

Types of testing

There are a number of different psychometric questionnaires to choose from depending on your objectives. Typically these fall into one of the following categories: personality-based surveys which explore interpersonal relationships, approach to work, management style and motivations; ability and aptitude tests which help better understand areas such as critical thinking, numerical and verbal reasoning and ability to work under pressure; and interest inventories which help people relate their interests to particular career options.

Advantages and disadvantages

There are many benefits of psychometric testing including the ability to obtain a great depth and breadth of information about an individual in a short period of time; to help make predictions about future performance when used in conjunction with other techniques; to improve the accuracy of recruitment or promotion decisions; to make better use of people’s capabilities; and encourage greater understanding between individuals and teams.

However, psychometric testing can be ineffective or even damaging if conducted by unqualified assessors. The questionnaires should not be used in isolation but rather in conjunction with other factors, such as past experience, skill sets and future goals, cultural background and education. If they are used inappropriately, individuals may be left feeling exposed and vulnerable.

It is not something to be entered into lightly and should be done by experts.

Questions employers should ask

When you’ve decided on the type of assessment, it’s wise to ask the assessor to provide you with comprehensive answers to the following questions:

  • How reliable and consistent are the results?
  • How valid are the responses and how can you trust the information supplied by the individual?
  • Can the assessor provide evidence to show that certain groups won’t be disadvantaged?
  • Are the individuals likely to see the questions as being appropriate – for example, in the context of their current role?
  • Has it been used in similar circumstances before?
  • Can evidence be provided to show that it accurately predicted behaviour or performance on previous occasions?
  • Are the comparative norms up-to-date and relevant?

If you are not satisfied by the information provided by your assessor, it is advisable not to go ahead with the questionnaire or to reappraise your supplier.