Here, we catch up with two of Oxfordshire’s finest Chartered Psychologists, Heather Freeman-May and Dr Julie Bullen, who we work with on psychometric testing for our clients, to answer some of the most frequently asked questions.
1. What are the benefits of psychometric assessment to business?
Psychometrics reduce the risks associated with choosing the wrong person for a role, ensuring that candidates who are selected are a good fit to the role and to the culture and values of the organisation.
This is why, for many of our clients, psychometric profiling is a vital part of their decision-making process when selecting candidates for key positions. There are candidates who are expert at being interviewed and this can create a positive impression that can turn out to be misleading.
Crucially, psychometrics can also identify the potential for dysfunctional behaviour and difficulties forming and maintaining constructive relationships with colleagues – characteristics that can have serious consequences for the organisation.
If the psychometric assessment is done before the client interviews a candidate, we can provide input on areas for our clients to explore/probe during the interview.
We also interview candidates as part of our assessment process and probe specific areas identified by the psychometrics to clarify how potentially problematic behaviours have been acted out in previous roles.
Following the selection of the best candidate, the psychometric assessment can be used to accelerate the integration of the individual into the organisation, reducing the risk of misunderstandings and unmet expectations on both sides.
The psychometric assessment also provides information for managers on how to manage and motivate the chosen candidate going forward to perform at their best within the organisation.
2. How do you work with clients?
We pride ourselves on providing our clients with an in-depth assessment that gives them additional information that cannot be obtained from an interview alone. To ensure this information is relevant and central to the selection decision, we work in partnership with our clients to understand the competencies and qualities needed in the role and the characteristics needed to fit with the organisation’s culture. Our reports are practical in focus so that the information can be immediately applied.
3. What are the practicalities?
Psychometric assessments for selection need to be completed in a controlled environment, so that there can be no external influences on the candidate’s responses. The assessment can take place either at a client's premises or off site. Some assessments will be paper and pencil and some digital.
Typically, assessment sessions take one day including pre-assessment discussions with the client, administering the questionnaires, interview and feedback of first impressions with our client. Following this, a written report is supplied to the client typically within two working days.
4. What other ways do you use psychometrics with clients?
We also use psychometrics to help leaders build high performing teams. Psychometrics provide information that enables managers and team members to play to the strengths in the team and understand the drivers and motivators for different people. Psychometrics can also be used in teams to help them identify different perspectives on current business issues and develop a synergy between different ideas and approaches in implementation. Resolution of conflicts at all levels can be improved with the use of psychometrics. Psychometrics depersonalise many conflicts and and show how to understand the different communication styles that underlie different contributions.
Chartered Psychologists Heather Freeman-May and Dr Julie Bullen have worked in business for over 20 years across a range of sectors including manufacturing, retail, fast moving consumer goods, finance and banking, legal, professional services, hotel and leisure, government departments, utilities, construction and recruitment.
They specialise in psychometric assessment for selection, team development and recovery, coaching and career and leadership development. They are both members of the British Psychological Society and Julie is certified as a business coach with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
Allen Associates has a long standing relationship with Heather Freeman-May and Dr Julie Bullen, helping clients to integrate psychometric testing into their interview processes. If you would like more advice about this, or require assistance recruiting in Oxfordshire across HR, Marketing, Admin and Finance roles please contact our managing director Kate Allen on firstname.lastname@example.org