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How to Make the Most Out of the Results of Psychometrics

Here’s how to put results of psychometrics to good use to become a star in your organization!

People Strategy
People Insights
Psychometrics

Cindy Boisvert

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

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You know it, I know it, we all know it: psychometrics is becoming the hot (not so) new thing in HR. Let’s face it: recruitment, hiring, onboarding, engagement, even compensation, are all changing. Organizations need to come up with innovative ways to ensure their employees are both happy and fit for the job to remain great assets to the business.

But setting up psychometric testing within your organization will do no good if you do not know how to put those results to great use.

And I’m about to tell you exactly how to do so.

Make sure your results are based on scientific validation

Which of these situations would you trust the most?

  • The Doctor gives you a diagnosis based on questions that are irrelevant to your condition;
  • The Doctor asks you significant questions, sends you to do the right tests and diagnoses you based on those results?

I would bet my job on the latter (betting my life would be a little intense!).

To be able to interpret those psychometric results with precision, you need to make sure they are accurate in the first place. Choosing a scientifically validated test is the only way to go to being able to put the results of psychometrics to great use.

Also, by picking an assessment that is not backed up by science, you become subject to anti-discrimination laws. We don’t want that!

Look for strengths in the psychometrics results

It’s easy to be tempted to use psychometric results in a negative way. Especially when some personality traits reflect behaviors you’ve had problems with in the past, or that are the complete opposite of yours.

Please don’t do that!

Pinpoint the extremes within personality aspects and try to figure out how those can actually be strengths. For instance, if you are extremely organized, you might see spontaneity as a bad trait. Fair enough (up to that point).

But you might be forgetting an important aspect about spontaneous people:

  • They are less likely to mind interruptions
  • They love new situations
  • They’re master improvisers and don’t really mind unexpected situations.
  • They make quick decisions
  • They’re ok with doing things last-minute

You see? It all depends on the job! Those can be great strengths for certain occupations or organizations.

I bet you will rethink what you’ll do from now on with certain psychometric results.

Don’t base your judgement on only one personality dimension

If you use psychometric assessments that label people into 3-4 categories, it’s hard to draw conclusions. But if you opt for an assessment that evaluates multiple personality dimensions on their own, then it will make much more sense.

It’s psychometrics we’re talking about, not astrology. And to able to draw appropriate conclusions from the assessment’s results, you need to have factual and unique data.

Let’s say you are assertive, extroverted and thick-skinned, while someone else is assertive, introverted and empathetic. How likely are you to use similar approaches if you need to tell an employee his or her work was shoddy. Not very likely.

Link Dimensions. Make combinations. Draw conclusions.

Compare the results to the desired personality traits

Whether they are specific to the role, common to the team, or spread-out to the company culture, it’s important to compare.

Does the job require someone to be very results-oriented? Does the team need someone who is skeptical, hence naturally inclined to question and dig deeper? Does your company culture involve the need to feel energized from creating new contacts?

If you don’t know what you are looking for in the first place, how can you put those results to good use? Comparing someone’s personality profile to your own established standard is exactly how to use psychometrics at its finest.

Share their psychometric results with candidates

Although it is not mandatory, it’s still something that can be done with the results of psychometrics. It’s a nice way to thank them for showing up to the interview!

And if you are assessing your employees (which you should!), the reason is even more appropriate. Results of psychometric testing are not a secret. It should definitely be shared to help employees understand their strengths and behaviors, as well as understand how to interact better with others.

Consider the team’s personality as a whole

Just like only considering ONE aspect of a personality is not enough, considering just ONE person’s profile is also insufficient.

What is great about a real good team dynamics and teamwork is how diverse people with various strengths can make it even stronger.

So instead of taking everyone’s psychometric results on their own, combine them into one and plan a team-building session! But not the ones where you zipline from tree to tree. The kind where you all discover each other’s personality profiles to get useful information on how to collaborate better.

There’s a reason it’s called SMART data. Use it wisely!

You might be a fan; you might think they’re the worst thing in HR in years. If it’s the latter, even after reading this useful article, I invite you to review the most common myths about psychometrics… I was one of the skeptics that turned into a user, then a promoter, and eventually joined the Atman team. Now, that’s an effective way to use those psychometric results if you ask me!

How do you make the most of the results of psychometric assessments in your organization?

It doesn’t have to be as drastic as joining the psychometric assessment provider team like I did. But we’re still curious to know: how do YOU make the most of psychometric results? Have you ever learned anything that turned out to be life changing? Share away in the comments below!

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