Introduction

Changing times

During times of change and uncertainty in the marketplace, many organisations’ are seeking more effective ways of ensuring workforce effectiveness with ever reducing budgets. Organisations’ are also becoming more focused on maximising the impact of their mid to senior hires via assessment and personality profiling to ensure they have the ‘best people for the job’.

Some candidates at a senior level are experts in ‘being interviewed’ and although one may feel fairly certain of their technical ability or their track record, other aspects such as their interpersonal style, potential derailment factors, negotiating and influencing skills and ability to handle conflict, remain difficult, yet essential elements to assess.

Psychometric Profiling

Psychometric profiling helps to illuminate these areas by providing an informed and objective judgement on the candidates intellectual abilities, interpersonal style/skills (this includes leadership and team work), personal motivation and ‘fit’ with the organisation. Psychometric profiling helps to assess and identify how people may behave under pressure – a particularly pertinent assessment when one considers the implications of hiring the wrong person or being unaware of their ‘derailers’. There have been many instances in the press recently where senior people within banking and government have derailed, often with disastrous consequences. There are occasions when their greatest strengths can become their greatest flaws; for example being shrewd flips over into being hyper-sensitive, or being charming turns into manipulative behaviour. Perhaps unsurprisingly, charm and charisma can mask a multitude of shortcomings.

The research

Over 90 large-scale research studies have been published, which have consistently demonstrated a significant relationship between the adoption of progressive HR practices, such as embedding psychometric testing and personality profiling in selecting staff based on fit, and higher levels of company performance.(1)

However, unstructured interviewing is still the most widely used technique for selecting and promoting people. A considerable body of research has shown that whilst interviews help managers select who they ‘like’, they are typically very subjective and a relatively poor predictor of future performance.

Unfortunately poor accuracy in assessment decisions costs time and money. Research indicates that the productivity difference between average and high performers is in the order of 40% of salary. (2)

Objective assessment techniques such as aptitude tests, work-based personality assessment and competency-based exercises have all been scientifically shown to be more objective and accurate in predicting potential and performance.(3) As such, they significantly improve an organisation’s ability to make the correct decisions and manage the risks involved. Not only is objective assessment scientifically proven to help organisations make better recruitment decisions and help develop their talent, such techniques also play an important role in attracting and retaining talent by fostering a culture of fairness and inclusion where people are hired and rewarded on merit and have the opportunity to use their talents to the full.

About Us

Moorlands Human Capital is a boutique executive search and assessment business focused on delivering innovative solutions tailored to meet our clients’ ever changing needs. We specialise in Executive Assessment and offer complementary services such as Executive Search, Interim Management, Executive Research and Training, Learning and Development.

For more information please see Contact Us.

Or call our Chief Executive Paul Battye on 0207 887 4534 for an initial discussion.

1. Combs, J., Liu, Y., Hall, A. & Ketchen, D. (2006) “How much do high performance work practices matter? A meta-analysis is of their effects on organisational performance”, Personnel Psychology, Vol. 59, 501-528

2. Hunter, J. E., Schmidt, F. L., and Judiesch, I. T. (1990). Individual differences in output variability as a function of job complexity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75 (1), 28-42

3. Schmidt, F.L. & Hunter, J.E. ( 1998) “The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings”, Psychological Bulletin, Vol . 124, No. 2, 262-274