How do you ensure you are employing the best person for the job? Many companies follow strict resume screening procedures and many companies look to psychology to help them find the perfect candidate for the job. With a rise in jobs that require candidates to have a range of soft skills like people management, 60% of South African companies now rely on psychometric testing to guide the employment process.
Specialist testing firms are popular now and some have been supplying the South African labour market with testing since 1982. Aside from psychometric testing, integrity testing and polygraphs are popular in South Africa’s recruitment process due to high levels of corruption in the workplace. The question is, are IQ and personality tests reliable for finding that great employee?
IQ Tests: What Do They Test For?
IQ tests are now generally accepted to be reliable indicators of a person’s intellectual abilities. In addition, tests are standardised so you can compare employees fairly; if they are well-designed, you will be able to assess the employee’s intelligence quite accurately and they can save you time. IQ tests are designed for a range of intelligence testing. If you want to test numerical and logical abilities, there are IQ tests for those, as there are for language and problem solving skills. If you do your research well, you can find a suitable IQ test for your needs.
Some of the best IQ tests for employment are job knowledge tests, and cognitive ability tests. A job knowledge test will check to see if the candidate has the right knowledge to tackle the most skilled aspects of their jobs. It is highly effective for people working in jobs like accounting, engineering, and science. In short, they will tell you what a person currently knows. Cognitive tests give you a great idea of the learning potential of the employee. They come in the form of verbal and numerical tests, or abstract tests. You can get yourself in good shape for these by practicing taking various tests before a job interview.
However, most jobs require a range of person-to-person skills that IQ testing does not answer. This is why many companies combine tests and use personality testing in the mix to get an idea of the type of personality they are hiring.
Personality Tests: What You Can Find Out
Personality tests have been in use since WW1 and are used as a way of figuring out whether the candidate has the right personal characteristics for the job. Again, there are some pro’s and con’s in this line of testing which cannot be easily smoothed out. The negatives of personality testing include the fact that although you can test to see if someone is an introvert or extrovert, you won’t necessarily see how well they use their skill set in the work environment. You may be looking for leaders, and the test reveals the opposite regarding the candidate. This may not be a clear picture though, as hidden leadership potential is not something that will automatically show up in a personality test.
The other drawback is that many employees can fake the right answers on such tests. If they can gauge the requirements of the industry they could come across as goal driven and extroverted for a sales position, when rather they would like to be left alone to do data analysis or research. This is not something that can easily be detected.
The good news about personality tests is that they do provide some valuable data. They are generally good predictors of a person’s problem solving ability. This is also linked to a candidate’s ability to apply reason and succeed in a position. Therefore, it seems that personality testing is helpful to a degree.
Generally, intelligence and personality testing is not something that should be frowned upon. It is an unbiased way to assess a candidate for employment. However, interviews that help you learn more about candidates that appear to be a good fit for the position can never be done away with as getting to know your potential employee on a more personal level will give you the most well-rounded chance of making the right decision in hiring.