Testing, Testing….The Value of Testing Skills in the Workplace

Tests have become an important part of the recruitment selection process and can also benefit the overall talent management process.  Evidence suggests that tests can be a good predictor of job performance; although test results should never be the sole basis for a selection decision and should always be used in conjunction with other aspects of the recruitment process such as interviews.

Used correctly, psychometric tests allow employers to systematically assess individual differences (for example in ability or aptitude).  They are easy to administer and candidates can sit them online as part of the assessment process.

With some many tests available in the market it can be quite difficult to navigate and decide which tests are right for your organisation and the positon you are hiring for.

Focus are able to assist you with including testing in your recruitment process, administering the tests and analysing the results.  Tests should always be supported by a body of statistical evidence which demonstrates their validity and reliability.  Guidance is provided on how test scores should be used to enable employers to compare their test candidates against benchmark scores of similar people.  Administering tests and analysing the results is a skilled task that often requires training and certification.

If you are interested in testing you should consider:

  • Is it appropriate to use a test at all (will it provide additional relevant information, and is it relevant to the job/person specification)
  • Which type of test is the most suitable and who will choose – recommend and assess the value of tests
  • How the results will be used
  • A process for giving feedback to the candidate

For the job applicants it is important to:

  • Provide advance notice and allow them to make any practical arrangements to enable them to take the tests.
  • Tell them about the test requirements and duration of tests beforehand and give them the opportunity to raise queries or request adjustments.
  • That they have access to an appropriate environment in which to take the tests.
  • Be made aware of feedback arrangements.

It’s also helpful to provide some examples of what the test questions cover and where possible a link to practice tests, especially where candidates may not have come across psychometric assessment before.

What type of tests are there?

SHL (part of CEB) is a global psychometric test publisher and has a huge market presence in the psychometric testing industry.  They produce some of the most commonly-encountered psychometric tests in the UK and around the world.  Due to the size and popularity of SHL and its products, candidates may have encountered SHL tests during recruitment processes.

There is a large catalogue of tests which employers can choose from such as deductive reasoning tests, situational judgement tests, motivational questionnaires and occupational personality questionnaires. , however, numerical and verbal tests are two of the most popular and widely used tests therefore we have highlighted them below.  As well as the overall score, speed, accuracy and caution are assessed during the course of the exam, and provided with the final test score.  SHL psychometric tests are available at every level of position, ranging from entry level administration to senior executive, and SHL ability tests can also be used for assessment, development and selection.

Numerical reasoning tests will assess a candidate’s understanding of numerical, statistical, financial and graphical data, and their ability to make deductions based on that data.  Verbal reasoning tests will test the ability to understand and make logical deductions based on verbal/written data.  Candidates will often be provided with a passage of written information and asked to answer questions based on the written information provided.

Sarah Savident, HR Consultant, is fully trained and experienced in SHL testing. If you would like any further information in respect of testing please contact Sarah Savident on 01481 728824 to see how SHL testing can benefit your

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