Psychometric testing

#1
The company I'm doing contract work for recently advertised for some new permanent staff. As I'm only doing this as stop-gap til something more suitable turns up, I didn't apply. But some of the others did. Part of this was on-line psychometric testing. Despite doing the job for over 3 months, none of them got through to the interview stage. Conversations with long serving staff reveal that people who have been doing the job for 20 to 30 years were given the test as an experiment. They all failed.

One of my fellow contractors who failed has a friend who did the test. Because her friend doesn't speak very good English, she sat with her through the test and helped with the answers. Her friend passed. People who have been recruited through this test have made safety-critical errors, to the extent that some of them have been put on othe duties.

What does this say about the test? Is it fit for purpose? What are the HR dept playing at? Is someone up there from a rival firm trying to bring down the company from within?

I sincerely hope that the successful applicants turn out to be real wrong 'uns. Thieves, junkies, muggers and serial killers who drag the name of the company though the dirt, and endanger the HR department.

Rant over.
 
#2
The company I'm doing contract work for recently advertised for some new permanent staff. As I'm only doing this as stop-gap til something more suitable turns up, I didn't apply. But some of the others did. Part of this was on-line psychometric testing. Despite doing the job for over 3 months, none of them got through to the interview stage. Conversations with long serving staff reveal that people who have been doing the job for 20 to 30 years were given the test as an experiment. They all failed.

One of my fellow contractors who failed has a friend who did the test. Because her friend doesn't speak very good English, she sat with her through the test and helped with the answers. Her friend passed. People who have been recruited through this test have made safety-critical errors, to the extent that some of them have been put on othe duties.

What does this say about the test? Is it fit for purpose? What are the HR dept playing at? Is someone up there from a rival firm trying to bring down the company from within?

I sincerely hope that the successful applicants turn out to be real wrong 'uns. Thieves, junkies, muggers and serial killers who drag the name of the company though the dirt, and endanger the HR department.

Rant over.
It says the test is shit and not fit for purpose; in any event the validity (i.e. do they think they are measuring what they are measuring?) and reliability (are the results repeatable for the same candidate on a different date?) have probably got low values. The tests simply test for the suitability of a candidate not their effectiveness at the task. Useless fact; ATO's and airline stewards and stewardesses have the same psychometric profile, both proven by doing a job analysis of what they actually do and then profiling the job description to the people that the company needs to hire.

More important these tests should only be used as part of a battery of tests e.g psychiatric profiling, individual interviewing by the same panel of people using pre-set relevant questions etc.

Of course that costs money :(


Edited to add - see Roofrat below.

Normally administered and interpreted by pricks who have absolutely no training or understanding of their working or basis of formulation.
 
#3
My last posting (85-87),was the Int Centre when it was still at Templer Bks,in Ashford.

Psychometric testing,was used during my time there (I'm non-Int),one particularly slack Wednesday afternoon,I was invited to have a go,I failed and was laughingly advised by the guy supervising the test that "I would never make a soldier",my reply was "I wish some ****** had told me 22+ years ago,it would have saved me a lot of grief". ;-)

I think they're a bit like IQ tests,they prove you can pass tests but,what did we do before PT? :yawnstretch:
 
#4
First time time I did the test I told the truth, and failed. On the retest 12 months later (with same interviewer) I lied through my teeth and passed, what does this mean

..If you want the job bad enough, what the hell.




...failed the AT course later after having a brain drain on Guided Weapons
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
I've blown out an interview tomorrow because they were asking me to go through three hours of this shit. (and only for a temp job...I mean, wtf!)

sod that, I'm staying in bed.
 
#6
Thought they were invalid in UK employment law. I've had to do psychobabbles but they were 'only for research' and 'did not count' toward the application.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
I did one not so long back for the big multi-national I work for. It was a productivity thing - understand yourself and your co-workers better and you should be able to work slightly more effectively.

You did a set of 30 - 40 questions. For each question you picked the best and worst alternative from the 5 available. From there, a computer program put together your profile. Mine was fairly accurate - I'd agree with 90% of it. There were similar comments from the rest of the people I work with.

Among other things we were colour coded into Red, Green, Yellow or Blue. (I came out mainly blue)

Which Color Personality Are You: Red, Blue, Green or Yellow?

Companies are beginning to realise that interviews are not always reliable predictors of performance, so they're turning to testing to predict how people will fit in. For example, you wouldn't put someone who scored 'Red' in a job that requires you to be touchy-feely.

The best bet is to answer the questions quickly and instinctively. If your psychometric profile does match what the interviewing company is looking for, the odds are you'll fit right in and do well in the job.

Wordsmith
 
#8
We have it in the company I work for. It's a regular occurence that guys going for promotion fail the test, even though they have practically demonstrated the ability to do the job.
 
#9
Right, there is something not right here. You cannot "fail" a profiling test as that is not the way they are marked. In fact, they are not "scored" full stop.

I have done these things in my line of work on numerous occasions, and when lecturing, every 6 months, and in 10 years and perhaps 25+ tests, my profile has almost always been the same, even though I have sat different tests from different companies.

They are used to "profile" you, in other words, see how you work and think and are used in management jobs especcially to make sure you are the sort of person who can lead a team.

If you "fail" one then you are not sitting a profile test.

Also, they cannot be used as an excuse to get rid of someone, so if you are already employed and your firm introduces the test, they cannot turn round and say, "Oh, you do not fit in with the sort of person we want in that position". Since 65% of firms in the UK use them, they are a lot more common than one would think.

Remember, all they do is give a future employer an idea of how you prefer to work and your personality, they should not and connot be used as a "pass/fail" instument.
 

mercurydancer

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
You should, as I did, put on the top of the psychometric test (in this case Myers-Briggs) I AM NOT A NUMBER I AM A FREE MAN!
 
#13
You should, as I did, put on the top of the psychometric test (in this case Myers-Briggs) I AM NOT A NUMBER I AM A FREE MAN!
I understand that Myers-Briggs has had notable comment that it is flawed. I dont know if there is any merit in these processes, it all seems like snake oil to me.

I recall reading in the Standard that a former employer of mine was looking for new hires, a hand written cover note was required and they stated they would use handwriting experts to analyse candidates personalities. They didn't use it when I started though.

I only worked for them for a few months and maybe it was wise to move on. For all I know tohugh maybe they have dropped that now and moved onto reading tea leaves or the like.
 
#14
I had a look at some of those links. I honestly cannot be arsed to go thru all that bollox. The test's a pile of shit anyway. How the **** do people who have been doing the job for over 20 years fail? Tomorrow, by the law of averages, in this crime ridden country, some poor ****** is going to get mugged, car-jacked or glassed in the face down the pub. Please let it happen to a psychometric tester.
 

maguire

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
I had a look at some of those links. I honestly cannot be arsed to go thru all that bollox. The test's a pile of shit anyway. How the **** do people who have been doing the job for over 20 years fail? Tomorrow, by the law of averages, in this crime ridden country, some poor ****** is going to get mugged, car-jacked or glassed in the face down the pub. Please let it happen to a psychometric tester.
sod off...recruitment consultants should be the first in line for any unpleasatness...followed by HR staff. ;)
 
#17
Spill the beans Wolvo, which Company is it then? Most companies use this method so you wont be seen as a whistle-blower.
How do people actually fail these tests anyway, It's like BARB you just choose the blatantly obvious correct answer that they want.

Mary is taller than Jane. Who is the shortest?

  • Mary
  • Jane
  • I like to burn things
  • Teabag Mary, wear Jane like a hat and kill my family
 

Rod924

LE
Kit Reviewer
#18
It is impossible to " fail " a psychometric as it is a psychometric profile of you from the answers you provide. The info can then be used at interview to explore areas highlighted....' Mr Brown goes ****ing ape when challenged by colleagues'

The criteria, other on line test, are the tests that are failed.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
I dug out part of the report I got from my profiling exercise a year or two back.

Because he lives by principles and rules, XXXX is very consistent and dependable. He is keen to pick out logical inconsistencies. Work that doesn't involve intellectual stretch and the opportunity for mastery may soon become a drudgery for him. He approaches people and events as a dispassionate observer, with the objective of arriving at the most comprehensive truth. He is intensely curious and is always seeking to find coherence in endless amounts of data.

XXXX is a pragmatic individual who can be as tough as the situation warrants. He tries to use logical principles to make sense of the ideas that constantly arise in his mind. XXXX conveys great precision and economy of effort in both thought and language. He tends to be disinterested in subjects for which he sees no practical application. XXXX is an analytical thinker, who prefers to be fully objective in his work.

His perception of the world is a conceptual and abstract one, but one with endless possibilities. XXXX has an ever-present internal critic who judges everything he thinks and does. He prefers to be left to work quietly on his own, which is when he achieves his best work. His aim is to fit all the pieces of the jigsaw together into a complete picture, but for XXXX the jigsaw keeps expanding with the discovery of every new piece. XXXX's ability to focus on task suggests that he is a good problem solver.
There's quite a bit more of it, but the above isn't a bad match for my personality/approach at work.

Certainly, if I were being assessed for a new job, I would be quite happy to have the profile taken into account.

Wordsmith
 
#20
The sole function of psychometric testing is to eliminate candidates behind the fig-leaf of objectivity.

They are used by Medical schools to weed out candidates and, low and behold, there was no positive correlation between those who did well in the entrance tests and those who did well in the degree/jobs.

I do have some sympathy for employers here - how else do you select between what is often an enormous pool of candidates? Civil Service has upwards of 30,000 applicants for 300 roles. There is no way you could go through each application individually and "assess it on its merits".
 

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