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Personality tests or to use the correct term “psychometric tests” have been around for a long time. The word ‘psychometric’ is derived from the Greek lexicon meaning mental and measurement. The way in which these tests work has benefited hugely from improvements with technology and with the ability to compare one persons results against thousands of others.

Attitudes around what makes talent effective in an organisation have changed over time. Talent professionals used to want to find candidates with a balanced set of skills. However it has been argued that this has the effect of creating a talent management policy that promotes the hiring of average people. More recent thinking suggests that organisations benefit more by employing people who have very strong or extreme scores in certain skills, and that you should not be concerned if such candidates score really low in other aspects. It’s a more sophisticated version of the saying “play to your strengths”.

Dr Amanda Potter has spent 7 years developing a new set of psychometric tests, which were launched earlier this year using the name “Be-Talent”. One of the key products that she recommends is the Strength Insights test. Research suggests that individuals who are able to apply their strengths at work are 38% more productive, 44% more effective when dealing with customers and 7 times more engaged. Other products that have been developed include a test for Team fit, Decision Styles and Culture fit We have been testing these out within the team at Gail Kenny Executive Recruitment and have been impressed with the accuracy of the results. We are also pleased to advise that Gail Kenny and Ian Brooks have been trained and certified as testers with BeTalent.

Psychometric tests should never be used as an alternative to interviewing and other selection techniques but they make a valuable additional tool to help in the assessment process when hiring.

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