Psychometrics and 360s
Psychometrics is defined by businessdictionary.com as, "Measurement or assessment of individual differences in abilities, aptitudes, attitudes, behaviour, intelligence, and other attributes, through psychological tests."
When properly validated, they have a role to play in recruitment; if you are struggling to recruit or retain the right staff, psychometrics could be the answer. Ask about how we could help you find, and validate, a suitable measure to reduce your costs, sift your applicants, or reduce your post-hire staff losses. See the case study at the bottom of the page for an example.
Personality questionnaires are also useful in staff development. They are "self-report" measures - so not without their limitations - but they can give a useful picture of strengths and development areas.
The most powerful learning often comes by asking others - using the "360-degree" feedback method. More details on these are below.
At Honest Pscyhology, we believe in only charging for added value. If you need this type of measure for your recruitment or development project, we'll sell you the measures at cost. For recruitment projects, you'll pay only for the time spent - e.g. on the validation research. For a development project, you'll pay only for the face to face feedback - which is where the real learning happens. (Normal terms apply.)
Psychometrics for Development
There are many psychometrics available - it's a question of choosing the right tool for the job.
A popular questionnaire for development purposes is a measurement of Personality Type, that is, the theory of personality first proposed by Carl Jung. (The MBTI is the most well known of these measures, but there are others.)
Another is the five-factor model - measured by the NEO-PI-R.
The questionnaire is completed via the internet (click the "Complete" button below to do this) and reports are emailed - they can be personalised with the client's own logo. As a guide, a Type report (see a sample by clicking "psychometric reports" and then "Type") costs £15 plus normal charges for feedback.
In the right hands, this can be a career-changing learning experience, uniquely powerful and relatively inexpensive. (Cut corners however, and you could end up with what the MOD call "slate-a-mate," which can do some damage!) If you decide to use a 360, please do take our advice on doing it well.
These days, anonymous data gathering has been made easy by using the internet. Allow at least a month for data gathering and report production.
But which measure to use?
I'm qualified to use the Primary Colours 360, which is based on the simple, powerful leadership model devised by Pendleton and Furnham (in "Leadership: All you need to know.") It's a clever system which combines the 360 with the personality report to provide a Strengths Matrix.
Remember, it's the feedback session which really adds the value. Our advice? Don't skimp on this bit, otherwise you'll be spending money on a report that may not be read or used.
The British Psychological Society has guidance for 360 feedback too.
An example project: Validation study
The Fire Service typically attracts thousands of applicants when recruiting for whole time posts: how to reduce the numbers fairly?
In a research project, we tested a group of high-performing Crew Managers, using a composite psychometric which looked at safety-mindedness, attitude to risk and attitude towards authority among 20 other factors. Their scores were then contrasted with a General Population norm reference group.
The result? The Crew Managers were significantly different from other people; they had an expedient, measured approach to risk taking.
So now we know: using this questionnaire would allow us to fairly choose similar individuals for fire fighter roles - and justifiably exclude the thrill-seekers and those who are risk-averse.
When we applied the results as if recruiting, we could have "kept" almost all the Crew Managers - but excluded around two-thirds of the general population sample.