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Psychometric tests could prevent costly recruitment mistakes

Companies could be making better use of psychometric testing in recruitment to avoid the cost of hiring the wrong person for the job.

Recruitment mistakes can be especially costly in middle management; according to The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) mis-hiring a mid-management professional on a salary of £42,000 costs around £132,000 when accounting for recruitment, training and lost productivity. 

With skills shortages, the Great Resignation and the ongoing cost of living crisis putting strain on the labour market, the pressure is on companies to ensure they are hiring as cost-effectively as possible.

To improve its process recruitment company Clarico XL, which places high-performance management teams for food and drink businesses, has asked HR teams at new clients and potential recruits to take psychometric tests as well as potential recruits.

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Jamie Town, CEO of  Clarico XL, said the holistic assessments, designed to measure personality as well as ability, help to make sure all parties are on the same page from the start.

Town told HR magazine: "Particularly with senior appointments in organisations, you often run into the same problem. The recruitment manager takes instruction from the language in the job description, then finds candidates based on that description. The hiring manager sends the information over to key stakeholders, so you’re getting a lot of different perspectives about what the ideal candidate looks like.

"With psychometric testing you can have that conversation up front to make sure that the stakeholders are aligned in what they're looking for. If someone's having to act a certain way in a job, they're likely to be putting a strain on themselves. The testing will show that dynamic up and allow it to be addressed moving forward."

Research from training firm Wiley Edge found high staff turnover was negatively impacting company culture at 63% of UK businesses. Psychometric testing is one of the ways organisations can attempt to get a better fit from candidates in the first place and improve retention.

Town anticipates that Clarico XL's method will lead to increased retention rates, projecting 96% retention after 12 months, and 93% after two years.

He added: “Businesses do get hires wrong, which is an expensive mistake. This aims to bring that to an end by getting it right from the very start. The person leading the recruitment will be tested, those on the panel will be tested and, if necessary, the team they will manage or work with will also be tested.

“The goal is to identify any anomalies amongst the hiring team and to ensure they are all on the same page. It will also help identify a manager or executive that will fit into the team they will work with."