Traditionally, one of the main steps in the Executive Search recruitment process has been in-person interviews. Companies would rarely make business-critical hires without meeting candidates, and would often fly top talent across the world to discuss the role and opportunity.
But then Covid struck and things changed.
Now, millions of interviews for Executive level roles (C-Suite, VP, or Director) are taking place over Skype, Zoom, or Teams. People are hired remotely, and even on-boarded from their home office (or dining room table).
During the pandemic, companies like Twitter, Google, and Morgan Stanley announced employees could work from home indefinitely, and began hiring remotely too. Ben Crudo, CEO of Diff Agency recently wrote in forbes.com;
“We’ve been fortunate enough to grow our team by nearly 10% since Covid-19 hit, and the process of hiring remotely has been eye-opening. Everything from recruiting to interviewing to on-boarding looks and functions very differently at a distance.”
Now, it’s common for recruiters to discuss executive level roles on video chat, and it’s increasingly uncommon for companies to be flying people across the world for interviews. And one of the ways they’re making up for the lack of this interaction is through psychometric testing.
While gut-feel is increasingly being eliminated from the final selection through processes like scorecarding and blind shortlists, companies still want surety that hires at this level will be 100% correct.
Companies are very aware the public face people put on provides the best version of them, and even face-to-face interviews don’t uncover their real skills and personality.
Most of the top Fortune 500 companies have used psychometric testing for years. They remove the subjectiveness of hiring based on what the candidate reveals and give hiring managers a more indepth view of the candidate’s capabilities.
How does Psychometric Testing work?
There are various types of tests. From workplace personality, to aptitude, and personal profile analysis.
Candidates answer a series of questions that give you insight into how well they will fit into your company culture, how they respond to certain situations, how they deal with stress, and help companies identify potential leaders. All vital in Executive Search.
They not only assist the hiring team in finding the right candidate, they can also reveal how each candidate is best supported in the workplace, helping them work to their maximum potential.
This sounds a bit too good to be true… What are the negatives?
While most psychometric tests come with guides for interpreting results, they can be subjective. The in-house team needs to be trained on this, and if they aren’t, there’s a good chance they could misjudge the results.
It’s possible for nervous candidates to accidentally answer in a misleading way, and it can be skewed by cultural background and English being a second language.
Psychometric testing isn’t perfect 100% of the time, but it does have its positives.
What are the positives?
Psychometric testing enables hiring teams to get a better judgement of candidates’ personalities, especially for key roles in the executive space. It removes the objectivity of CVs and face-to-face interviews, giving unbiased outlines of a candidates’ capabilities and emotional maturity.
They also put the onus on the candidate, saving the company putting in a lot of work figuring out their suitability.
The prospective employee undertakes the tests and the results are fed back to the company. In a fast-moving hiring market, it frees up the hiring team’s time to get on with other work.
At Solutions Driven, we work with Thomas International to complete tests on behalf of clients.
It gives them the peace of mind their candidates are being vetted properly and nothing is lost in a remote hiring process. It’s also useful when there are difficulties choosing between equally skilled applicants.
In a world where the hiring process and work environment is changing rapidly, psychometric tests can bring some stability and surety to recruitment, giving hiring managers the confidence that they’re hiring right. Alongside other metrics like stringent scoping and scorecarding, it ensures the person in your role is the perfect fit, first time.