How Psychometric Testing in Recruitment Could Help Your Charity

As a recruiter in a charity, you wear multiple hats. From championing your cause to juggling tight budgets and managing diverse roles, finding the perfect hire for your charity can feel like navigating a complex maze.

Have you ever wondered if you’re making the right choices? Or if there’s a way you can get extra help in making objective decisions?

Psychometric testing—what is it?

While there’s no magic solution, psychometric testing in recruitment is one tool that can help recruiters get a clear picture of how candidates would perform and behave in the workplace.

Psychometric tests are automated, structured assessments of candidates in the recruitment process against key skills and competencies needed for a role. The types of tests can vary. Some examples include numerical reasoning tests, verbal reasoning tests and personality assessments.

The results from psychometric tests can help provide a useful view of a candidate. In addition to other recruitment methods like interviews, they can help you identify the best candidate for a particular job.

Before employing psychometric tests, it’s important to consider the benefits and potential pitfalls of using them, to make educated decisions about their use.

How can psychometric testing help you with your hiring process?

1. Skills-based hiring: a fairer approach

The traditional reliance on degrees and minimum years of experience is giving way to skills-based revolution. This shift recognises that talent can flourish in diverse backgrounds, but opportunities aren’t evenly distributed.

Psychometric testing can support this shift by enabling recruiters to focus on candidates’ actual skills and competencies, casting a wider net to encompass a more diverse talent pool and enabling a more inclusive and fairer hiring process.

The benefits of a skills-based hiring approach are wide. It increases the size of talent pools, increases diversity of hires and improves employee retention and company culture. Research shows that skills-based hiring practices are also more predictive of future job performance than hiring for education or work experience.

2. Quality control in the age of AI

With the rise of generative AI, it has become increasingly easy for candidates to apply for jobs. A recent survey by Indeed found that nearly 70% of  jobseekers have already used AI to find employment. As AI tools become more sophisticated, candidates can tailor applications and apply to multiple positions with just a few clicks. This raises concerns about the accuracy and authenticity of applications.

As a result of this, some recruiters have reportedly seen an upturn in the apparent quality and number of applications. Psychometric testing can help recruiters in assessing candidate quality beyond the influence of AI. By using these tests, recruiters can ensure they’re evaluating real people based on their skills and potential, not just automated metrics.

psychometric testingWhen to use psychometric testing in the recruitment process

Timing considerations

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to incorporating psychometric testing into your charity’s recruitment process. However, it’s generally advisable to use these assessments at a later stage, after candidates have already navigated an initial screen or interview.

Using them at the point of application isn’t advised. It’s burdensome and off-putting for candidates, who are often professionals with numerous demands on their time. Instead, reserve psychometric testing for a stage where candidates have already demonstrated suitability. Additionally, psychometric testing may be particularly beneficial when faced with a pool of equally strong candidates. It can provide additional insights to aid in decision-making.

Using test results to guide interviews

An effective strategy is to use psychometric testing results to inform interview questions. For instance, if a candidate demonstrates weaker performance in a specific skill area during a psychometric test, this can serve as a prompt to delve deeper into that skill during the interview. By doing so, recruiters can gain a better understanding of how candidates apply these skills in real-life scenarios. It’s important to note that psychometric test results shouldn’t be the only factor in decision-making. Instead, they should complement other evaluation methods and help to mitigate the risks associated with hiring decisions.

Applicability to senior roles

There may be value in psychometric testing for roles across all levels. But it may be particularly significant in hiring senior professionals, such as CEOs and directors. These positions often carry substantial responsibilities and risks, so informed decision-making is critical. Psychometric testing is another way to assess candidates’ suitability for such roles and can reduce the associated risks.

Things to consider when using psychometric testing

Time considerations for candidates

One important aspect to consider when implementing psychometric testing in your charity’s recruitment process is the time it takes candidates to complete these assessments. Candidates are often busy professionals with various commitments, so finding the time and environment for assessment completion can be challenging. Therefore, it’s essential to be mindful of the duration of the testing process to ensure it doesn’t unduly burden candidates. Using a platform that offers flexibility and reasonable adjustments is essential to promote inclusivity in the recruitment process and accommodate candidates’ schedules.

Consideration for neurodivergent candidates

Neurodivergent individuals may have differences in processing information, thought and behaviour. This can directly impact their experience with assessments. It’s essential that your recruitment process creates psychological safety around neurodiversity. If you choose to incorporate psychometric testing, you should make sure that the testing platform you use offers reasonable adjustments such as extra time to accommodate neurodivergent candidates. For candidates who disclose their neurodivergence to you, you should also consider whether more weight should be given to other parts of the hiring process.

Integrate insights from psychometric testing with other methods

While psychometric testing offers valuable insights into candidates’ skills and traits, it shouldn’t be used as a standalone recruitment solution. Instead, it should be integrated as part of a comprehensive assessment strategy that includes interviews, and other selection methods. In this way, recruiters can gain a holistic understanding of candidates and make more informed hiring decisions.

Interested in trying psychometric testing?

CharityJob has partnered with Thrive to offer psychometric testing solutions for charities. Thrive facilitates comparative analysis across candidates and provides interview questions and other tips based on weaker areas identified in the tests. Thrive’s approach also addresses limitations by allowing neurodivergent candidates to contact them directly for accommodations and scalability in assessment time.

To find out more, contact your account manager.

Tags: charity sector recruitment, diversity in recruitment, finding the right people, hiring the right people, HR practices

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About the author

Lucy Hardy

Lucy Hardy is Research Manager at CharityJob.