Going Beyond Psychometric Testing in Pre-Hiring Screening
“Good people don’t underperform due to the wrong personality, the wrong behaviors or some Quixotic definition of culture fit or lack of intelligence or weak team or technical skills.”
Lou Adler in his post “Why Good People Underperform”, 20 Oct 2015 points out several reasons why he believes this is true:
- They’re not motivated to do the actual work required since the job they’re being asked to perform after being hired was ill-defined before they were hired.
- Being competent to do something is not the same as being motivated to do it.
- Being motivated to get a job is not the same as being motivated to do the job.
- The interview focused on assessing competencies, behaviors and depth of skills that only weakly map to the actual work required to be done.
- The hiring manager and candidate don’t work too well together.
- While actual cultural fit is very important, few managers or recruiters understand what this means and how to measure it properly.
He believes that the personality screening tests used by most organizations are flawed and ill-advised because they cannot adequately address any of these issues.
Within the limits of any psychometric testing instrument used for pre-hire assessment the result are accurate. However, if the limits of the instruments are not properly understood and the results are used inappropriately then problems, such as Adler points out, begin to arise. Very few, if any, psychometric testing instruments can help assess the points that Lou Adler has made.
There is, however, a technique available that does allow one to assess exactly what Lou Adler is speaking about. It can directly assess a candidate’s motivation needs and work environment requirements in relation to the position. Managers and employees can also be compared to determine where there may be points of friction and what might be needed to resolve these types of issues. The HR possibilities for this technique are almost limitless.
The technique is known as Language and Behavior Profile Analysis. It is not a personality test but, as the name suggests, an analysis of behavior. Thus, for example it is possible to determine what aspects of a position will motivate the candidate and what aspects will not. Statistical studies have shown that using this technique to map across to behavior is both highly accurate and predictive. When Language and Behavior Profile Analysis is incorporated into the hiring process along with the traditional pre-hiring personality tests, managers have a much more complete picture of the candidate and will be much better informed to make their hiring decision.
A business that incorporates Language and Behavior Profile Analysis into its HR processes can expect to see a return on its investment in better quality hires, a reduction in employee churn, and an ability to resolve employee relations in ways that will more often than not result in retention of productive, motivated employees rather than the letting go of disgruntled individuals.