Man holding blocks referring to testing, including psychometric testing

Omni’s Head of Assessment James Crichton explains psychometric profiling and how organisations can effectively use it in their selection and recruitment processes.  

In this blog, we will focus on personality or styles profiling, as opposed to psychometric ability testing. A personality profile is a ‘catch-all’ term for a broad range of psychometric assessment instruments that seek to measure (-metric) an individual’s psychological attributes (psycho-).

Getting an insight into an individual’s preferences, talents, strengths, dislikes and aversions can be helpful when selecting the right person for a job. It’s what every assessment stage of the recruitment process, from screening to final interview, seeks to do. So, assuming the profile provides additional (relevant, fair and reliable) information, it will be beneficial.

How Does it Work?

Countless assessment tools fall within this category, each measuring different attributes and marketed in unique ways, with a broad range of claims about what they can achieve.

Typically, such tools present individuals with a questionnaire containing a number of statements, e.g. I am comfortable working alone, and require the individual being assessed to identify how much they agree with or recognise each statement. They do this by either:

  • Giving each statement a rating on a pre-set scale (e.g. strongly agree, disagree, etc.)
  • Ranking it against other statements, thus seeing which attributes the individual prioritises

Broadly speaking (and slightly simplifying) there are two ways the individual’s responses to each statement are measured. They are either:

  • Compared to those of other people to determine how typical the responses of the person being assessed are in relation to each attribute (normative approach)
  • A measurement is established by identifying which attributes the individual has prioritised over other attributes themselves, i.e. not in relation to others (ipsative approach)

Based on the responses from the questionnaire, a profile describing how the individual has self-identified will be algorithmically generated, where perceived preferences, talents, strengths dislikes and aversions against a framework of attributes the assessment is set up to measure, and these could differ widely across assessment tools.

What Are the Benefits of Introducing Personality Profiling into a Recruitment Process?

There are several benefits that employing an appropriate psychometric profile properly can bring to a recruitment campaign, including:

  • Improved decision making: Profiling provides insights into candidates that support hiring decisions. Importantly, it can reveal potential risks that may otherwise go unnoticed until the person is hired. These insights should inform and be validated by the broader assessments and decisions, enabling more considered hiring choices. Better hiring choices lead to improved performance, retention, engagement and productivity.
  • Supports inclusive recruitment: Profiling can identify strengths less evident in a candidate’s background. Recognising potential in a wider talent pool is valuable for inclusive hiring, which can positively impact EDI goals.
  • Enhanced candidate experience: When done well, profiling gives candidates personal insight and shows the employer takes hiring seriously. This improves experience and buy-in, so candidates offered roles feel suited, understood and positive about the employer, increasing offer acceptance likelihood.
  • Increased Efficiency: Effective profiling saves time and cost. Taking a few extra days to collect and consider the most relevant insights reduces re-recruiting when offers fall through or prove a poor fit. The right process and information leads to more offers made, accepted and retained.
Magnifying glass on an individual (candidate) to demonstrate insightful recruitment

Implementing Psychometric Profiling in a Recruitment Campaign

In theory, psychometric profiling can improve hiring through enhanced insights. However, benefits only come from thoughtful integration into a comprehensive assessment approach. Ill-considered implementation risks harm, as profiles are self-perception.

  • Tools must connect to role capabilities.
  • Profiles inform candidate discussions based on job criteria.
  • Implementation requires expertise to:
    • Select appropriate tools
    • Define an effective process
    • Train managers properly
  • Involving managers early and providing decision support are crucial.

Assessments must relate directly to role needs, not general preferences. Profiles should complement other evaluations and discussions focused on criteria.

  • Careful tool selection provides meaningful insights.
  • An effective process maximises value.
  • Thorough training enables proper use of insights in decisions.

With expertise and integration, profiling can boost hiring. Without it, negative results occur. Benefits require thoughtful implementation, not just theory.

How Can Omni Help?

Omni’s Assessment practice is a component of the Resourcing Transformation team. Our assessment specialists work with organisations to define and run assessment processes that include psychometric profiling.

As we do not publish our own psychometrics, we can select the most appropriate tools in the market based on what is best for that campaign, giving an objective, informed opinion across different tools.

We can help design or review tools and practices to optimise selection processes. We offer assessment partnerships which conduct objective, in-depth leadership and critical role profiling. Our solutions can be implemented rapidly and are designed to dovetail into existing processes.

T: 0161 929 4343