Selecting people for important positions should not be a subjective exercise possibly driven by relationships, expectations or, God forbid covert deals.
When I joined Blue Bell in 1969, the company ran me through a few psychological test run by a professional psychologist which came from the Brussels European Office. Over my 12-year career with the company I went through this test again. I am sure the company based their decisions to plot my career. These tests indicated my strengths and my weakness, and the company, believing in me, organised training in specific disciplines, for example public speaking.
What Is a Psychological Test for Employment?
Many international companies and a few local companies in both the private and public sector use pre-employment tests, as well as tests within their workforce such as aptitude and personality tests, says the Institute of Psychometric Coaching (US):
“These tests are the most effective method to measure (a candidate’s) ‘fit’, or match, for a position they apply for. These tests tell employers what they need to know, not just what the job applicant wants to share with them.”
Psychological tests gives the employer a chance to determine whether the applicant is a good fit for the intended position. Does he have the right temperament or aptitude? Does he have the endurance or mental attitude to do a competent job for the organisation?
What Are the Different Types of Psychological Tests for the Workplace?
Psychological tests for employment is a type of psychological assessment in three areas:
• Biographical data instruments often seek information on a candidate’s leadership and teamwork skills, interpersonal skills, extraversion, and creativity through the use of questions about education, training, work experience, interests, attitudes, personal assessments of skills, and personality to predict success on the job.
• Aptitude tests, measure a candidate’s ability to learn quickly, and use logic, reasoning, reading comprehension and other mental abilities that assess a person’s aptitude or potential to solve job-related problems by providing information about their mental abilities,
• Personality tests, which try to measure a person’s extraversion, conscientiousness, openness to new experiences, optimism, agreeableness, service orientation, stress tolerance, emotional stability, initiative or proactivity, empathy, and interpersonal interactions.
What Are the Characteristics of Psychological Tests?
Aman Sharma notes that the characteristics of psychological tests are:
1. Objectivity: The test should be free of judgement ‘
2. Reliability: The test should deliver consistent results.
3. Validity: The test should measure what it intends to measure.
4. Norms: The test should measure the average performance of a group.
5. Predictability: The test should not be too lengthy and difficult to answer as well as score.
The Bottom Line
The key is using an instrument that helps an organisation find the candidate who best fits the intended position.
Using the right psychology test can help an organisation select the right candidates, and avoid the disaster of bringing aboard the wrong kind of dependent who can easily underperform and even damage morale.
I greatly believe in these tests for employment and career planning. In fact, when I joined the Nationalist Party “management” in 1981, I suggested to the leadership that we should conduct such tests on the candidates that had offered themselves or have been approached to contest the elections.
This was not taken up then.
I would recommend that political parties and the government consider this. Not just for the politicians but for everyone who has a high executive and fiduciary position.
In the context of current events, maybe such tests could have weeded out the sadists in the disciplined forces whom we have seen destabilising countries and creating ferment.
This is the way forward to create a people centric society.
Information taken from article by Leon Teeboom – 24, 2019