Episode 143 - The importance of psychometric tests in job hunting, recruitment, and career planning: with Paula Baetu.
Chances are, if you have applied for jobs, you have done a psychometric assessment. But do you know how psychometric tests work? And what does a psychometric test reveal about you? Why are these tests part of the recruitment and selection process? How can you prepare for them?
As a job candidate, I hated psychometric testing as part of the recruitment process. It made me so anxious. And when I had to do them as part of my performance management our professional development, I never understood the big deal. The results were never helpful for me.
That was until I did the TalentPredix assessment. Finally, a psychometric test designed for professionals and a thorough report focused on supporting career development and planning. By doing a test like TalentPredix, you can learn about yourself - your talents, career drivers, and values - and this knowledge will help you immensely in your job search.
Listen to this episode if you are job hunting or want to finally know your strengths and where to best use them!
About our guest, Paula Baetu
Paula Baetu is a Chief Science Officer and Operations Director and certified NeuroLeadership Coach. Over the last decade, she has worked as a consultant to help organizations thrive and as a coach to help individuals reach their untapped potential. Paula has accumulated a considerable wealth of experience in people assessment and development. She has worked with people at all business levels, from companies worldwide (such as Africa, the UK, the Middle East, and Asia) and across many industries (from telecommunications to banking, mining, insurance, finance, and academia). She loves facilitating workshops and using assessments to support companies in the full employee life cycle, from recruitment and development to planning for the future.
Her mission is to help people live more effective, fulfilled, and happier lives.
Resources mentioned in this episode
Transcript of this episode
Look, chances are, if you have applied for jobs, you have set for psychometric tests, but do you know how they work? And what does a psychometric assessment review about you for the employer or the recruiter? Why are they part of the recruitment and selection process in the first place? And should you prepare for it?
How do you prepare for a psychometric assessment? And do you know that by doing a type of psychometric assessment, you can find out heaps about yourself, which helps you immensely in your job search? You didn't know that well; let's find out more!
To answer all of these important questions about psychometric tests and assessments. I invited Paula Beto. She is the chief science officer and operations director of talent predix a new and innovative psychometric assessment tool designed to give professionals a thorough understanding of their talents, their career drivers and personal values so that they can thrive in their careers.
Paula is also a psychometric expert, which means she studied psychology and specialized in psychometric assessments.
She then got accredited in many, many, many credible assessment tools. And more recently used all of this knowledge to develop with her business partner, James Brooks, a new tool called talent predicts that surpasses anything that I have ever seen in the personality assessment space. And that's. Paula's path and my path have crossed.
I must admit that as a job candidate, I used to hate psychometric testing. And when I had to do them as part of my performance management or personal professional development, I never really got anything out of it that was useful or relevant to me.
So I didn't get it. And in fact, when I started coaching, I never used assessments. As many coaches do other coaches, start off with, assessments with their clients. And I never did that because I didn't like them. that was until I found talentpredix. I love what it does for my clients. And therefore I have been invited by talent, predicts to be one of their global partners in a few weeks time, you will also hear from James Brook, who is, the CEO and founder of talent predicts, when I interview him on this podcast for future episodes that we have already recorded. You know, James explained to me that the way we work is changing faster than ever.
I don't need to tell you that however, most workplace assessment tools haven't really kept up to pace. It is the ability to uncover a candidate's uniqueness that sets talent predicts apart and suits the modern thinking around amplifying individuality and diversity in the workplace. The way that I have enjoyed using talent predicts in helping my clients is to help them understand and optimize their unique talents, their career motivations and their values, and the combination of those three things becomes then my clients's best self DNA, the results that the talent predicts.
Gives us the capacity to think and reflect about how we add value to a company, the things that we like to do most and , why we haven't liked to do other things. It's because it's not part of that best self DNA. It really has helped my clients transform the way that they think about themselves and find the right language, and feel very confident about what their talents truly are. The. I have found that talent predicts can be used in different ways. So if you are wondering, I am not sure how I add value, what I am good at.
I can't position myself in the job market. I'm finding it how to find the words. I don't know what my strengths are. Talent predicts can help you a lot. If you are in charge of managing people and you are in the, in charge of the employee life cycle from recruitment and team building to career development, or preparing people for future roles, then talent predicts is also great.
And can give you and your team individual reports. And for you, it can give you a team report applied organization-wide, the results from talent predicts. Businesses combine unique talents and create a cognitively diverse high performing team, which I think is so fantastic. Bringing out the best in people enables them to thrive, accelerate performance and encourage collaboration.
And this is why I'm loving using this assessment with my clients to make it even more interesting doing the talent projects. Assessment is now my most affordable service. Yes. You heard me. Well, this is the best return of on investment that you will see out there in terms of career services that you can find online N DIY on your own.
The report is very comprehensive. You will be so impressed by what you get out of it. And it will give you a lot to work on. You can always choose and opt to then workshop the results with me. But frankly, you can just start with a talent predicts assessment and see where it takes you. To learn more about the talent predicts assessment.
Go to my website https://www.renatabernarde.com/talentpredix . All right. So now let's go back to our session for today, which we recorded live. And if you want to watch that video, there will be a link to the video. In the show notes. We recorded this session a few weeks ago on YouTube.
Facebook and LinkedIn, it was streamed live. And after telling a little bit about her career and professional background, Paula and I discussed what psychometric means and how those tests actually work, what they review the different types. Psychometric tests. So there's personality tests, aptitude, and cognitive tests.
Why would someone do it? And we discussed the many reasons why they would be interesting for both individuals or managers of people. What type of questions are asked, what type of, personality or psychometric tests are used in recruitment. And at which stage of the recruitment process, the different types are used, how they are evaluated.
Can they be discriminatory? Are there any biases that come from using assessments? Are they reliable? Are they accurate? Like so many D. Questions that I had for Paula. It was a very flowy, informal, you know, me, you've, you've been, if you've been listening, you know how my podcasts go, and I hope that you enjoyed this conversation.
I will see you on the other side with a few key takeaways from my conversation with Paula that I think can help you in your job search and your career plans. Ready to listen. Let's go.
So look everyone today, we're here to talk to Paula, be too about psychometric testing, which is a very important topic for job hunts and people going through recruitment and selection.
Now Paula is the chief science officer at talent predicts, which is my favorite assessment. and she's also the operations director. There she's a business psychologist. And before, coming up with the great talent predicts assessment tool, you. Have been accredited by every single other assessment out there.
right? what it feels like. Yeah. About, about 10 or 15. I dunno. I've lost count oh my goodness.
That's amazing. And I think it gives you then such great insight. Isn't it on what to look for when you are designing. Your own, assessment to, with James Brook who we've interviewed for episode 1 45. why don't you give everyone some background about your career? You know, where, where did you start and why did you decide to become an expert in psychometric testing?
Where did that come
from? You know, not dissimilar to most people. when I was in high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I, I just, wasn't sure there were so many different areas. I was interested in biology, psychology geography. just didn't have a clue. And what I did was I just started a general BSC.
at uni because it, kind of encompassed a lot of what I was interested in, but again, not really sure. I went to our, the, the careers office , and did some aptitude assessments to help me guide guard what I should be studying. they said I could do anything really because my, my IQ was good enough and I was interested in a lot of different things, so that didn't.
Which is kind of that, that first seed of, of, oh, psychometrics. That's interesting. And I probably walked outta that session, that feedback that I got after doing a full day of assessments thinking, well, person who gave me my feedback, their job was quite interesting.
so that seed was planted. and I was like, well, you know, what kind of encompasses both things? So I was interested in biology and psychology, most of all. So I made in, in South Africa, we, got majors and minors, quite similar to the us system. I dunno what it's like in, Australia depends
on the faculty.
The university is the
same. Yeah. Great. so I majored in, in psychology, general psych, and then I got to the point where it was like, well, again, I don't really know. So I took a gap year after my, my fourth year of, of studies. did some temp work. I came to the UK, got some life experience. and then I was kind of, Just by chance that my, my sister-in-law's sister done psychometric assessment and specialized in that.
And I was remembering that,, that time I did , the aptitude test and it was quite interesting. and I did for my fourth year, , my research study, I used some psychometrics and I found that quite interesting. So I decided to do the specialization in South Africa. It's a six month course in internship.
where you, you are pretty much working. full time in, in a psychometric environment, learning all about it. and then you have to write a board exam and, be registered, with the health practitioners council, South Africa. and I enjoyed that whole process and I got placed with a fantastic company, who taught me a lot around that.
, and then I got more into the consulting side of things there, but it was all kind of by chance , and following, you know, little bits of interest, but like most, as I said, I just didn't know what I wanted to do either.
Was there a sliding door moment when you could have done something completely different?
Do you sometimes look back and think, oh my God, I could have done that instead. What was
it? , it's not really sliding door. I think I realized in the time that this was not for me. so I actually, after my gap year, I came back and I was gonna do a. Degree. and I was sitting in the, you know, I registered, I got accepted and I was sitting in the, in, you know, the registration day sort of thing where the first day, and they were talking to us about the course and everything.
And I turned to my friend who had I'd, applied with, she continued and finished, but I turned to, I said, I can't do this. And I left . So I just knew in that moment that this is not what I wanted to do. yeah, it was just. Following what I felt passionate about and, and where I had the energy. And that's what I learned, you know, going forward and into using psychometrics is about, you have to do what you're passionate about, what you love, because.
it's your life it's it's day to day. That's so important. What you're doing is, meaningful
to you. Yes. It's funny. When you say passion, when I was interviewing James, for the episode 1 45. Uh, so everyone, please watch that one when it comes out. he also mentioned passion because we were talking about grit and.
This is the thing about passion. For me personally, I followed my passion for my first two degrees and I didn't finish them because even though I was passionate about those topics, I didn't have the great or the perseverance to develop the skill set to do those professions. I don't think I was necessarily talented, even though I still enjoy.
Art history and civil engineering. Those were my two first degrees. I didn't finish them. And I think it was really because of my lack of understanding of careers and what I could do. And also coming from a. A kind of an intellectual family that didn't have a lot of understanding of entrepreneurialism or commercial nows and, you know, business.
it was not part of our vocabulary growing up. You know, you can be, you can work. In the corporate sector and be a business person. It, it wasn't like how we grew up. So it took me a while to figure out that I could do a bachelor of commerce, which I then finished and loved. And you know, like, it's really interesting that if yes, I like art and I like history, but I don't wanna sit all day.
doing research. It's not. Personality to sit and do research. And I think the psychometric testing can really help with that. Don't you think?
Yeah, 100%, because it's that intersection of what, what am I really good at? Where are my skills versus what are, what do I enjoy? What are my interests and that intersection, Is usually the, the best career path.
So if we do, and I used to do a lot of career, guidance, conversations and new psychometric for career guidance. And you would have that, the interests, the personality, the ability, all coming together to then say, yeah, this is probably the career path that you should go into. Probably better to do it in, in a process with, with a coach than, unfortunately the assessments in, high schools, that tell you, you can become a, an astronaut or a carpenter.
those don't really help people because it's not, I think that focus more , on interest only. but it's so outdated and, not useful. but if you get the formula right then, yeah. huh,
that's great. And you know, like we were talking before about how I'm using talent projects, which you, developed with James R and as you know, I've been teaching it at university to, you know, students doing master's degrees.
And I wanted to share with you one of the ways that we've used it, that I think was really fun. we read. A quote from Amelia Earhart. I don't know if that was a good quote because she followed her passion and then she disappeared off the face of the earth by flying a plane over the Pacific. So probably I should choose a different hero next time or different hero of mine, but I'm really passionate about her and that quote, I will edit to the episode show notes.
It was all about, loving the process of preparing for her adventure. You know, she loved the process and we then looked at the talent predicts talent wheel that has lots of different talents that you have. And you know, when you do the assessment, the report will tell you , what your top talents are.
And we tried to guess what her top talents were. And then we then thought, okay, what if her top talents were these other talents? You know, she would end up possibly becoming,a, a teacher teaching other people how to. How to fly planes instead of being adventurous and flying over the Pacific, you know, and we sort of chose different scenarios of people that loved to fly, but then choose different career paths, different pursuits.
And I think that that was a fun exercise to kind of understand how you can all be doing a master's degree. Let's say master's of international relations, but end. Pursuing different careers because of that.
Yeah. I think in, in, in school you don't realize how many different careers there are and, and the nuances.
I didn't know that psychometrics existed until I'd already done four years of, university. because it's just, you know, there's so many different options out there and they they're changing every day and there's more. Different jobs appearing all the time. yeah, but with, with your Amelia Earhart, story, I think , it's great.
And this is what I used to do , , in my role in consulting, looking at, people's psychometric results, the battery that they've done, you know, personality, ability, assessments, and then saying whether they were right or, or wrong for the role based on. have I think you gain a lot more, if you were able to sit down and then have a conversation with her coaching conversation to then see, you know, how does that pay for her, the, the nuance answers for, for her?
Cause I think it's great that we can generalize and we can say, yeah, you you're likely to enjoy , this sort of, job or career path, that there, there are nuances for people in terms of, well, we need to
into that. , that's what we're here for, but lemme start with a very basic question about psychometric testing.
What does it mean? What is psychometric?
So a psychometric as you break it down is a psychological measurement. it's measuring, mental capacities or mental abilities, and, and can be a number of things. So people, when they think psychometric, probably the first thing that comes to their mind is an IQ assessment.
That typical one that, that you see on, , a lot of forms, so that, that comes to mind, but , that's only one kind of psychometric psychometrics also involve personality assessments, other capability assessments. interviews, especially their competency based or structured interviews.
That's a psychometric. So anything that measures, capacity or ability or personality, is considered a psychometric, especially if it's got the, the research and the statistics behind it to say that it's reliable and it's valid. So it's accurately measuring. And precisely measuring what it says is going to measure.
So I wouldn't call these assessments on Facebook and,you know, online that you answer some questions and it tells you what Disney character you are. I wouldn't psychometric.
Oh, got it. So, you know, they will be measuring personality. Traits is that, would, would you say
that? So, so some psychometric will measure personality traits.
So it's a personality type assessments. they can be measuring traits or type. So if we can start diving down into the detail, it can get, quite complex, but, you have type assessment and traits assessment. these are just based on different models of personalities. So we have, people like Cole young, and,so Francis gold is the father of psychometrics.
They, they all had this idea around what is personality, right? What does it look like? And they created a model and therefore CR then created, or people created tests based on that model.
Right. Are aptitude tests considered psychometric tests? Yes. In cognitive tests as well. Yes. They're all psychometric.
They're all psychometric tests. And that's, I said, even interviews mm-hmm anything that's measuring,that any capability is, is a psychometric test. As long as it, as I said, still valid and reliable. Otherwise I wouldn't give it
that title. So these sort of interviews that are, that we often see in very organized organizations that have great HR teams that.
All their questions, on a table with, you know, some sort of scale. And that is also looking at doing an assessment that , we call psychometric.
Yeah, because you you're measuring it against, you you're trying to standardize, the results and that yeah. That comes down to
Now, before we move on and talk about the psychometric testing that happens during recruitment and selection process, which you have to do, if you want to continue, with that. Application and move on to the next phase. You could decide as a professional to just go and, and do a test like you did in at university.
Like I've done a couple of times in my life as well. what's the benefit of doing it and which type would you do to help you if you're feeling lost in your career and you don't really know what to do
next. Okay. So, with, what's your point about for hiring and, and, recruitment? I think \ , the numbers are around about 75% or 80% of, the, the top 100 UK companies are using psychometrics.
And I think it's more in the us. So just to put that out there that a lot of, large companies are using. And more and more are, are using psychometrics. So I have to corroborate that statement that you made? Yeah,
no, we're gonna look
at that interview. Yeah. the idea of, of what you should try out You don't have to go and, and try out psychometrics beforehand. I think where it can help is if you just want to have a better idea about your yourself and, better understanding about what you might want to do in your career. because it's quite important that, that you're applying to roles that are.
that are in line with that. Otherwise, if you're applying to roles, and you're trying to get into these roles that are not in line with your, your talent, your strengths, your potential, it's unlikely that you're going to be accepted into that role. And I think we'll, we'll talk about this a little bit more, but especially where companies are using psychometrics as a screen out rather than part of the, the later part where you can then have a conversation around it.
but yeah, you can go to your, a lot of career offices, and universities they're using some forms of, of psychometrics. I can't always say what, what they're using, Just also say that there are thousands and thousands of different assessments out there. Yeah. some are good. Some are not less good.
Some are outdated. but it it's worth just, I guess, going through the, the steps, especially if you are stressed out or feeling anxious about having to go through psychometrics. yes. you could also speak to a career coach. I know I'm, I'm connected to quite a few and I know there's some very good ones out there who can then also do that process for you if you don't have a career office.
and then there are other psychometrics out there like ours, where you can go to the website and you can purchase a once off assessment and debrief mm-hmm . which can then again, just give you a bit more. Self-awareness and insight, yeah. Before going on that journey.
Yeah. And for example, what would be the benefit of somebody in a management position, a leadership position to do an assessment, like talent to projects?
What can they learn by doing an assessment like that?
Yeah, we we've spoken a lot about the, the recruitment and the job hunting side thus far, but obviously psychometrics can also be used for develop. and so it's on twofold. So as a manager or as a leader, if you're looking for a new role or a career change or.
wanting to step up in the organization, whatever it might be. then you can see the, the benefit of psychometrics, again, helping you find the right role and the right fit for you in, in, in the recruitment side of things, but then also from the development point of view. So you can use that same data, talent predicts.
We we've designed it, that you can use the same data that you've used. You know, you've used it for, for, for recruitment. You can use it for your development process to then say, well, what are my strengths? How do I. How do I leverage those? and then one of my weaker areas, what are, you know, we call them, potential performance, limiters, which include, your weaker areas.
and those we're generally quite aware of what we need to work on, but then also, as James will mention in the next podcast, your, over you're, um, overused or in excess talents and strength. Yeah. So when that dial's been turned up too far, And to be aware of those, which not much less people are aware of because we think we're, we're quite strong.
We're in a certain area, you know, maybe, maybe it's teamwork or greater teamwork. I know that's something that that's one of my talents, but when a startup too high, then I might be very concerned about what my team's thinking about me. And,not being able to necessarily move forward, on my own because I need my team.
So there, trip points that might happen that you might not be aware of. And then you can use that information as part of your development to say, okay, well now I'm aware of what, these blind spots are. My weaknesses are, and then start putting plans in place on how to develop.
Now I'm really loving talent predicts. And you know, before talent predicts, the only other assessment that I used to do was the via character strengths. I'm gonna put a link to both of them in the show notes. but I never liked any of the others. and I think it's because of my personal experience doing them.
They never really gave me much insight. Remember when you said you did one. At university and it came out that you could do anything. That's what I used to get. Or if there was some sort of quadrant , my daughters will be in the middle. like, you know, like so close together that it wasn't significant enough for me to think.
Yeah, no, I'm really more in this. Zone than any other. And I, I used to come out of those, coaching sessions, extremely frustrated with the results and not really getting much out of it, but I love using challenge projects with my clients. And I'll give you an example. What I think is is great. Two clients working in the same organization or the same type of organization, one extremely unhappy, the other extremely okay.
With everything. And once you get the report, you kind of understand why. So you would see one having, you know, like, let's say it's government that they work in one with precision as their top strength mm-hmm and leadership and the, as a personal value stability. That's the person is fine. I'm fine. I just want to stay here.
And the artist is like, oh, I hate my job. And his top, you know,career driver is entrepreneurialism . Yeah. And precision is low. And you know, like, it's really interesting to see that diversity and, you know, I've, I've, I'm really loving also, explaining how you can. Top up your, the talents you don't have.
If you're in a senior as exposition, like many of my clients are by hiring the right people. , you know, by way using talent predicts to also bring that balance to the team instead of you trying to be good at everything. Yeah. What do you think of that approach?
No, I think that's, that's accurate. I, again, when I worked in, in consulting, I had a, quite a large client.
and we, we did the, the research at the end, you know, we did research early, and profiling, you know, what, what does their top talent look like? What does the leadership team look like? based on the assessment they were using they were using Hogan, which is, quite a well known.
assessment that I'm, I'm also credited in. and what we found is that there was a lot of clones happening. people were hiring themselves. and there wasn't a lot of Varis in the system, where, you know, it's ideal to have this difference of, of opinion and different point of views coming in, or, or people that, have different.
Who can fill different roles rather than having everyone be the same. And then there's either no challenge, because we are clones of each other or,you know, or, or you have people for example, that are high on adaptability. and that means that , there's change for the sake of change in the system.
And no, one's challenging that, and therefore there's no progress because you know, the precision isn't there and the organization isn't there. Mm-hmm so , we can't just, employ clones of ourselves. and this is why James and myself are talking a lot more about culture ad rather than culture fit within an organization and having that mentality, who can I bring on to my team who can add, rather than who's going to fit into my team.
Yes. , that's exactly right. And that's why when I am coaching clients, or even now, like for free here, I tell people if you don't get the job, but you went through the, there are different bottlenecks and conversions during the recruitment and selection process. Let's say it's towards the tail end.
Don't feel bad because nobody wastes time with people. They don't believe. Can do the job, you know, I think that you have to,respect your competition, right? All the candidates will be great too. And, you're gonna come in and you're gonna have a conversation and there will be several factors at play here.
Many times as a hiring manager, I didn't choose a candidate that I adored. Because I felt that this other candidate here had some complimentary skills or strengths or something about them that I didn't have in my team. And as a smart boss, I'm like, I like you very much, probably because you're a lot like me and I'm going to hire this person because I think I, we need this, this sort of skill set.
Whatever it is, you know, to compliment my team. So it's sometimes not really personal at
all. No, it's not. and this is, I've done a, I've done a, a lot of graduate recruitment, intakes and apprentice intakes, and, and there you get thousands upon thousands of applicants. and it's a very difficult process, but when I've been able to work with those in the assessment center, which is usually the last.
In the process, or for grads or apprentice, intakes, I've always said to them, you know, actually you can use that, this, this experience on your CV saying I got to the last stage of this, graduate intake, even if you don't get the role because you've beat up thousands and thousands of applicants already to get to the point.
so we have to think about. And that point, even if you get to the first interview, you've already beat. a large number of CVS and other applicants to get to that point. Yeah. but yes, I, I agree about, you, you then have to find the right person, for the role. and you can't just employ someone you like, and this is why.
You know, we talk about how just using interviews is not a great predictive performance. Yes. more assessments and steps that you can add in as frustrating as it can be for the, for the candidate. who's applying, if you are using a number of assessments and an interview and maybe an assess center, you're gonna have much higher predictive, prediction of performance at the end of the.
Yes. We have a question here from somebody on LinkedIn. I'm not gonna name names in case you want to, remain anonymous. But I think it's an interesting question because they're asking, are there any free psychometric tests available now? There probably are. I'm gonna answer that. And then you, you can, there probably are psychometric tests available for free out there, but talent predicts is so inexpensive for somebody who is a white collar worker, who is here on LinkedIn.
It's actually so beneficial to have, very, you know, high quality assessments pitch out at the end of your 20 minutes that you're gonna be doing this right. So that you have this. It's a P I don't have it with me, which was an oversight. I gave my report, my personal report to my husband to read , which is something everybody should do.
I think it's a great idea. And I don't know where he put it, but it spits out for
one of our sample reports. maybe
yes. Yes. It spits out like what a 20 page report and, and it's such a great, amazing report that will give you so many. Outstanding insight that you can use as you build your pitch. If you're a job hunting as you, you know, it helps you talk about your leadership style, it helps you talk about the sort of professional you are.
I would rather pay and I will put the links. underneath. So you, you can go in and purchase it if you want. Would you agree? Like, I don't think that there's
anything. I would agree. Our, our price point is, is very low for what you get. yeah, because you're getting your, your talents. You're getting your career drivers, you're getting your values, you're getting your overused, strengths.
and you're getting, some additional,development, information. And there's a lot in the report. For, for a low price. What, what we generally do is if you're an individual who wants to do the assessment is, we send it in combination with a coaching session, which means that you're getting, a, a fantastic,a coaching experience and, more information, rather than just getting the profile.
But even if you just got the profile there's a lot in. as long as you take the time to, really work with it,
I'm loving using it, like I said before, and, both with one-on-one coaching and as you know, I, I used it as part of my teaching at the university with 160 students and doing that analysis.
Frankly, I'm just starting to use talent predicts, and I really wanted it. You guys to be with me, when I was doing it, but then it just, it just went so well the session. And I think that the students took so much out of it. And I think at whatever stage you are in your career, it's really beneficial.
To take some time and invest, you know, what's really not a lot of money to get at least the report, if not the, the coaching session. And by the way, my husband is at the airport in Sydney, waiting for his plane and saying, yes, the report is with me. So I want it back. So if you still listening, thank you
for watching at the airport.
he probably has nothing else to do. so, with the. psychometric testing done in recruitment. Paula, I'm gonna share with you, you know, as a coach, how I, I think the, the difference between, because you mentioned it briefly and I want to highlight it when you are applying for a job. And , you send your application and the very next step is an assessment.
It feels like it's more binary. Whereas if it's at the tail end, if you like, it's more, like I want just to have an, insight on who you are and not just. You know, cut people off and use the psychometric testing as a, a cutting tool in the selection process. Can you explain the sort of reasons why recruiters would choose, or maybe you don't know, but I'm hoping you can give some insight as to why they, some of them put it at the very beginning and others at the tail end.
I think it comes down to preference, but then also, experience, So where, where I've used psychometrics at the, at the get go, as a screen out is when you're dealing with a lot of, applicants, you need some way. To, lessen the pool as it were mm-hmm because, you know, for some graduate intakes with large companies, I've dealt with 40,000 applicants, you know, so that sort of level, you have to whittle down The people, to then put them into the next phase, as it gets costly, the further it goes along and you can't run assessment centers with thousands of people, you wanna get it down to maybe a hundred , and then run a number of cent, assessment centers. Based on, on your smaller pool, so you can use it then.
I wouldn't use talent predicts as a screening tool. but you can use, ability type assessments to say the role is, an accounting or at an accounting firm or accounting level role. or, you're, you're employing. analysts. so that sort of thing, you can plug in an, numerical reasoning test or something like that at the beginning.
So at least you're saying, well, we are only gonna put forward anyone who's got average to more than average, numerical reasoning for this role. Anyone who's scoring below average. Um, we will reject at this time again, that doesn't mean that you can't apply again. okay. We will understand that you might have a bad.
but where I find yeah. At, where most people use it is, is then at the next stage. So when you're doing the interview, you will do the assessment, more, you know, your personality based assessment or something like town and predicts. and then in the interview you can then prompt. Questions around the information that you then have in that report.
So rather than just using it as a screen app, you're using that information and, and being able to throw back questions to that person based on what their results have said. and then in the, assessment center, if they're running one, then you doing other types of psychometrics, which is your role plays in presentations or leaderless group discussions, which will then give you a bit more information about this person to then make your final decision.
Yeah, no, that's very, very true. I like you, I haven't, done graduate intake, but I've prepared graduates for graduate intakes and, preparing them to sit for psychometric testing is really important, but I have another comment here coming, from. Rachel. And I know Rachel is in human resources and she said, I like to test up front so I can probe further in the interview.
If it's at the end of the process, you miss that opportunity. And that's more the sort of clientele that I have, cuz my clients are mid- career to senior career and they still have the assessment at the. Sometimes not always cuz every selection process is different and, and they're like, oh, you know, they're gonna cut me out because whatever I say, and I try to explain to them that in that case, I don't think so because of the seniority of the level and the career experience being what you can see, if the person would fit the role or not.
I think for that, maybe the talent predicts is a good assessment. To have. Why, why would, why would one use talent predicts in recruitment and selection? Considering what it's giving as an output is talent. Just letting people know it's, you know, your top talents, your career drivers and your personal values,
Mm-hmm personally I know people do, but I personally would not. reject someone or throw them out of the process based on personality results, purely, especially something like values. because that, that, again, could be a value add to the company.
I would use it. and this is what I've told people to use. Talent projects is you use it at, in preparation for the interview and then have, like Rachel said, then you can use that to probe. Further, and get to know this person a little bit more and ask them, more specific questions about, if they're, if they're highly adaptable.
Can you tell me about a time where you had to, you had to be highly adaptable, or tell me about a time where, you know, the, the situation didn't allow for you to, Make decisions quickly if they're highly decisive. So, there are ways that you can just probe in that. I wouldn't use it for screening.
If you are going to use psychometrics for screening. it would be in combination, as I said, with an ability assessment, But, yeah, I I've used too many psychometrics, just for, recruitment where I've written a report and then I've said, oh, I have, this person is a good fit for the role or a bad fit for the role.
I've never spoken to this person. And I felt a bit strange about that, with just looking at psychometrics and not having a conversation and then making that decision. but if you are using psychometrics, then you're having the, the interview. potentially a role play or presentation for , your managerial C-suite they probably do a larger number of assessments then yes, you can, you can start to make those, decisions AF after that process.
yes. one thing that I commented with you before we started recording, is the fact that some people, sometimes I find that, it validates what people already knew about themselves and they feel like, yes, I own this talent. It's my talent. And I've been talking about it. And now here it is, you know, the receipts that they say, you know, but sometimes.
It spits out and it's not what you expected and you get really frustrated. it happened, quite a few times with when sometimes leadership is not high enough because my clients are, you know, mid-career to senior and they're like, whoa, where's leadership. And the example I told you before was critical thinking, you know, in critical thinking, came low for me personally, what came low, That I was like, oh, it was curiosity.
And then when I started reflecting upon it, I'm like, yeah, I'm not that curious to be honest. Mm-hmm like, I'm not going to spend time put if, unless I am, you know, ask. To do it unless I have to, I'm not going to learn something entirely new out of the blue. I'm very purpose driven and it has to, you know, fit within what I'm trying to build for my career or for me personally.
But it takes a while for you to accept. The things you don't have as your top talents, is that natural for, for you to have that response when you're coaching clients?
Yeah. So we have to remember that, unlike things like presentations or role plays, where someone else is scoring you, most assessments are self-report.
So you are answering these questions about yourself. So it is. I would say 90% of the time, maybe 80% of the time that you will get results that you expect because you've answered the questions. Yeah. and the assessment, as long as it's measuring what it says, it's measuring, then the output will be that.
and that's where people go. Well, I already knew that about myself. but it's sometimes useful to have it in a certain language or give you some development narrative, around those results. But other times, I think there's a number of things that could be happening. The one is that we don't necessarily really know ourselves.
so my example is I used to score very highly on empathy for every single assessment ever did. It was one of my highest scores I realized as I got. Into my late twenties, early thirties. I don't think I'm as empathetic as I think I'm. I like to think I'm yes. And that's for it. Hasn't decreased because, as, some of you might know a personality, something that's quite stable.
Over time. It doesn't necessarily change a lot. and we talk more about that, but, if things do change, they, they tend to come down a little bit or go up a little bit. so mines, mines come down more to a slightly above average, but not so well above average compared to everyone else. And that came with with life experience and, and just getting to understand.
Better and getting feedback from other people, right. Understanding that the other thing that could be happening is when we talk about talents or strengths or personality in general, we're talking about underlying in. Qualities that, the way that we describe it is zero eight, underlying qualities that describe you when you're at your best.
and these are things that generally come naturally to you. you gravitate towards them. but where there might be elements that. Don't fool you with joy and don't fool you with energy. You might have learned behavior around them. See another example that I've used and you could've heard this before an is.
I tend to score very low on organization. Very low. Yeah. I don't like it. I doesn't form you with joy. I'm not, that. You know, if you saw my desk around me right now, it's chaos, but I have a lot of learned behavior and learned skill that I've developed in that area. So when people meet me and they know me and I'm like, oh, I need to put that in my diary.
, I've got my notepad. I've become very organized because I've learned to be very organized, even so to the fact where I've been asked to mentor someone on helping them to be organized, which is fine. I can do that, but it's again, anyway, you might think. Do I gravitate towards this? Do I have, do, do I have passion and, and energy around that area?
Maybe like the critical thinking mm-hmm or is it learned behavior or maybe I don't know myself as well as I think, and there's some nuances in that. but we also can't get stuck in the numbers. So , when we are looking at, at these reports, you are usually being compared to, a group, to a comparison group, what we call norm group,When people say, oh, I'm extroverted.
I might say to them extroverted, compared to who , who did the report compare against as little global norm? Was it against other students? who are you being compared against? and that might be, you know, you might be getting an average school if the school's one to 10 and that school might be five and we might think that's low.
No, it's average. It's you compared to other people, you are just as, much of a critical
thinker as they. Yes. That's very interesting because you know, here in Australia, we're a country of migrants, right? So we have people from different backgrounds and they have come to Australia at different stages as well.
And I often, you know, and I've raised this with James in a conversation with him before I've often, have this concern about their cultural background and, where they come from and how they were raised, where. Were born how that may influence the results of, a psychometric test that they do.
Mm-hmm and I've had more than once dealt with, really difficult situations that work with clients that are. Europeans in Australia or Asians in Australia or even myself, frankly, you know, at work, doing some sort of psychometric test and analysis and then being not considered for promotion or something that was on the way based on their actual day to day performance, then the test kinds of.
Pull that lever back down again. Have you experienced that? Cause I have. And we had to create the whole narrative was how they were going to talk to their managers about this and how people from a Germanic background tend to answer questions or some people from Asian backgrounds, wouldn't say that they are.
like this or like that, cuz that's not exactly part of their culture.
we don't wanna, we don't wanna stereotype, but yeah, it's exactly that as part of the culture. So some, communities are gonna be more ambitious and more driven and other communities are gonna be more centered around people and, and values.
and that does change the. Potentially not necessarily a lot, but it does change the comparison. So what the averages of the group. So this is a big issue in South Africa, for example, and this is where, where I was trained or I was brought up because a lot of the assessments , that were developed in the sixties and seventies, the norm group, the comparison group were white.
you know, upper class,, those that had access to education, that was the comparison, probably more males than females even. and then you're comparing, your large community with many different cultures and values and upbringings to a group. There's nothing like you, your results are not likely to be accurate.
It's gonna say that you are well below the norm on some things and well above the norm and other things. and it's not actually then a valid and reliable tool to be using. Yeah. so you have to be careful about the assessments that you are using, that they have. being backed up by research, that's up to date.
They're not using, outdated research from the sixties and seventies. and yeah, I think people need to be careful, but then also know that assessments don't mean that this is set in stone for you either. I think that's also important to talk about where if the session says, well, I've got average drive or low drive.
That doesn't mean that that's you, , you can't then use that as an, excuse. Well, I don't have drives, so I'm not gonna wor worry about getting, you know, other by applying for a promotion. this is where psych metrics are used inaccurately, to be that, to say, this is you, no, this is how you come across, and this is how you compare to others, but you can develop these things.
You can build the skill around. and this is again, why I wouldn't reject someone based on, on a personality assessment from a, from a job process.
Paula, how can you prepare for a psychometric test if you're doing it through like doing a recruitment process, do you prepare, or how do you, what would you recommend?
there's nothing that you can do to prepare, for most assessments, personality based assessments, there's no right or wrong answers. Mm-hmm it's all about being just your authentic self, being honest, about who you are, usually you just need to go with the gut feel, answer because that's more likely you not overthink it.
So there's nothing you can do to prepare, for those, with the ability type assessments, you need to have a certain level. numeracy, if it's, for numerical assessment or verbal, reasoning or certain level of English, for those sort of assessment, mm-hmm, you can do training and, and there are practice tests for some of these.
I know, One of our competitors. They've got practice tests online, so you can go look, if you know what the kind of assessment that you're gonna be doing, ideally the hiring person can tell you so you can ask them, or you asking me to do these assessments. Can you tell me a little bit more about them or who the developer is?
And then you can do a little bit of research, okay. With most of these, you can't, you can't do too much preparation, but that's okay. You should, you should feel okay about
that. you should just feel fine and relaxed and not nervous and, and do it with intention. You know, I have clients, especially those that do it.
as part of their work, they just do it. Let's say. On an evening, cuz they're so busy and they don't pay attention to what they're saying, just ticking the boxes in a hurry. And then the result spits out. It goes to HR and it makes their life hell .
Yeah. If you're talking about mentally preparing yes, then yes.
You need to have ideally,, most of the time we say do it in the morning when you're at refresh, especially if it's, if it's a cognitive ability assessment, do it in the morning. Don't wait till the evening when you're tired. do it when you're the most energized. I mean, for some people I might not be the morning.
It might be midmorning or early afternoon, but don't do it too late in the day, or when you, when you tend to feel really tired. , and for. Any other, other personality assessments, just, just take a breath, be in a good, state of mind if you're stressed or trying to portray something that you're not, that's not gonna be helpful to you or the hiring person at all, because you're not gonna show who you are.
and a lot of these things aren't timed either. So if you feel like you're getting really freaked out about it, just take a step away, go get a drink, go for a walk and then come back to it. So those are some things that you can do just to feel calm and relaxed about the, about the process.
And final question.
If I do talent predicts again in two, three years time, would it have changed?
So, I mentioned this a little bit earlier, but, talents or personality traits don't tend to change a lot over time. so the talent element, you might find that what we call secondary talents, the ones that are just below your top five talents, some of those might pop up.
other ones might pop down a little bit. you might find those, those small changes personally, who doesn't tend to change unless you've experienced some sort of a trauma or some big life event. what you might find change is career drivers, especially if you currently early on in your career, because you don't necessarily quite know right now, what drives you?
as you grow up and as you have kids and get married then balance, which is one of our career drivers might, might pop up a little bit more, or stability, or, or maybe you realize, I'm actually someone who wants to run a company one day and then entrepreneurial spirit pops in, but that's not necessarily something you thought about when you're early on in your career.
So those things might change a little bit, but as you. More settle into your career, you know, yourself better, you kind of set on your career path, then those are also less likely to change mm-hmm . But what we usually say is the test retest, reliability. So the, the chances of the test being significantly the sameif you did it again in two years for personality tests, that's usually 18 months or so.
the validity drops. , so then you should redo the assessment, because there might be some small changes and it just might be that the initial one isn't as accurate for you anymore.
Okay, that's good advice, Paula. Thank you so much for joining me today for this chat. Thank you so much.
And I hope to come to the UK soon to see you and James. I am loving using challenge projects for my clients. I think that they're really, really liking it too. it gives us so much. Content to talk about, to work with, you know, it's really been very, transformational in my coaching. So congratulations and thanks again for doing such an amazing job with talent
Yeah. Great. Thank you. Anata , it's been a pleasure and I look forward , to hearing some more feedback and for more people to use it, we're quite a young dynamic company. So , we wanna get that feedback and more, more and more people using it and, getting our norm groups, you know, bigger norm groups around the world and, and we're expanding globally.
So it's great to have you with us and thank you very much.
All right. I hope this conversation educates and raises your awareness on the importance of psychometric testing during the recruitment and selection process. But most importantly, how you as a job candidate can benefit immensely from investing in one like talent predicts to understand your talents, your career drivers and your values.
So. It can help you make the best empowering career plans for you as well as develop the best tactical objectives such as your personal brand pitch. And it can help you write your cover letters and resumes. Here are my takeaways from my conversation with power number one. If you are told you will need to sit for psychometric assessment as part of your interviewing process for a role, make sure that you know, what type of assessment it is now that you have learned the different types, you will feel more comfortable knowing what you are in for.
Number two. I know you can't really prepare for an assessment, but at least do some tests so that you can find out how you're gonna feel about it and that you are comfortable with the questions and that you don't feel anxious about it. I always like to de-stress the interviewing process by. Over preparing for it in the first place.
So find out,especially aptitude and cognitive tests, you can find , them online for free some sample questions. And all you need is just to do those sample questions, feel comfortable with them so that when you are in a assessment center, you're not gonna be as stressed. And number three, know yourself.
Sometimes you are not doing well in your job search or in your current career because you're not focusing on your talents and your strengths. You don't have the knowledge of what they are. Your. Having, difficulties doing that. Self-reflection on your own. I have endless examples now of professionals that have worked with me that were so grateful after doing the test to either have the validation of what their talents and their strengths were, or the understanding of why their job search, wasn't going their way.
They were just focusing on the. Roles and the wrong, opportunities for them and not really valuing those strengths that were innate to them, those talents that they had, and that could take them further in their careers. So please consider doing a test like talent predicts. You can find out more on my website.
It's https://www.renatabernarde.com/talentpredix . And there will be a link to it in the episode show notes so that you can learn more and hopefully sign up and do the test. You deserve it. And I'm confident that you will love it. Bye for now. And I'll see you next time.
About the Host
Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach professionals (corporate, non-profit, and public) the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress.
If you are an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, if you are looking to find your next job or promotion, or if you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running, then this podcast is for you.
In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, on my website, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients.
Contact Renata Bernarde
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