In the employment market today psychometric testing is on the increase in pre-employment screening. Although this trend has yet to impact on the legal market there are a number of firms that do use psychometric tests as part of their on-going development of staff during their training and assessment days. Also, it is becoming more common for firms to use tests when pre-selecting trainee solicitors. There may be occasions when it is appropriate to introduce some form of testing either during your recruitment and selection or training and development of staff.
Testing or assessing candidates can be in a number of forms:
There is no pass or fail mark for these and it is not based on candidate’s abilities. The personality tools seek to determine how the candidate might behave or present themselves in certain situations. It can also indicate how they might approach problems, react in a team environment or deal with their emotions. They are most effective when used prior to an interview so that the results can be used as part of the recruitment and selection process.
These tests do look at candidate's specific ability in a given area such as verbal reasoning or numerical reasoning. You should always ensure that this ability is relevant to undertaking the role and also that candidates are prepared to sit the test beforehand. There are usually practice papers that the candidate can have access to prior to the actual test.
These are usually undertaken through assessment centres and can involve group exercises, presentations or role play scenarios. Again relevance to the role is paramount and also continuity in how candidates are assessed.
Two general points to take away with you about testing:
- Employer: Consider what behaviours and abilities are required for good job performance
- Candidate: Complete the questions honestly and do not to try and guess at what you think employers might be looking for.