Strengths assessments or psychometric tests are gaining attention in Asia-Pacific in this transitionary period in the pandemic. These kinds of exams are meant to inform people about their strengths and weaknesses, personality traits, and behaviors.
HR leaders conduct these assessments to determine skills – often soft skills – that can help them better place employees in different roles in the company and on teams to complete projects. It also gives the individuals themselves insight into their own competitive edge. Perhaps, they can also recognize weaknesses and work on making them strengths.
What Are Psychometric Tests?
Psychometric tests might also be called aptitude tests. The Institute of Psychometric Coaching in Australia provides this explanation:
“Psychometric tests are designed to measure candidates’ suitability for a role based on the required personality characteristics and aptitude (or cognitive abilities). They identify the extent to which candidates’ personality and cognitive abilities match those required to perform the role. Employers use the information collected from the psychometric test to identify the hidden aspects of candidates that are difficult to extract from a face-to-face interview.”
One of the most well-known of these tests is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which is used by more than 88% of Fortune 500 companies in 115 countries and is offered in 29 languages. Like all these tests, MBTI asks questions to probe employees’ preferences and recognize important traits that may help or hinder their performance on the job. For example, HR professionals may learn that one employee is better at leading than following and another works well independently.
In Asia-Pacific, Gallup is generally well-respected and its Strengthsfinder test is also getting deployed. Developed by Gallup Education, Strengthsfinder concludes by providing the test taker with his or her top five Clifton Strengths. Don Clifton is the inventor of this assessment and included a rank order of 34 strengths in four categories – strategic thinking, relationship building, influencing, and executing.
Testgrid is an Australian pre-employment assessment and talent development SaaS, which reports to combine psychology with data science. The company offers a number of tests under the umbrella of psychometrics, including those to understand a person’s abstract reasoning, behavioral and competency, numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, emotional intelligence, mechanical reasoning, sales competency, and cognitive testing.
How to Use the Results
Many HR professionals may use these tests during the front end of the hiring process. However, some apply it to employees, too. Obviously, Human Resources can use the results of job candidates to determine fit for the available role. Do the results show that the candidate has the skills and traits to perform well in this particular role?
For current employees, the results can be a great motivator. They may uncover hidden talents. They can also be used to better match people on teams and projects. Most importantly, HR professionals can use these results to strike up conversations with employees about their career growth and development. Using such assessments can serve as a starting point for devising a strategy and plan for the employees’ future with the organization and beyond.
Having this information available to employees is another way to engage them and to demonstrate the organization cares about their growth. It’s also a way to keep them around and invested in the company’s success. After all, these kinds of assessments can point to their strengths within the organization and make them feel needed and valued.
While strengths tests are not a guarantee of an employee’s success at a company, they can be used to validate fit and help managers determine how to maximize the potential of their team members. They can also be an effective way to engage employees and improve their experience on the job.