Personality and psychometric assessments have been part of screening and shortlisting routines for many years now, and these days a test exists to suit any budget and financial constraint. Freebies are going the rounds online with enticing promises of validity and accuracy for those who cannot absorb the costs of premium assessment products and test batteries.

The problematic issue with assessment logic comes from the wrongful perception that some tests are superior to others for instance personality testing for someone in a client services role would supersede a leadership assessment, and for an accountant position, one may opt for a numeracy test as opposed to determining an applicant’s EQ score.

The Missing Link

In our daily living, we aspire to follow holistic approaches to our health, our wealth and our inner selves for that matter, with the aim to improve our entire state of being. A bit philosophical perhaps, but this analogy could be applied to assessment and testing activities as well.

If you still feel unconvinced, how about a few sets of statistics to emphasise the importance of holistic or integrative assessment methods or rather what happens in the absence of holistic assessment activities:

  • 30% of new hires leave their jobs within a period of 3 months.
  • In a Harvard study, survey results from a pool of 14 000 respondents showed that nearly half of employees in toxic workplaces “decreased work effort” and intentionally spent less time at work, while 38 per cent “intentionally decreased” the quality of their work.
  • Gallup research publishes a yearly report regarding employee engagement levels. Guess what, the percentage of global employee disengagement remains between 77% and 87% year on year.

The danger of single measurement testing is evident in a series of workplace trends, which on the surface has no relevance to assessment practices, but upon deeper delving, the relation becomes clear: toxic workspaces, substandard performance, employee turnover, worker disengagement, role mismatching and leadership voids to name but a few.

Anyone of these is either directly or indirectly linked to a lack of proper assessment conduct to determine candidate fit, during the hiring phase. In a nutshell: assessments are barometers which can amplify the competencies, skills and personality traits of both suitable and unsuitable candidates, but only when following a holistic testing methodology.

Holistic Measurement

The fact that large numbers of employees leave their jobs pre-maturely or are unhappy in their positions leads us to recognize the need for additional measurements to be added into the assessment process. Our aim should be to find that overall weighted average by looking at the entire person as a whole: cognitive (problem-solving, critical thinking, learning potential, strategic thinking) + personality + integrity + emotional intelligence + skill + ability + competence.

Holistic talent assessments present the full candidate picture based on evidence rather than the gut feeling of a hiring manager or recruiter because:

  • The focus is on measuring whole work activities rather than specific elements.
  • These tests can depict candidate work behaviours and style: Does the candidate prefer a loosely structured or rigid work environment?
  • Candidate values are easily identifiable: Does the candidate respect the overall values of the company; e.g. is a given candidate team-oriented, do they appreciate superior customer service, are they committed to exert the necessary time and effort to get the job done successfully?
  • Integrative testing helps to determine motivation levels: Does the candidate show drive and dedication to perform the responsibilities of the position to their best?
  • All-inclusive test batteries assess intellect and potential: Does the candidate have the requisite “brain power” and ‘’emotional resilience” to perform the job successfully?

A selection process that incorporates holistic “science of fit”  assessments with multi-dimensional gauging points, rather than traditional one measure testing, will significantly improve the probabilities of hiring the “right’ candidate time and time again.

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