Blog News and Knowledge from CR Systems

  • Return on Expectation. Where is the Does it work?

    We were lucky enough to attend a splendid discussion group on the issue of Return on Expectation at a recent conference at the University of Middlesex earlier this month. The lead protagnostic was an ardent

     

     

  • Can Social Media Increase Sales?

    Yes it can increase sales… if you know how to to use the various Social Media platforms that are available to you. Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Blogs, Posts and on and on and on.

    We have a new marketing platform available to us that many have rushed into because some very clever Social Media experts have convinced us we should. So we have created accounts for everything and guess what have no idea why we have done it or more importantly how they work for us or against us. The experts are correct we do need to look at

  • 360 – Taj Mahal Panoramic

  • 360 – Berlin Panoramic

  • EASY & SIMPLE

    EASY & SIMPLE

  • What are Psychometrics?

    The British Psychological Society defines psychometric testing as:

    “Any procedure on the basis of which inferences are made concerning a person’s capacity, propensity or liability to act, react, experience, or to structure or order thought or behaviour in particular ways.”

    In basic terms, psychometrics are simply a way of measuring psychological traits including personality, attitudes and beliefs and assessing an individual’s aptitude for performing different tasks.

    Psychometric testing is often used in recruitment selection to help in assessing a candidate’s suitability for the role and they can also be very useful to aid in developing training and professional development action plans for existing staff.

    Psychometric tests can be classified into several different categories. The three main categories are:

    Aptitude tests

    Aptitude tests are used to measure an individual’s performance and abilities. They are usually categorised into several further test types including:

    • Verbal reasoning – how well the subject understands written concepts and follows written instructions.
    • Numerical reasoning – measures the subject’s proficiency in dealing with numerical figures and performing calculations.
    • Abstract reasoning – judges the subject’s ability to recognise patterns from looking at a set of diagrams and anticipating the next diagram in the set.
    • Spatial reasoning – the subject’s ability to manipulate shapes and visualise spatial patterns such as 3D shapes presented as a 2D diagram.
    • Mechanical reasoning – measuring the subject’s understanding of technical concepts and physical mechanical systems such as gears, levers and pulleys.

    Personality tests

    Popular psychometric personality tests include the Myers Briggs personality profile and the Keirsey temperament sorter. Personality tests do not have right or wrong answers but allow people to be classified into different personality types such as extrovert versus introvert or leader versus follower.

    Personality tests can be very helpful for employers trying to judge if an individual will fit in well with their organisation and for organising staff into teams depending on their work style and temperament.

    Interests tests

    Interests tests categorise individuals depending on their personal preferences. They can be helpful for identifying suitable careers and for planning career progression. They can also be used in conjunction with personality tests for determining individual fit within a team or organisation.

    A brief history of psychometric testing

    The field of psychometrics was founded in the 19th century from two main schools of thought.

    Sir Francis Galton is often referred to as the father of psychometrics and was inspired by Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species”. He theorised that personality traits are passed on to different generations and discussed in his book “Hereditary Genius” how certain psychological characteristics may make some people more genetically “fit” than others. In his research he devised a number of psychological tests and his work was extended by James McKeen Cattell, forming the basis of modern psychometrics.

    At the same time, German J.E. Herbart was investigating scientific methods of exploring human consciousness and developed mathematical models of the mind. E.H. Weber and G.T. Fechner built on his early work in experimental psychology and inspired Wilhelm Wundt to found the science of psychology and psychological testing of today.

    In the 20th century, many different psychologists explored psychometric testing and theory as a way to measure and define personality types, intelligence, attitudes and beliefs.

    These days, it is common for employers to use psychometric testing to judge job applicants on their psychological profile as well as just their academic and professional achievement. Psychometrics can also be used as a basis for personal and professional development.

    To find out more about how psychometric testing is used in the business world today, please continue on to read our next article.

  • How are Psychometrics Used in Business?

    Psychometrics can be used within organisations to help better understand and assess individuals and plan professional development. Psychometric testing is increasingly used in recruitment, performance measurement, goal setting and staff development.

    Business success is not only down to the knowledge and skills of individuals, but also their beliefs and attitudes. Smart managers acknowledge that their staff are more than just employees and that personality has a large part to play when it comes to building a great team and performing well. Psychometrics provide the tools for measuring psychological traits in order to build a more successful team.

    Psychometric testing for recruitment

    Aptitude tests and personality profiling are being increasingly used in recruitment, either to narrow down a large pool of job applicants or to select the best applicants based on team fit and personality traits.

    The standard interview is the most common way of assessing a candidate’s suitability for a job, and this is still a main part of the process for most organisations. However interviews are a fairly unnatural process, which can make it difficult to make objective judgements about an individual. Some people excel in interview technique and come across very well, whereas others clam up and the interviewers never get to see their true personality and abilities.

    Psychometric testing can be very helpful, when used in conjunction with interviews and other selection criteria, to develop an objective, measurable profile of each candidate, which then allows each applicant to be compared fairly.

    Psychometrics for team building

    There are several ways in which psychometric testing can be helpful for managers in selecting their team members and assigning projects.

    Aptitude testing is a way of determining each individual’s strengths and weaknesses. This can then be used either as a way of building a balanced team with a wide skill set, or to put together a specialist team who all have a high aptitude in one particular area. For example, a high verbal reasoning score may identify staff members who would do well on sales or marketing tasks, whereas a high numerical reasoning score would indicate a head for figures and accounting.

    Personality tests can also be used to assign roles within a team by selecting individuals based on personality types and leadership styles.

    Psychometrics and career development

    Psychometric interest and personality tests are frequently used to help individuals to find a career path that is both suited to their strengths and personality and something they will enjoy. Even schools commonly use psychometric testing as part of a careers advice programme.

    Within an organisation, psychometric testing can help employees to discover their strengths and weaknesses and point them in the direction of a suitable career path. Some individuals will go on to make great managers, while others will do better in a specialist technical role or working with the public. Psychometric profiling can help make this path more clearly for both employee and manager.

    Not everyone agrees in the value of psychometric testing and some people have raised concerns over the growing trend in using psychometrics as part of the recruitment process. Read on for a discussion into the validity of psychometrics and precautions that must be taken in their use.

  • How Valid Are Psychometrics?

    Psychometric testing is used commonly in business today for everything from recruitment to professional development. But how much weight should we put on psychometric tests when it comes to hiring, firing and promotion?

    Critics believe that psychometrics is an inaccurate science and that data from psychometric testing should not be relied on when it comes to making important business decisions. In fact the law is quite strict on using psychometric testing in the workplace and it is important for organisations to adhere to best practices when it comes to administering tests.

    Is psychometric testing effective?

    The first concern when considering if a personality test is accurate or not would be is it possible to cheat? After all, in a multiple choice test, it is pretty easy just to tick the choice that you think your manager will want to hear, rather than the one that is closest to the truth.

    In actuality, well-designed psychometric personality tests are extensive enough and structured in such a way that inconsistent data is easily filtered out when processing the results. However it is important not to rely on such tests as the only method of assessment, but rather use them together with other techniques.

    The results of psychometric testing may not be 100% accurate but neither are other assessment methods. A study by Schmidt and Hunter in 1998 found that psychometric tests were actually more accurate than interviews, job knowledge tests or experience when it came to predicting future job performance. Only work sample tests provided a higher accuracy of judging performance.

    Psychometric tests are also designed to give reliable and repeatable results. Provided the candidate has experienced no major life changes, either professionally or personally, or they have not received specific training, you can expect an individual to get the same results from a personality or aptitude test several years later. With other techniques such as interviewing, it is highly likely that results will differ depending on arbitrary factors.

    Best practices for psychometric testing

    For test results to be meaningful and accurate, the questions must be valid and non-biased. This can be quite difficult especially when it comes to culture bias, which has been shown to have an effect on intelligence tests.

    It is important when administering a test that every candidate is subject to the same conditions such as physical environment, lack of interruptions, given instructions and time limit.

    If not performed carefully, psychometric testing can discriminate against certain candidates and this can have legal implications. Tests should not favour younger or older employees or be biased against certain ethnic groups. The best way to ensure this is to work with a specialist company that has experience in psychometric testing to ensure that the test is well structured and the resulting data is processed effectively.

    Like it or not, the popularity of psychometrics in the workplace shows no signs of declining. For advice on how to manage psychometric projects within your business, please contact us for an informal discussion, or read on to the next article.

  • The Problems of Managing Psychometric Projects in a Business

    Used properly, psychometric testing can provide you with valuable data that can help you to hire the best people for the job, get the most out of your staff and help you to manage more effectively.

    However if carried out poorly, psychometrics can be a waste of time and money and the results can be inaccurate and unreliable.

    For this reason, it is vital to first understand the theory behind psychometrics and then ensure you are working within best practices and planning effectively to get the most from your psychometric instruments.

    Choosing psychometric tests

    Before choosing the type of tests that will be most suitable for your purposes, you need to define what you hope to achieve from carrying out psychometric testing.

    If used in the recruitment process, this may be to find individuals with a high aptitude in the skills that the role requires, to find candidates with a personality profile that fits with the rest of your team or to eliminate a bottom percentage of applicants.

    In judging the effectiveness of a psychometric test, you should first consider the potential reliability and validity of the test. Working with a specialist provider with a good reputation and proven track record makes this a lot easier. There are many cheap and free psychometric test kits available on the Internet but are not researched and tested thoroughly. If you are relying at least partially on the results of the test to help you make important business decisions, you need to assign an appropriate budget to it.

    It is equally important to choose tests that are relevant to your business and the job role of the candidates taking it. For example, a complex numerical reasoning test is probably overkill for most job roles.

    When to administer psychometric testing

    If you are planning on asking candidates to undergo psychometric testing, the timing of the test depends on if you are using it to screen applicants prior to selection, or if you are using the psychometrics to aid you in shortlisting candidates.

    For screening purposes, it is probably most efficient to administer testing online before inviting candidates for interview or other assessment. Specially designed software makes it easy to administer both job applications and psychometric testing over the Internet and allows you to filter the data depending on your individual requirements.

    Tests used for other purposes such as staff development, promotion, team building and other business decisions should be carried out alongside other processes such as appraisals, measurement of job performance and employee surveys.

    Factors that may influence the results of other tests do not generally affect psychometric testing, however in the case of aptitude tests, candidates should have time to prepare and have had sufficient rest before the test. An aptitude test given after staff have been working long hours to make a deadline, for example, will result in poorer scores and may be inaccurate.

    Tips and warnings

    In order to be effective, psychometric tests must be properly constructed, valid and reliable. The best way to ensure this is to work with a professional supplier that provides statistical data on the reliability of tests and information about how the data should be interpreted.

    Test takers should be given clear instructions as to how to complete the test and should fully understand the reasoning behind the test and its purpose. The environment in which candidates take the test should be comfortable and free of distractions.

    Above all, the results from one test should never form the basis for any business decision. Psychometrics should always be used in conjunction with other assessment methods and processes for best results.

    For more details on choosing the right psychometric test for your purposes, read our final article on psychometrics.

  • How Are Employee Engagement Surveys Used Successfully Within Organisations Today?

    Historically, the task of getting the entire workforce to complete a survey, collecting them, collating the data and analysing the results was huge one, and many companies wondered if it was worth the effort. Small businesses in particular, often did not have the available budget with which to conduct an effective engagement survey and act on the results.

    However, these days technology has made things a lot easier and small to medium sized businesses can now benefit from engagement measuring methods that were previously only accessible to large corporations.

    The rise of the online survey

    Advances in Internet technology have resulted in the launch of several websites that allow individuals to design and launch their own employee engagement surveys.

    Rather than relying on the classic 15 questions, companies are now free to develop their own surveys and move away from the one-approach-fits-all philosophy. It is possible for all survey taking and result analysis to be completed in-house on a shoestring budget.

    Conducting any kind of survey electronically is much easier than traditional paper-based methods. Results can be measured and statistics compiled automatically and it is easy to keep track of who has and has not completed the survey, while still keeping results anonymous.

    The result of this cheap and easy way of measuring employee engagement is that an increasing number of small businesses in the UK are recognising the potential benefits of measuring engagement and using online software as an effective method of surveying their staff.

    Best practices for carrying out an employee engagement survey

    When constructing a survey to measure engagement, it’s very important that questions are worded in a way to encourage feedback that is honest and constructive. For example, asking workers if they feel they are paid fairly may not be a good question, as some of your employees may see this as an opportunity to push for a raise.

    You also need to make it clear to employees how the data will be used and demonstrate how responses are kept anonymous. Many employees may worry that there is some kind of electronic tag on each survey that will allow it to be traced back to them and this may affect their answers.

    If your employees are taking the time to give you feedback, it is critical that you put a high priority on confidentiality, their opinions are listened to with respect and that data is analysed properly and acted on.

    While it may be very easy to conduct a survey using one of the free sites such as SurveyMonkey, there are many advantages of having a bespoke system built that is tailored to your organisation.

    Read more about the advantages that bespoke engagement survey software provides over DIY alternatives (link to last article)

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