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Mon 29 Mar 2010 03:53 PM

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Firms should test personality of potential staff - poll

63% of professionals think jobseekers should undergo psychometric testing.

Sixty three percent of leading professionals think Middle Eastern companies should start using psychometric testing in the recruitment of staff.

The tests, which plot the psychological traits of an individual, allowing employers to check their suitability as a candidate for a vacancy, are becoming increasingly popular as recruitment tools for firms amid the current climate.

Companies are under added pressure to retain and recruit the best staff in light of financial constraints, Bayt.com said in a statement on Monday.

The job website announced the launch of its online psychometric evaluation service.

According to the poll, 30 percent of respondents said the tests acted as a guide for jobseekers to help them find the right career.

However, 68 percent said they have never taken a psychometric evaluation.

A further 12 percent of people said they had undergone a test on the request of an employer, while 10 percent said they had completed one out of their own choice.

Ten percent of people who took part in the survey said they did not believe in psychometric tests.

“Psychometric testing of potential new recruits has been popular with organisations around the globe for a number of years because of its positive application for finding a candidate that is the best fit for an organisation and a specific vacancy,” Lama Ataya, Bayt’s marketing and corporate communication director, said.

“By extending these tests to professionals, we are empowering them to discover just where their competencies, preferences and abilities lie, which will enable them to find a career and position that they are suited to and that they can make a success of.”

Some 4,865 job seekers across the Middle East took part in the online poll between March 2 and 23.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

Tony Reid 10 years ago

I am quite surprised at the suggestion that Psycometric testing needs to be used in candidate selection Frankly this has fallen out of use in most major developed economies Why? It just does not work !!! It limits peoples capabilities Experience is the best measure of expected performance Placing pre determined and pre judged "Correct" answers will cause your company to hire the wrtong person usually lacking in creativity and motivation Passing a test is NEVER the measure Remember the very best method is to "Recruit for ATTITUDE and Train for skill "

EXPAT 10 years ago

It's a great idea and they are dead accurate, but too sophisticated for this part of the world, when the basic experience and knowledge is not even tested. There are staff employed for the wrong reasons all the time here and this is costing the assets, these incompetent people are managing, millions in value. So first test competency and skills before you get too carried away with yourselves. Until you employ skilled people in the senior roles and pay people according to their level of ability and contribution, psychometric testing has no value.

harry dee 10 years ago

When I was studying for a masters degree I wrote several papers on psychometric testing (the NEO-PI test is the most common in use). My meta-research showed that while the test can certainly reveal personality traits it cannot predict future on-the-job performance, except in one aspect: it has been proven that people who can 'fake' the results are more likely to succeed in management roles, since they tend to be perceptive, analytical and basically able to see through the BS and deliver what the company wants - although their ethics are sometimes questionable, but this could be a plus in today's business environment. However the only reliable method is a well-carried out reference check, on the basis that 'what someone has done in the past they can probably do in the future' - past behaviour predicts future performance. Anything else is HR jargon and pop psychology.

Hussein Mansour 10 years ago

Have you ever thought what would be the best career for me? What would be the most suitable major for me? Why is there gap in communication between me and my manager/colleagues? Why am I depressed and loosing motivation day by day? Why do I try so hard to Perform? Why do my team members feel I am not a good team player? Why are the employees underperforming? Why, Why, Why…? I am a true believer in Psychometric Assessments as I have personally assessed over 10,000 Arabs and among them 7,000 Emaraties. The key is to select the best assessment tool and have someone utilize it in the correct way. Many organizations in this region are spending a lot of money on HR solutions but are failing to use the outcomes to serve the initial objective(s) behind applying the tools. In my organization, which by the way is an Assessment Company, we have realized the wide acceptance of such tools in recruitment efforts and even training and development. It is wrong to say that in Psychometrics there is Pass or Fail. It is all about having the best Job FIT to your specific Job requirements. But the fact is that tools that have the ability for customization (identifying your specific needs) to use it as a benchmark are limited. The decision based on the results of Psychometric must not exceed 30% of the process. Other factors are references, CV, interview, Ability/Skill test… But you must know that most people are hired for Qualifications BUT fired for Behavior.

harry dee 10 years ago

Sorry Hussein but something does not add up. You say you have personally tested 10,000 people. Well, in my experience one test and its analysis takes a couple of hours and assuming you have also other duties I would assume you can do 2 a day (if you do them properly of course). Lets see - allowing for holidays etc the average working year is 46 weeks, that means you have been doing 2 a day, 6 days a week, for 18 years! Wow - you deserve a medal!

nicola ablett 10 years ago

I read with interest and forboding the item on PSYCHOMETRIC TESTING - as with any tool it must be used by certified practitoners along with a range of other tools in order to obtain a good match. Assesments should be regulated and all parties need to understand the implications to career and life choices by completing the profiles and then the interpretation of them. Neurosciences are an interesting development on profiling and again require integrity when utilising the tool. INTEGRITY AND CONFIDENTIALITY are essential in any selection, career devleopment, team building or 360 process. Which lanaguage is used also has to be considered. I strongly recommend that any one asked to take any profile should be cognisant with the process and undergo the process with professional of the highest integrity. I recommend that people vist the web site - www.prism-profiling.com and explore this profile. Nicola Ablett - Certified PRISM Practitioner and Levels A and B Certiifed Assessor BPS ABU DHABI UAE

Paolo C 10 years ago

Yes sure. There are so many incompetent workers in the region that the only result you will get out of this is to reduce population and further depress the economy. There are more important problems to be resolved immediately.

ZaK 10 years ago

I have to agree with Mr. Mansour, Psychometrics, among other forms of testing is necessary and a direct benefit to organisations that use these tools. I too work for an Assessment Solutions company, in Amman and we test thousands of candidates per month using our system. With regards to Mr. Dee's comments regarding the time it takes to administer these tests, unfortunately he is mistaken, the average tests does not take 2 hours. I only hope that the region continues in using such tools that are vital to identifying and developing the capabilities of our workforce.

Kat 10 years ago

Harry I noticed that you are in the UAE. I don't have any background in HR or Psychology and haven't done Psychometric Testing whatsoever but I did attend a Training course which in my opinion is the most credible. I would be wasting time writing my opinion so I suggest you personally visit www.prism-profiling.com for more information.

DXBHeadhunter 10 years ago

Sorry to ruin your Bayt promotion piece but companies have been using psychometric testing for some time; most of the great Dubai Holding entities (Mizen, Sama Dubai etc) tested candidates from manager grade and up with online psychometrics before face to face interviews took place and many other organizations already utilize a range of professional assessment tools (SHL, HBDI etc) delivered by many established providers in the region. Bayt are not offering comprehensive candidate assessment tools, merely 4 "personality tests" that are targeted at job seekers. They will be taken (at US$30 a go) by inspirational candidates trying to define their perfect career, workplace etc that will not give them anything that will add positive value to a job search. You might as well be filling in a personality quiz in the back of Marie Claire counting up all of your A and B answers...