Today, the Recruitment Buzz team were thrilled to interview Jayson Darby; the Head of Psychology at Thomas International; a global business solutions provider that specialises in psychometric tests and assessments. Highly regarded in his niche area, Jayson provides a window into his world, teaching us about how using psychological tests and assessments can aid the recruitment process.
Having been named as one of the many speakers at this year’s Recruitment Agency Expo, we were excited to hear what he had to say.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
I’ve worked at Thomas for almost 5 years, applying our solutions to a broad range of industries and working on some very exciting research projects. I trained to be an applied social psychologist through university, specialising in business and organisational applications at City, University of London. Before working as a Psychologist, I was employed by a large fashion retailer, working in HR and L&D.
Can you tell us more about your company?
Thomas International are a provider of people solutions using psychological tests and assessments. We’re a global business, present in over 60 countries around the world. As a technology-led company we assess over 2million people each year which provides us with some fascinating data. A huge part of our expertise is in the recruitment industry, an area where identifying ‘what good looks like’ is critical.
Could you give us a sneak preview of your seminar at the expo?
I will be talking about psychological methods to reduce adverse impact and unconscious bias in the recruitment process. Organisations can enhance their diversity and inclusion efforts by adopting psychological methods at key points in the selection process.
Looking to 2019, what do you see as the biggest opportunities for the recruitment Sector?
The increasing use of psychology and technology will create huge opportunities in the recruitment sector. In the UK we’re experiencing record-high levels of employment so candidate attraction and the candidate experience are more crucial than ever before. More and more organisations are also focusing on diversity and inclusion as a strategic priority. Psychological tests and assessment, when used right, can improve the candidate experience and support the reduction of adverse impact.
Is there anything on the horizon the recruitment sector should be worried about?
Recruiters should watch out for over-automation of people-related decision making. Technology should be used to facilitate and enhance the recruitment process but delegating too much responsibility to algorithms runs the risk of a cookie-cutter approach that loses the valuable insight and critical thinking that recruitment professionals bring when considering candidates.
What are your thoughts on Brexit and its impacts on your space?
It depends on what sort of Brexit we end up with as a country and whether any barriers are erected that make it harder for people to share knowledge and conduct research. Psychometric testing and assessment is a global industry and huge efforts are made to ensure that cross-cultural best practice is in place, with many providers experienced navigating diverse legal and regulatory frameworks. I hope that Brexit has no effect on how available applied psychology becomes available to people and businesses.
Brexit may or may not pose macroeconomic and political challenges, but the industry is robust and will adapt and continue flourishing, in my opinion.
What’s the most important piece of advice you would give a recruiter?
Adopt an evidence-based approach in everything you do. Using psychometric assessments, conducting local validation of your performance metrics and critically-reviewing your selection processes will lead to better returns.
Automation: friend or foe to recruitment?
Friend, but don’t delegate all responsibility for your decision-making! Technology should help and enhance the work people do, not replace it in full. If your selection practices are validated against a strong evidence-base, you can gain huge efficiency savings by automatic parts of your process. However, people should be involved in making critical people-related decisions where they can evaluate the full picture available of a candidate and apply their knowledge of the employer and their industry.
What advice would you give to anyone attending the expo this year?
Ask lots of questions from the speakers and follow-up with them after their talks, they’ll all be keen to hear your feedback and share ideas with you!