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Tests and assessments: the right tools for the job?


Whether it is aptitude tests, Belbin, the nine-box grid or Myers-Briggs, HR professionals often find themselves facilitating cognitive or psychological assessments in areas such as recruitment, learning and development (L&D) and talent management. But as Jo Faragher finds out, the tools that are used aren’t always right for the job.

There was a storm of criticism in April 2013 when it was reported that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) had asked unemployed people to take psychometric tests that appeared to generate the same result, no matter what answers were given. According to newspaper reports, even the US Institute that devised the questionnaire told the DWP to stop using the tests, as they could not be scientifically validated.

With increasing pressure to evidence their decisions, it is natural that HR professionals want to call on an arsenal of tools to support their reasoning – whether in recruitment, talent management or L&D.