How behavioral assessments and psychometric testing can help qualify candidates

In recent years, many professionals have predicted that the percentage of remote contact center agents would continue to grow.

This is good news since remote agents represent high-value opportunities for improving the quality of staff and customer satisfaction.

However, today employers are mostly relying on traditional methods of screening candidates such as behavioral interviews, criminal background checks and drug tests.

While this may work for some companies depending on what roles are being hired, the truth is companies may be missing a key component that can help them get a more complete profile of the candidates’psychometric assessments.

It is estimated that over 80% of companies currently use a behavioral interview, but only 20% of companies use psychometric testing. To see how the combination can provide the complete picture it is important to understand what is encompassed in each.

What is Behavioral Interviewing?

Behavioral interviewing is a type of pre-employment assessment that helps hiring managers identify applicants who have the skills to perform a specific task. These assessments typically ask candidates to indicate familiarity with desirable performance qualities and identify appropriate behaviors in customer service and sales, such as working in teams and resolving conflicts with customers and other employees.

Benefits of Behavioral Interviewing

Some of the benefits of behavioral interviewing include:

  • Allowing hiring managers to overcome the limitations of resumes. Although resumes give insight into candidates’ skills and experience, they rarely tell us how they react in a difficult situations or whether they have the right temperament for the job
  • Giving hiring managers the ability to describe and identify the behavioral skills of their ideal candidate
  • Screening for the ‘soft” skills that are essential for job performance but less easily quantifiable than technical skills
  • Standardizing the hiring process and provides accurate data to decision makers

Risks of Behavioral Interviews

Every interview strategy has its risks. Some of the risks of behavioral interviews include:

  • Lack of objective scoring criteria
  • Poor interviewers who are not trained to conduct a structured interview
  • Interviews have been proven to be less predictive than other types of talent selection tools

So with a basic understanding of what behavioral interviews offer, we can now look at psychometric tests and how they are different, as well as some psychometric test advantages.

What is Psychometric Testing?

Psychometric tests are a type of pre-employment assessment that attempts to quantify subjective behavior and traits like personality, motivation, ability, and ethics.

Advantages of Psychometric Tests

Some of the advantages of psychometric tests include:

  • Screening candidates for personality traits such as honesty that are not always apparent from in-person interviews and resumes
  • The ability to score all candidates on a standardized scale
  • The ability to screen candidates for skills and match them against job profiles

Most Common Types of Psychometric Tests

Three of the most common types of psychometric tests are simulations, personality assessments and cognitive ability tests:

Simulation Tests

Simulations test a candidate’s skill at performing the essential functions of a job. A simulation for a contact center representative might include taking calls and recording interactions with customers.

Personality Assessments

Personality assessments help determine whether a candidate has the right personality traits to succeed at the job. A personality assessment for a job that requires good time management or multi-tasking might ask a candidate how they handle multiple deadlines.

Cognitive Ability Tests

Cognitive ability tests examine the candidate’s aptitude for skills such as math, written and verbal communication and technical ability. A job that requires employees to calculate discounts might require a math test to determine whether candidates understand percentages.

Behavioral assessments or psychometric tests: Which is Right for your organization?

The answer is either, or both. It all depends on your business model and the business objectives laid out for the specific roles to be screened. By looking at both behavioral assessments and psychometric testing, you can fill in information about a candidate that isn’t apparent from their resume or from conducting an in-person interview. The combination will also give your hiring managers the chance to compare candidates objectively and hire based on what personality traits, values, and skills a candidate demonstrates.

Learn more about how to find, hire, and keep the best employees by downloading your free copy of 15 Must-Ask Questions Before Implementing a Pre-Hire Assessment Process, or schedule a free consultation with one of our talent selection specialists today.