working from home

Testing in Lockdown

If you’re using psychometrics (personality profiling and/or ability testing) as part of your recruitment and selection process, here’s a brief reminder of what you should consider during the uncertainty of what looks like becoming an extended lockdown:

Personality Profiling Reports

Whilst personality questionnaires aim to build a picture of how we feel most of the time (traits) rather than how we feel right now (states), the way your applicants respond to them are inevitably influenced by current events.

When reading profile reports completed during the uncertainty of a lockdown, please pay heightened attention to candidates scores in traits such as apprehension, coping with sustained stress, how they feel about the future/change and whether they are suspicious or mistrusting of information given to them by others.

Personality reports should never be used in isolation for making a selection decision, but the recruiters view of a candidates suitability for a role can be influenced by the report.  In times when many of us are apprehensive, fearful of the future and uncertain of a myriad of conflicting information bombarding our newsfeeds, it’s time for recruiters and hiring managers to remind themselves to use the interview questions in the report to probe whether concerns are a reaction to current circumstances, or how your candidate is most of the time.  Use these questions when checking references too.

Ability & Skills Tests

Whether you usually administer ability & skills tests onsite or send links to candidates to complete them at home, if you’re going to keep your selection process moving during a lockdown, then your candidates are going to be completing these tests at home.

Many will also be at home with school children and partners, so finding a time and space where they can devote 30 or 90 minutes of uninterrupted concentration to an assessment that might decide whether they get the job or not is suddenly more difficult than usual.

When sending skills and ability test links out to candidates, do reiterate the need for them to be completed in a quiet and uninterrupted environment.  If that means a delay of a day in you getting back results that reflect true ability/skills levels rather than a set of dubious results cobbled together whilst cooking dinner, home-schooling a 6-year-old and answering “have you seen my socks?” questions from a partner, then I’d suggest it’s a worthwhile delay.

Next Step

A lockdown shouldn’t stop you from making thoroughly informed selection decisions, so don’t stop using testing and assessment, but do remind yourself of the steps you and your colleagues should take when exploring personality profiles further and setting up tests to be completed at home.

Any queries on putting these steps into action, get in touch and we’ll be glad to help.

Stay safe in the meantime and here’s wishing for better news soon.