One of the questions I am asked all the time is whether people are psychologically assessing people more or less these days. One of the most dominant trends in the world of management across the world is that of “evidence-based management”. The concept of evidence-based management is that people seek research backing for decisions that they make, rather than relying on traditions of the past. Many of our standard human resource management practices are based more on tradition than on best practice.

Traditional interview approaches can be shown to have statistical validities as low as 12 to 13% accuracy. Reference checks are even worse, many studies showing over decades of research that they are accurate to the tune of about 7%. Hey, that’s 93% wrong! If you use the right combination of psychological assessment instruments, which should include:

  • Cognitive ability assessment – verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning
  • “Integrity” or counter-productive work behaviour assessments
  • Personality assessment using a “big six” instruments such as the HEXACO personality inventory
  • Values assessment using a valid measurement of values such as the Schwartz personal values questionnaire

You should be able to achieve measurement accuracy using psychological assessment alone of over 50%. That sounds a lot better than 7 or 12% and I believe that this is one of the reasons why there is extremely rapid growth in the use of psychological assessment across the world.

In respect of our own online psychological measurement services, we have experienced growth of about 40% in usage this year and we are now approaching 600 users.

Growth like this is exciting of course, but the true satisfaction is in hearing clients tell us of the fact that their corporate culture has become markedly more healthy by virtue of bringing in more positive, optimistic and contributing individuals. It is also great to hear of the fact that these people are experiencing less negative behaviours amongst employees and therefore less damage to coworkers. This is one trend that is definitely worth riding.

Andrew Marty
Managing Director
SACS Consulting

Andrew Marty