Work-Style Profiling – thumbs up, thumbs down?

Depending who you talk to, you’ll get a fair showing of both sides of the coin, there are those who are anti psychometric testing and others who think they’re a great tool. I guess we should start by confirming the Animus Scisco position. We like to pride ourselves on being different, so not to disappoint we are thumbs up. That should surprise no one, given it sits at the core of our business. What might be a surprise is we are also thumbs down!

What might at first come across as a contradiction, is in fact the most sensible position we could take given the market we work in and given the way the majority of the world uses the now readily available Psychometric testing. By the end of this article you’ll understand why we give it the thumbs up and the thumbs down.

First the headlines – people that use psychometric testing and make a decision based only on the report, usually relating to new hires, are not using the tool correctly and will get their fingers burned doing so. You need look no further than the recent example of Paul Flowers and the Co-operative bank to see the results at their worst. No wonder some people give psychometrics a bad review.

The business community, on both sides of the Atlantic, is littered with examples of people misusing and or overusing the baseline testing and having far too much reliance on the ‘vanilla’ results they produce. So based on the rife misuse and misinterpretation of the results we give it a thumbs down, and rightly so. But, as you’d expect this is not the end of the story, used in the right way, for the right reasons these tools can be a fantastic asset to any organisation willing to use them correctly, with professional assistance. In these cases it’s a thumbs up from us.

One of the issues is the accessibility of the tests through the internet, which has driven the price down, in itself a good thing, but at the same time the nature of the technology means you can deliver a test and the results to anyone’s desktop without any control on how much knowledge, skill and experience they have in the vital task of interpretation. In reality it goes beyond that too. It’s not just the lack of accurate interpretation, it’s the fact that interpretation is given simply based on the report rather then the specific needs of the consumer or the specifics of the circumstances being looked at.

In reality quality interpretations have never been more relevant or more needed by businesses of all shapes and sizes. Don’t be fooled into thinking they are just for one purpose (recruitment or new hire selection), although traditionally used most for recruitment, the quality tests when conjoined with quality and specific interpretations can be a valuable tool in a variety of circumstances, as we illustrate on our site at Animus Scisco. The quality of the report is and always will be dependent on the needs of the client being addressed and that requires interaction.

So for us when it comes to quick and dirty use it’s a thumbs down but when it comes to use with professionals who know what to look for and how to interpret it, our thumbs are well and truly up. We have and continue to use our own interpretation tools in conjunction with foundation psychometric testing based on the founder of the technique Jung and the Mother Daughter team of Myers and Briggs to deliver a wide range of solutions; recruitment, selection, promotion, leadership, development, human-error, executive assessment, succession and the list goes on.

So with our thumbs up, our battle cry at Animus Scisco is “don’t follow the misguided fashion that uses cloud technologies to deliver half the story, and in so doing dumbs down the results. Use high tech with high tech. Use technicians who know what and how to deliver candid, accurate and usable results based on your specific goals.