Recruit with Rigour – Is Psych testing helpful?


Are you recruiting with Rigour? Is Psych testing helpful?

Did you know that extraversion and team playing can actually be a weapon for destruction in a corporate culture?

My degree is in Psychology from Sydney University, yet I am sceptical about psych testing as a tool for hiring!

In a 25 year  executive search career, hiring over 2000 people and interviewing over 10,000 people, I would have to say that psychological testing has only ever been for me an additional tool for probing at the reference stage and looking at  future best ways to manage the person.

Rigorous recruiting requires a full assessment of the candidate’s skills, behaviours, motivations, upbringing experiences and life attitudes.

Are your recruitment processes giving you great talent who fit your culture? You might actually find some of the worst performers can be your extroverted team players? Why?

At the Recruiters Hub Conference, January 2012, Kalena Jefferson made the following points, based upon some research by Kelly Services.

  • The success of the company and the success of employees are intrinsically linked
  • Staff turnover kills revenue growth
  • Do not confuse high performance with future potential

Low performers often displayed the following traits:

  • Extraverted (become too emotionally involved and unable to tone down)
  • Team focused (too group focused and lacking self direction)
  • Integrated networks – do too much business with themselves
  • Highly emotional (taking things too personally)
  • Highly conscientious (too much focus on detail and process and less agile and solution focused in their approach)
  • Highly social (too much talk, not enough action)

High performers:

  • Balanced introvert/ extravert
  • High abstract reasoning
  • Mental agility
  • Separate networks
  • Outcome focused
  • Self reliant
  • Critic evaluator (assess candidates well)
  • Diplomatic and engage in team communication

What this information goes to show is that a psychological test, in isolation, testing extraversion scales and team playing, is not enough when benching talent for your organisation.  You need to be really holistic in your assessment process, include 360 degree references, do group simulations, ask the candidates to do case studies, behavioral based questionnaires and ideally a myriad of interviews with some of your existing team. You need a rigorous approach, with many recruiting tools to ensure that you recruit with rigour and gusto!

For more information contact Simone Allan, Director at Mondo Search on 1300 737 917 or email