The Purpose and Application of Psychometric Tests in South Africa
In the general corporate world, psychometric tests are nothing new and have been used for decades by companies based in Europe and the United States of America. In South Africa, however, they are a relatively new occurrence and many people are still a little wary of their use.
Psychometrists have worked for decades trying to perfect tests for specific purposes, and in a country such as South Africa, there are a lot of factors that must be considered when designing these tests. Taking into consideration all the different cultures and languages in this country, psychometric tests in South Africa are going to have to differ from the tests used in the USA or Europe. There could be language barriers, which mean that the tests have to be translated while still remaining effective. Cultural bias must also be eliminated from these tests in order to provide the desired results.
There are, of course, tests that provide culture screening. These are designed to determine certain cultural characteristics that may influence a person’s actions, reactions, and attitudes towards particular tasks or jobs. When referring to cultures in these tests, we are not referring to the national culture or tribal culture of a person, but rather to what extent the personal culture of the applicant or employee will fit into the culture of the company. A person’s attitudes and beliefs can contribute or detract from their ability to function effectively within a certain organisational culture, which is why cultural screening is often used to assess this.
Some psychometric tests places focus on the suitability of a person for a specific role or job during the recruitment process, while other psychometric tests are used to determine development opportunities and promotional aspects. They can also be used to aid performance assessments by providing insight into the abilities of a person to perform specific tasks that form part of their jobs.
Why Perform Psychometric Tests?
It is important to determine the personality traits of a potential or current employee, especially in an environment that changes constantly. The behaviours they display are usually in reaction to this environment, a particular person, such as colleagues or management, or other stimuli that they may encounter during they work at a company.
For example, introversion is a trait; an introvert speaking out in a meeting is a behaviour or reaction. The traits of a person will provide an indication of the feelings and thoughts of an individual, and their behaviour will provide an indication of future behaviour. One can see this as follows: our personalities are WHO we are, while our behaviours are about WHAT WE DO. It is possible to change behaviours with training and development, but the personality traits of a person are hard or even impossible to change. Psychometric testing provides insights into traits and behaviour, and how these may influence the person’s suitability and ability to perform a particular set of tasks that form part of their job.
Psychometric tests in South Africa are commonly used to:
- Determine the best candidates for particular roles during the recruitment process.
- Identify opportunities for training and development.
- Determine employee satisfaction levels.
- Identify candidates for development and promotion.
How FWA Organisational Development Can Help Your Organisation
FWA Organisational Development has been specialising in this field of expertise for almost four decades, extensively working on psychometric tests suitable for the South African market. We have gained valuable experience in a vast range of industries all over the country, allowing us to develop a product profile that specifically targets the local working environment and its people. We help companies to unearth the talent already available within the business, and also to identify suitable candidates that will flourish in a particular working environment. By doing so, we help companies to get the best out of their employees, ensuring job satisfaction while also increasing productivity and profitability.
If you would like to find out more about FWA Organisational Development or how we design and apply our psychometric tests, give our highly professional team a call. We will be more than happy to meet with you to discuss how we can help your company to become more successful.