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Psychometric tests remove unconscious bias from recruitment, study finds

March 22, 2018  /   No Comments

Psychometric tests remove unconscious bias from recruitment, study findsRecent research into the use of psychometric assessments has found that it can remove unconscious bias from the recruitment process.

With diversity, equality and inclusion increasingly becoming key tools for business success, global recruitment consultancy Harvey Nash invited psychometric assessments expert Thomas International to devise an independent audit to verify that none of its candidates would be exposed to discrimination of any kind.

Over 12 months, the audit followed the progress of 330 of Harvey Nash’s candidates through the recruitment cycle. At the outset, all participating candidates undertook Thomas’s Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) psychometric assessment which provides insight into a person’s strengths, limitations, communication style, motivators and potential value to a business. The results enabled Harvey Nash’s recruiters to objectively assess the candidates during their interviews rather than basing decisions on their subjective instincts, where unconscious bias can creep in.

Alongside the PPA, candidates also undertook Harvey Nash’s own diversity questionnaire and statistical analysis was used to identify any significant practical demographic differences that could impact the outcome of the audit.

The results of the audit revealed that no adverse impact exists in Harvey Nash’s recruitment cycle. In fact, the findings were so positive that Harvey Nash used them to support its successful application for EY’s National Equality Standard, making it the first recruitment firm to be certified by one of the UK’s most rigorous and prestigious accreditations for diversity and inclusion.

Larry Ridges, head of talent of Harvey Nash Plc, commented: “We engaged with Thomas for this project so that we could look at ourselves and see what we could learn from, and improve on, in terms of our recruitment process.

“At Harvey Nash, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide a diverse candidate pool from which to hire and an inclusive environment in which our teams can excel. The importance of working with Thomas was crucial so that we could highlight that all candidates who engage with us do so on a level playing field and can bring their strengths to the table when applying for a role with us.”

Ciaran Morton, Managing Director of Thomas International, added: “Against an increasingly litigious backdrop, it is becoming vital for businesses to show the steps they are taking to avoid adverse impact and this project demonstrates how achievable this is. By introducing rigour and independence to the recruitment process through the use of objective assessments, businesses can more accurately match the best candidates with the roles they need to fill. In turn, they will build a more diverse workplace where employees feel respected and engaged, and when people are more engaged, they are more productive – which is what all businesses ultimately want.”

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