Selecting the Right Candidate

By 3 Minute Mile

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Using psychometrics for personnel selection can be quite a contentious subject. Speaking with my father, he remembers the days when it was commonplace for someone to use "working too hard" as an answer to "what are your areas of weakness?" in an interview. These days, that doesn't work. Organisations need ways to select the top talented individuals from an ever growing pool of candidates. 

These days there are a plethora of ways to selecting candidates; situational judgement tests, aptitude (numerical and verbal) tests, tests of inductive reasoning, matrices tests, personality tests etc. Many organisations already use assessments, the most well known being the MBTI which is based on Carl Jung's theories on personality.

All of these methods are down to years, even decades, of research and application and most are scientifically validated extensively. 

The phrase "selecting the best" doesn't, however, mean selecting the ultimate candidate. End of the day, we are all different and suited for different positions. You wouldn't hire an overly extroverted and sociable individual to work in a position where they will be required to work on their own for long periods of time. Or someone who may lack attention to detail to work as an air traffic controller!

Very crude examples indeed and very much focussed on the personality side of assessment, but the message is clear, these tests are cruicial when it comes to hiring the right person for a job. In the above example, we can see that personality characteristics affect whether a candidate will have a natural tendency towards competencies that are key for success in the role.

A bad hire can have quite an effect. Not only does it cost thousands to recruit, train and onboard the candidate, it can also affect productivity, morale, client relations, not to mention time, money and the additional costs of recruiting and training another candidate. In terms of facts and figures, 27% in both the UK and the US have reported that a bad hire has cost their organisation around £50,000 and $50,000 respectively (source: CareerBuilder).

Personality is integral when it comes to hiring the right person for a job.

There are recruiters who are starting to utilize these assessments for their needs. By using these types of assessments, they are significantly reducing the level of error that can be associated by using more subjective methods.

At 3 Minute Mile we use one, in particular, of the many psychometric tests in the market, Hogan Assessment Systems, to help organisations select and develop the best talent. By understanding an individuals preferential working style, what drives them and the kind of behaviours that will get in the way, the right candidate can be easier to find.

For this post, and as an example of how psychometrics can be used for recruitment, I will introduce one of the assessments and the associated report that we use. I would like to dissolve some stigma and prejudice that is bound to be associated with the term psychometric assessment.

There are a host of psychometric tests besides Hogan Assessments in the market. Depending on what you are looking for, the budget, the value that each test brings and the validity of them, there is a test out there that you can use.


The Hogan Express report is the main recommendation I would make for recruiters in particular. The Express report is a cost effective, off-the-shelf solution that provides immediate recommendations on a candidates fit for a position. On top of this, the report also identifies strengths, areas of concern as well as interview style.

Based on the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), the Express report measures 7 personality metrics that influence occupational success in 7 distinct job categories:

- Managers and Executives
- Professionals
- Technicians and Specialists
- Operations and Trades
- Sales and Customer Support
- Administrative and Clerical
- Service and Support

Based on decades of research assessing existing professionals in the workplace, the assessments are scientifically validated with emprical data. Please see below for a sample of the Express report to see how the results are presented. 



Image credit: Quozio


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