Psychometric tests help to identify IT bosses' skills

Employers are increasingly using psychometric tests to identify IT managers' skills, according to one of the world's largest suppliers of personality tests.

Employers are increasingly using psychometric tests to identify IT managers' skills, according to one of the world's largest suppliers of personality tests.

SHL Group's research director, David Bartram, said, "For IT managers, we are primarily looking at management skills and whether they have a sufficient knowledge of the IT industry to manage people in that field."

Most large companies now use psychometric testing to identify future managers. In a survey of the FTSE 100 companies by The Test Agency, 59 employers out of 73 who responded said they use tests when recruiting.

IT managers are being assessed for two types of management skills: their ability to bring about long-term change and their ability to handle day-to-day management tasks. Psychometric tests are being used to identify both sets of skills.

The tests look for creative, strategic thinking as evidence of the ability to bring about long-term or transformational change. To prove that potential managers have the transactional skills to be good at the day-to-day tasks of management, the tests assess their ability to break complex issues down into distinct processes.

Bartram said, "You need to have both these transformational and transactional qualities."

Although tests are being used more frequently to assess management recruits, they have their limits. Psychometric tests can measure management potential, but failed to prove management ability. Candidates' experience of similar work and interest in the new job were better indicators of whether they would be good recruits.

Psychometric testing assesses a person's ability and personal qualities in a measured and structured way, and is broken down into three main areas: ability, personality and interest. It is often used to sift out job applicants at an early stage in the recruitment process.

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