1st Executive Blog

21 Feb 5 Reasons Psychometrics Matter in Executive Search

With the increased demand for executive talent globally, psychometric assessments have never been more important to a successful search. We have identified five reasons, you may think of more!

1. Getting it Wrong is Really Expensive

Executive salaries are on the rise. There is no doubt that companies are prepared to spend more to attract top executive talent. We frequently see searchable salary ranges or even advertisements that suggest that marketed remuneration can be well above market. It’s expensive enough to hire the wrong salesperson and that can take six months to discover, but it can take much longer to identify non-performance in a C-Suite executive. Psychometric assessments that support a competency-based interviewing process, confirm or challenge interview findings and used effectively reduce the risk of making the wrong hire.

2. Poor Leadership can Damage the Business

Many people believe that psychometric assessments might just confirm a set of soft competencies or identify a personality profile. World-class psychometric assessments allow for complex exploration of leadership styles, team roles, and even entrepreneurial aptitude. If you think you want a leader, assess for leadership capabilities and understand the balance of leadership styles to make sure it fits with your organisation’s path.

3. Comparisons are Worthwhile

The world assessments is full of imposters. The Institute of Psychometric Coaching correctly asserts that “Psychometric tests are a standard and scientific method used to measure”. The word scientific implies measureability. True psychometric assessments are developed, tested and improved until they meet a standard deviation. Only these type of assessments provide statistical validity and tell us where an executive search candidate sits in comparison with a norm group of peers. Go to Here to read more on this. Something like 80% of the Fortune 500 use MBTI, yet the MBTI test is based on “zero scientific foundation”. Check the statistical validity of the assessments you use in executive search.

4. The Most intelligent person is not Necessarily the Best Candidate

Cognitive power, is without doubt a measure of potential. However, how this translates into attributes such as problem-solving, influencing skills, adaptability and resilience and even the delivery of results is not so easy to interpret during interview. Psychometric assessments can often tell us how an executive has used her or his intellect to develop broader attributes that we associate with effective managers and leaders.

5. We are all a Little Gullible

Anyone attending an interview, is trying to sell what is most important to them - themselves. We can all remember CEOs dealing with environmental disasters that their company was responsible for dressed like dandies, TV personalities being appointed to C-Suite positions in media companies, sports personalities being given business leadership roles and even major retailers just being conned, all with negative results. It’s almost certain that the decision to make these placements was influenced by anything other than objectivity. Psychometric assessments won’t lie to you, won’t try to con you - they don’t care about the person taking the assessment.

So, as you engage in your executive search projects during 2020, make sure that in addition to great consultants, you use proven scientific assessments to help you work out if you are getting the right person. After all, is a little known fact that “reference fraud” has its highest incidence among senior and executive management candidates. Do whatever you need to do to reduce the risk of expensive mistakes.


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