The use of psychometric assessments is highly regulated in the workplace, with legislative requirements and oversight by the Health Professions’ Council of South Africa (HPCSA). The purpose of these regulations is to prevent the unfair or biased use of assessment results to make decisions that may impact on a person’s future.

According to psychologist Heinz Schuler, there are four best practice guidelines that can assist you in proactively addressing candidate concerns

by ensuring that they are aware of how the process works, what information is required, and what results they can expect to receive. The more trust a candidate feels, the more open he or she will be to the assessments and the process as a whole. In fact, the more honest and transparent you are perceived to be by candidates:

  • the greater the chance they accept an offer for a position;
  • the more positively they will view your employer brand;
  • the less anxiety they experience when completing an assessment or attending an interview;
  • the more motivated they are to obtain the role and perform well

1. Setting up the broader context

Inform your candidates about the process as a whole: what can they expect, how long it usually takes and what steps are involved. At this stage, it is necessary to outline which assessments they will complete and the purpose of these.

2. Preparation is key

Candidates will feel more comfortable if they receive information up-front and are able to prepare, whether for an interview or an assessment. Often candidates ask what they need to ‘study’ for an assessment. This is not possible, but simply having information about the types of tools and why they are being used, as well as the administration procedure, will put their minds at ease.

3. Transparency and confidentiality

Explain the role of the different selection methods in the recruitment process, including a CV, interviews and psychometric assessments. Also emphasise that assessment results are kept highly confidential and let candidates know what will happen to their data if they do or do not receive a job offer.

4. Providing feedback

Let a candidate know upfront about how he/she would go about receiving feedback on assessment results and when this is likely to be available.

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