New report examines the growth and changes in assessment in the UK and Ireland

A new report outlining the key issues and trends in psychometric assessment in the UK and Ireland, offering insights into its role and value, has been published by the international assessment specialist cut-e.

The UK and Ireland Assessment Barometer is part of a wider study examining the use and impact of assessment across 14 countries. It shows that 68% of UK organisations, and 67% of Irish companies, now use online assessments to select, onboard and develop all levels of staff.

“The UK and Ireland are attractive destinations for international workers and they’ve seen an influx of people, which has increased the size of the workforce in both markets,” said David Barrett, Chief Operating Officer of cut-e. “This raises the stakes for employers, as it means that more applicants are now likely to apply for open positions. Recruiters are increasingly using assessments to help them make quick talent decisions and to remove unconscious bias from their selection processes.”

In the UK, the key growth area is the use of assessments to recruit apprentices. Ireland has seen an increase in the use of assessments to recruit graduates and senior managers.

The portfolio of assessments used in organisations is changing,” said David Barrett. “Ability tests, personality questionnaires, motivation tests and assessment centres are still popular but we’ve also seen a noticeable growth in the use of values questionnaires and development centres. The advent of new tests such as situational judgement questionnaires and realistic job previews suggest that pre-application assessment will become a growing trend as more employers now want to educate potential applicants about the role and the organisation, before they apply.”

The report shows that employers want high quality assessments that are reliable, quick to score, quick to complete, that provide clear business benefits and are underpinned by scientific research. ‘Face validity’ (the degree to which an assessment appears to measure what it is supposed to measure) is also important.

“The biggest change in the use of assessment is what companies do with the data,” said David Barrett. “In the past, a candidate’s assessment results would ‘sit in a drawer’ once he or she had been appointed. Now, there’s a growing demand to integrate assessment data with HR information systems to create ‘predictive analytics’ which can be accessed, analysed and interpreted in new ways. This can help employers make better talent decisions and demonstrate the link between their talent initiatives and the performance of the organisation.”

Reputation, evidence of success - in the form of validation study data - and the ability to deliver added value are the key things that clients look for when choosing a supplier. “In larger organisations, the ability to deliver assessments on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) is greatly valued,” said David Barrett. “Large clients also want to be sure that their supplier can support the volumes of data needed for international projects. Increasingly, they also want guarantees about data protection and data security.”

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