B&Q defends automated tests

B&Q’s
automated psychometric recruitment system which hit the national headlines two
weeks ago has reduced staff turnover by 10 per cent since the scheme was
introduced last year.

The
company came under the spotlight of the national media after 18-year-old Carl
Filer was appointed at a store in Bournemouth and then sacked following a
psychometric test.

But
HR policy controller Rob Barnett said the scheme allowed the company to screen 400,000
applications and has improved monitoring of gender, race and ethnicity levels.

Barnett
said Filer, who worked for a week before being dismissed for failing the test,
was sacked because his manager had failed to observe the proper procedures.

He
added that the company hopes to create 7,000 new jobs over the coming year,
which would in reality involve hiring around 11,000 new employees because of
turnover.

Gallup,
which designed the psychometric tests, surveyed top-performing staff and
assessed what qualities made them compatible with company culture.

The
company then put together a questionnaire that was designed to bring out these
qualities in potential applicants.

Barnett
said, “Customer service has reported an improvement and we have been able to
use it to provide information about ethnicity, age and the gender.

“There
is a face to face interview after the test – this is just another way of
looking at applicants

“It
is primarily a tool to deal with volume and there are no plans to introduce it
to use it in internal promotions.”

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