Competency-based interviews and online psychometric tests are best for choosing candidates

Introducing or improving competency-based interviews and online psychometric tests have been the most effective changes employers have made to their candidate selection processes, according to a study by Personnel Today’s sister publication Employment Review.

The survey, which questioned 133 employers with a combined workforce of just over 1 million employees, shows that the most widespread alterations to interviewing practices involved the use of competency-based interviews.

Half of the employers polled had started using them, while 65% have improved their use of them. Four in 10 respondents increased their use of this approach, while 15% devolved responsibility for their use to line managers, and 10% changed their use of competency-based interviews to comply with employment legislation.

Between 2006 and 2007, there was also greater take-up of online selection testing. Just over two-thirds (68%) of the employers polled began using this technique as part of their selection process, while 32% increased their use of it. Twenty-six per cent improved their use of online testing to increase its effectiveness, and employment laws forced one in 10 to change their use of online testing.

Employers said changes to the use of online pyschometric tests had the biggest impact on improving the cost-effectiveness of recruitment, while changes to the use of competency-based interviews were regarded as the most effective way of improving the suitability of candidates.

The findings also show that face-to-face psychometric tests – where the candidate completing the test and the test administrator are both present – are also gaining in popularity. More than one in four (27%) have reconsidered their use of such tests in their selection procedures. Just under half (47%) have started using these tests, while the same number have improved their use of such tests to make them more effective, and 20% made changes to ensure their tests complied with employment legislation.