Psychometric tests cut B&Q’s staff turnover

B&Q’s
automated psychometric testing system has reduced staff turnover by 10 per cent
since the scheme was introduced last year.

HR policy controller Rob Barnett claims that the system has improved
monitoring of gender, race and ethnicity levels.

Barnett said the psychometric testing will help the company fill 7,000 new
jobs over the coming year, which will in reality involve hiring around 11,000
new employees when turnover is taken into consideration.

B&Q used Gallup to survey top-performing staff and assess what qualities
make them compatible with company culture. It then built up a questionnaire
designed to bring out these qualities in potential applicants.

The system hit the headlines last month when a member of staff was employed
and then sacked after failing the psychometric test. Barnett said the man, who
worked for a week before being dismissed, was sacked because his manager had
not observed the proper procedures.

The psychometric test should have been used to screen employees before they
join the company, not afterwards, Barnett said.

There are no plans to introduce other similar schemes within the company,
for example to assess employees’ promotional prospects.

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