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10 years with Managing Director, Gerard Ward

To celebrate his 10 years with Testgrid, we sat down with Managing Director, Gerard Ward to ask him some questions about Psychometric Testing!


1. Why are you passionate about the psychometric testing industry?

I'm really passionate that clients in today's market are much more willing to look at the data on their people in aggregate, as opposed to just doing a 'tick the box' psych test at the end of the recruitment process. Talent acquisition functions are now much more engaged in the process of hiring quality employees as opposed to a historical ‘bums on seats’ approach. This change has had a massive impact on corporate bottom lines. We are now working much more closely with our clients to build a business case with hard $ ROI and cost savings.

2. How has psychometric testing evolved over the last decade?

It's really amazing that in the last 10 years we seem to have come from the end of the 'pen and paper' test era, to what I describe as a "golden age" of predictive digital assessment. The results are in and due to the fact that assessment has been digital since we started way back in 1999, we now have reams of data that prove a valid, reliable and predictive testing process is absolutely one of the best predictors of selecting staff. Staff that are high performers, engaged, safe, productive and profitable. Research has continually proven that an unbiased assessment process trumps hiring managers 'gut feel'. Managers and HR professionals are under more pressure than ever to prove their hiring decisions are both accurate, and well-conceived and this is where predictive digital assessment and psychometric testing comes in.

3. What changes do you forecast in the psychometric testing industry in the coming year/s?

I think we are at a really interesting inflection point in the world of psych testing. First and foremost we have to get away from the concept of 'psych tests'. The future is digital assessment and that will encompass psychometrics, but it will include other assessment methodologies . In a world where there are more mobile devices than toothbrushes, mobile assessment and candidate digital footprints are starting to be analysed by innovative companies, and they are beginning to show some good potential in selecting people. We at Testgrid are already implementing technologies that are assessing candidates before they even apply for a job.

Digital assessment is just going to continue to accelerate and bloom. There is still a risk with this though. Some of the science still doesn't stack up. I have some deep concerns around facial recognition assessments in selection. I don't think we should jump back into the dark ages and start looking at Phrenology as a methodology of selecting people for our organisations. 



Research from a team of engineers at workplace messaging start-up, Slack, says that facial recognition technologies don't work as well with darker skin types and this could leave organisations open to discrimination actions from disgruntled job applicants. With the growth in facial recognition technologies and the latest releases from Apple we need to give the technology time to mature and gather the data to prove the science works. 

Want to know more? Contact us today to ask us about how psychometric testing can improve the success of your recruitment campaign.