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Measuring success

Criterion Partnership director Alan Redman takes us through the seven critical success factors for creating return on investment

Retail psychometrics developed for businesses including Asda, Argos and Specsavers enabled our team at Criterion Partnership to identify the seven critical success factors that retailers must meet for their psychometrics to deliver results and create value.

Go online

The biggest transformation and engine for growth in retail psychometrics over the last decade is the advent of online assessment. This method enables retailers to ensure best practice is adhered to while allowing stores to benefit from the value of including psychometrics in their recruitment processes.

Our first client to go online was Asda in 2003; it enjoyed immediate return on investment through increased efficiencies in the recruitment process, higher calibre candidates at second round and a 50% decrease in the number of assessment centres required to fill vacancies.

Another reason to go online is to meet the expectations of your candidates, who as customers are likely to have experienced your ecommerce site. The online psychometrics we built for Argos and Asda automatically rebrand to Homebase and George.

Treat your candidates like customers

Every candidate who experiences your psychometrics is either a customer or knows one. Your psychometrics must work hard to be as candidate friendly as possible so that they communicate positive messages about your employer brand. This means using assessments that are engaging, relevant and upbeat.
Asda’s tests were created to communicate positive messages about the business’ commitments to its people, its local communities and the environment while also measuring abilities critical to performance in a retail role. Your psychometrics must contribute to the attraction messages communicated through your recruitment process so that even unsuccessful candidates become ambassadors for your brand.

Be different from your competitors

Your psychometrics must differentiate you from your competitors in the retail job market. This means avoiding widely used assessments that your candidates have seen before. For high-volume process you should explore opportunities for developing bespoke tests specific to your business. A Situational Judgement Test we developed for the Co-operative group enabled the business to be distinctive from other retail employers, communicate positive messages and measure role-specific qualities.

Adopt values-based assessment

Issues such as poor service, retention issues and under-performance among retail employees relate to attitude and values; many people working in retail are not ideally suited to the environment because they simply don’t live the values of the business. They demonstrate inappropriate attitudes and behaviours and are not motivated by the rewards offered by the role.

Your psychometrics should include an assessment of the degree-of-fit between the candidate and your culture. Our work with Asda demonstrated how values-based assessments improved the quality of candidates seen by hiring managers, increased offer acceptance rates and delivered great savings, which could be passed
on to the customer.

Apply psychometrics across the business

To enjoy maximum benefit from your psychometrics, you should look for opportunities to apply them to a range of roles, not just managers and graduates. The Home Retail Group and Asda have introduced psychometrics across their brands (Argos, Homebase, George) and across their organisations into recruitment processes such as distribution, head office and hourly-paid colleagues.

Move psychometrics up front

The earlier in the process you include psychometrics, the greater the return on your investment. For high volume roles, you should ideally introduce the assessments at the application stage to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the initial sift. Our clients who introduced online pre-selection all enjoy greater ROI from higher calibre candidates, fewer assessment centres and improved retention where a values-based approach was adopted.

Pass results to store level

Psychometrics add maximum value when their results are integrated into the second round. This means making the results available for interviewers and assessors. The challenge is to ensure that your psychometrics report results in a meaningful way to your managers and minimise the need for extensive training. Passing results on will mean that your hiring managers can explore and corroborate the strengths and concerns identified by your psychometrics and make better recruitment decisions.

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