Psychometric testing – FAQs

  1. Why use Harrison Assessments’ HATS system?
  2. What if I want to use other assessment tools as well as HATS?
  3. How is the efficacy of HATS psychometric tests assessed?
  4. Do you think that many M&A (merger and acquisition) deals, or firms affected by resizing or restructuring can be saved from disaster if culture-fit was ensured through psychometric processes before staff decisions are made?
  5. Are there any pitfalls in psychometric tests?
  6. What are the underlying theories behind HATS?
  7. What is Paradox Theory and why is it important?

Whatever your reasons for considering psychometrics, you need to feel confident the tool you use will give you the most useful and reliable outcome you are looking for.

Why use Harrison Assessments’ HATS system?

Psychometric analysis has been under development for more than 70 years and there are many assessment tools on the market good at what they are designed to do.  However very few assessment tools are designed specifically for the recruitment and development of employees, and yet these two tasks are the most important responsibility within any organistation. 

Dr Harrison designed HATS specifically to overcome this gap in the psychometric assessment industry.  HR profesionals and Managers need an assessment product that is extremely reliable, work specific, and with sufficient assessment capability to be used across all jobs within any organisation and industry.

Harrison Assessments Talent Solutions (HATS) evaluates not only experiential factors but also soft skills – those things that cannot be shown on a CV such as behaviour, attitude, motivation, interpersonal skills,limitations as well as potential, and a host of other factors.

One of the principle theories behind HATS is that people tend to be far better at things they actually enjoy. If you are able to match the person’s preferred behavioural style with the requirements of the role, they are far more likely to excel. You end up with not only someone who can DO the job, but someone who genuinely ENJOYS doing it.

And don’t be deceived into thinking everyone is the same - there are millions of possibilities, as every person’s employment profile is unique. Some people love a challenge, some thrive where organisational skills are required, some are leaders, persuasive and full of drive, and others concerned with detail and ensuring rules are adhered to.

There is no ‘bad’ employment profile; everyone has working strengths, all of which are perfectly valid in different situations.

In Australia, CareerFit has used HATS within all industry sectors. The subjectivity of the employer’s processes in selection and internal development of its employees is supplemented by the objective assessment of the HATS tools and reports. 

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What if I want to use other assessment tools as well as HATS?

There are numerous well respected psychometric tools on the market and some selection exercises require the use of more than one assessment tool.

For this reason HATS can incorporate the results of up to three other assessment products to produce an integrated overall prediction of success taking into account all assessment criteria.

We also respect the fact that some clients have been using one or more assessment products for a number of years and they wish to retain these alliances while adding HATS to their suite of tools to expand the company’s assessment capabilities and efficiencies. The integration feature of HATS provides an automated means of converging and weighting all assessment scores, helping to maintain the objectivity and balance of the assessment process.

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How is the efficacy of HATS profiling assessed?

Most business people react well to data. They feel uncomfortable taking business decisions without it (even if they ignore it). If line managers are to be convinced by HR, objective data to support decisions is the key. The HATS system helps to arm HR managers, recruiters, careers counsellors and business coaches with more than subjective observations. Using HATS they can now approach their staffing responsibilities more strategically, analytically, and with greater comfort.

HATS has extensive research and performance data validating high industry standards for reliability and validity.

CareerFit, through its accreditation process and ongoing support, provides information on all the above properties.

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Do you think that many M&A (merger and acquisition) deals, or firms affected by resizing or restructuring can be saved from disaster if job-fit and culture-fit was ensured before staff decisions are made?

Most definitely. HATS has contributed to the smooth merger of many organisations which have had different work cultures. The benefit of HATS is that assessment of team dynamics of the merged entities can contribute towards optimum team-fit and make way for a new, vibrant corporate culture which can thrive well into the future.

On the restructuring and resizing side, some employers have to make tough decisions on who stays and who goes. HATS can assist in the process to either determine which employees have the core values, skills and abilities necessary to help the company succeed in the next phase; or to assist employees who will be made redundant with identifying their skills and abilities and how they can use those for new career and/or entrepreneurial pursuits.

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Are there any pitfalls in psychometric tests?

Due to design limitations (eg bipolar reporting or self assessment questionnaires) many assessment systems are vulnerable to misinterpretation as well as misrepresentation in the hands of untrained individuals. Such assessment tools can be risky because the results are used for making high stake decisions like recruitment and promotion which have far-reaching effects for the organisation and the individual assessed.

It is for this reason that CareerFit works only with the HATS system. HATS is designed to protect the individual and the company from misinterpretation. Design features such as individual trait measurement, paradox theory, blind self-assessment, ranking questionnaire, weighted performance factors, fully customizable job success formulas, and fully interpreted reports makes it almost impossible to misrepresent either the job or the candidate.

In addition, CareerFit provides all the training and post-accreditation support you require. We are on call to take your calls, or via email, through consultation or extra training, if required.

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What are the underlying theories behind HATS?

There are two underlying theories that are integrated in the Harrison Assessment methodology. The first is called Enjoyment-Performance Theory and is based upon Behavioural Theory. The second is called Paradox Theory and is an extension of the "psychological opposites" theories explained by Jung and Freud.

For more information on the Enjoyment-Performance theory click here.

For more information on the Paradox theory click here.

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What is Paradox Theory and why is it important?

According to Paradox Theory, our lives involve dealing with a series of paradoxes. Each paradox is a relationship between two categories of traits, "Gentle" traits and "Dynamic" traits. If our range of behaviour is able to extend to both the Gentle and Dynamic aspects of the paradox, we will have an exceptional capability and means of fulfillment related to that aspect of our lives.

By measuring traits and organizing them according the paradox model, we gain insight into the manner in which each person manages each paradox. We can gain a wealth of understanding about an individual's areas of exceptional strength and versatility, while also understanding the individual’s behaviour under stress.

The term Paradox Theory is used because the complementary traits appear to be contradictory but, in fact, are not. A person who embraces only one side of the paradox will consider the traits to be contradictory or opposite. Only a person who has psychologically resolved the paradox will consider the pair of traits to be mutually compatible. For example, a person who can be both frank and diplomatic will consider the two traits to be compatible and a person who is strong in only one trait will consider the two to be contradictory.

Paradox Theory provides a series of principles that give meaning to the complexity of personality traits without the use of typecasting. By mapping the patterns, insight into the unique individual is achieved without stereotyping or assuming relationships between traits that may not exist. The relative strengths of various complementary traits are identified and viewed as an entire system rather than as independently operating factors. It is the overall pattern that provides the deepest insight into the individual.

To download our fact sheet explaining how the Paradox theory is depicted in the HA reports click here.

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