PAYE umbrella contractors are occasionally asked by some recruiters to undergo psychometric testing to determine their suitability for various roles. However, a specialist workplace assessment group has raised concerns about recruiter misuse of the tests.

Talent Q believes the problem is getting so bad that some recruiters are in danger of spoiling their employer brand unless they smarten up fast. Although more and more organisations are turning to psychometric testing to identify the strengths and weaknesses of candidates for advertised posts, the group has received evidence that some recruiters fail to explain the relevance of the test to applicants, an omission which is at the very least discourteous. Placement-hunting contractors working through umbrella companies, along with other applicants, are entitled to a little respect. Perhaps more seriously, they also fail to give any feedback to candidates after the test, which is in fact a clear breach of the requirements of the British Psychological Society.

Not only this, but data storage is often decidedly messy, with no central records being kept and much duplication occurring. Unsurprisingly, this fosters frustration in candidates, who could be forgiven for assuming that the employment agency is inefficient. Candidates, Talent Q insists, should also be given feedback following unsuccessful applications; in the absence of this, they are inclined to assume the test result was their downfall, but other factors are often the real reason.

Steve Dell, Talent Q’s Chief Executive, said that good practise requires that candidates receive an explanation about what psychometric assessments are designed to achieve. They should then be helped to proactively plan for the test. Feedback, he insisted, should be given throughout the application process.

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