Talking psychometrics with the Start, Scale, Grow podcast

Posted 20 May 2024 by
Kevin Wood, Global Marketing

5 min. read

‘Start, Scale, Grow’ is a podcast hosted by Simon McSorley, Founder and CEO of Crew Talent Advisory, a talent recruitment agency in Melbourne, Australia, specializing in tech sector recruitment. 

In episode 12, his guest is consulting psychologist Cameron Nott, Managing Director of Asia Pacific for The Myers-Briggs Company. They talk about talent selection, the challenges of remote working, the importance of psychological safety in teams—and the role of psychometrics in those areas.

Here are some highlights from that conversation and you can get the full episode from Spotify

Are assessments sometimes seen as a ‘handbrake’ by people who want to hire quickly?

“Sometimes, there is that pressure just to make a hire,” says Cameron, “but we’ve got to assess the cost of a bad hire. A candidate might say all the right things in an interview but maybe they just interview really well. There are people who can tell you exactly what you want to hear and be charismatic and charming with great interpersonal skills. 

“Assessments can show other things, like whether candidates are conscientious or motivated. And if people don’t interview so well because interpersonal skills aren’t as important in their role, assessments can be helpful in finding that hidden gem.”

Is it better to use assessments towards the end of the selection process?

“Clients using assessments might bring them in at the end of the process to get the benefits of objective psychological insight in terms of competencies. It could be cognitive ability or cognitive agility, but it’s going to help confirm something you already know—or it’s going to raise a question you want to check with the candidate or validate against referee checks. Assessments give you an objective insight.

“I think it would be great to use them earlier so you’re giving yourself a wider pool of people. But some people might have concerns around time and there are costs involved, too. It might be that we do it as a safety check at the end of the process, just to be sure.”

Can assessments help when hiring for remote and hybrid roles?

“There are competencies required for working in a fully remote or hybrid environment—it’s about the working arrangement and the nature of the role. For working remotely, we need people who have a good work ethic, are conscientious, and are motivated so we can trust they’ll be autonomous and reliable. 

“But you might also be looking at interpersonal scales. If a role is going to be pretty solitary—it’s remote, there’s not much interaction—then someone with off-the-charts social needs is something you’d want to chat about. 

“It doesn’t necessarily rule a person out. Maybe that person gets their social needs met elsewhere, maybe they’re working with customers and clients, maybe they’ve demonstrated this by working in other roles remotely. But the right assessment does give an insight into that side of the role.

“I think remote and hybrid working is one of the biggest challenges the global workplace has experienced in decades. There are certainly advantages with remote working in terms of work-life balance and there’s an expectation of that from a lot of candidates. It’s a talent attraction tool.

“On the other hand, there definitely are challenges with it. There are reduced levels of collaboration and there can be a sense of disconnection with the employee and their colleagues, their manager, and the organization. There can be a loss of heart, to a degree. 

“The remote environment is virtual which means meetings tend to be quite task focused. People come together for an hour very much focused on a particular aspect of work. What you lose are the incidental social interactions, like the ability to read body language or understand certain social cues. You lose the ability to walk into a meeting having a conversation or sharing a joke on the way out and these are all things that build safety and trust.”

What else would you like to see?

“There are a lot of challenges so I’d like leaders to ask what they could be doing, especially in this more remote environment, to build more psychological safety and trust in teams. 

“That means not just having the transactional virtual meetings but spending some time for the team to connect a little socially. Maybe it’s the Monday morning connect where people talk about the weekend or scheduling one-on-ones with remote workers but not just to focus on the transactional. A little bit of social connection is helpful. 

“And the last thing is that if we are working more remotely, perhaps there are cost savings that could be used to bring people together to build social connections as part of a team build.

“A lot of work we’re doing today is about connection. It’s much more about building team purpose and helping individuals understand their own purpose within the team. It’s important in terms of retention and creating high team performance.”


Organizations, recruiters, and leaders can use personality assessments to help them: 

Now listen to the full podcast on Spotify.

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