Written by Grégoire Depeursinge, Managing Partner AIMS International Switzerland


While it is certainly worthwhile to invest in formal assessment or testing of finalist candidates, there are also some pitfalls to avoid.

Computerized tests, combined or not with assessments, are more and more the rule. Many companies have introduced their own systems used by in-house recruiters or partner with external firms, often also with their executive search provider. The main motivation for this is risk management, as a mis-hire will result in very high costs to the company whilst testing normally represents a low percentage of the hiring costs.

How tests can help you:

  • Check if there is a match between your perception of the candidate’s personality and the test results, especially in key personality traits, motivators or competences
  • Verify doubts concerning potential weaknesses
  • Confirm perceived strengths and areas of improvement (better evaluate the long-term potential of the candidate)
  • Verify the cognitive abilities (with cognitive tests), something which is difficult to do in the course of an interview
  • Allow a more in-depth evaluation/understanding of the candidate through discussion of the test results
  • Prepare the taking of references (what questions should you ask?)
  • Take a more informed decision (I am hiring this candidate in spite of this weakness. I am aware of it and accept it, even though it was a requisite in the profile)
  • Prepare the on-boarding of the candidate (in which areas is he more likely to need help?)
  • In case of unexpected problems after the hire, the solution can often be found in the test and assessment results

How tests can mislead you:

  • When you let the computer take over by not having a well-qualified human being who knows the candidateinterprets the results (often, a simple certification with a test provider is not enough)
  • When you let the computer take over, valuing test results above the feeling consecutive to the interviews (it should be the other way round)
  • When you don’t discuss the results with the candidate
  • When you define a desired personality profile for a role or a company and eliminate anybody who does not fit it (many different personalities can be successful and diversity is always a plus)

The quality of a testing/assessment tool depends on the comparison of the results with those of a representative reference population. Function, language and culture are important aspects.

At AIMS International Switzerland, we can count on the support of our in-house psychologist to conduct in-depth, high-quality assessments in all national languages and in English. Naturally, we can also draw on our global partners in 50+ countries to provide quality testing and assessments almost anywhere in the world.

Please contact Catherine Librandi for more information



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