Is there a Science to Selection?

CIPD (02)

As part of the CIPD Ireland Conference recently Shane O’Mara, Professor of Experimental Brain Research, Trinity College Dublin, discussed the need for a strong research base to support initiatives and approaches adopted in HR today.  While he acknowledged the anecdotal evidence supporting mindfulness and meditation for example, he emphasised that more research is required before investing heavily as an organisation.

He also pointed to psychometric testing and its potential for misinterpretation and misuse.  Using a reputable psychometric test product that holds strong reliability and validity is key to ensuring that you are measuring what you have set out to measure and are being fair to the candidate in question.

In discussing assessment with clients, Collins McNicholas sometimes hear that hiring managers have “put a few questionnaires together” or are using quite leading questions as part of an interview process wrongly believing them to have qualities of psychological measurement.

With the increasing use of psychometric testing and assessment in general it is important to constantly question:

  • What am I trying to measure/ view/ analyse?
  • Is this the best way to measure/ view/ analyse this competency?
  • What are the risks involved / what are the likely confounding variables?

For more information on the psychometric testing and assessment services provided by Collins McNicholas Recruitment and HR Services group please visit

Caroline Ward






Caroline Ward

Services Manager

Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group