Recruitment | 2 Min Read

When should you use situational judgement tests?

Ettie Holland By Ettie Holland on 16.01.2020
Graduate programme-blueprint

Situational judgement tests are a psychometric test that assess candidates’ behaviour and skills in the context of your business environment, through a relevant scenario.

The link to business context is what makes situational judgement tests so valuable at predicting future performance. Other assessment tools assess skills for their own sake, but SJTs help you understand how candidates would apply those skills working for you.

Read more: What are situational judgement tests?

For example, a candidate might have fantastic problem-solving skills but shrink next to dominant personalities. You need to know that. Before you hire them into your larger-than-life working environment, where they’ll struggle to show the skills you hired them for.

Situational judgement tests are more relevant for some businesses than others, though.

Which businesses benefit most from using SJTs?

  • Businesses with volume recruitment functions. Situational judgement tests work especially well if you recruit at scale. That’s because they’re a cost-effective and time-efficient way to filter through a large applicant pool, compared to in-person interviews. If you only hire sporadically, on the other hand, SJTs probably aren’t the most cost-effective assessment tool to use.
  • Businesses with well-defined hiring criteria. SJTs are typically bespoke to your business, designed to assess a clear set of pre-defined competencies. If your business is more ‘we’ll know the right person when we see them’, situational judgement testing probably isn’t your best choice of assessment tool. For example, fast-growing start-ups might recruit at volume but they’re typically not the best fit for SJTs. If you have a clear image of the candidates who typically succeed with you, on the other hand, SJTs can work well.
  • Businesses with structured processes. Because SJTs test candidates’ performance within a specific business context, they work best when you’ve got a clear, and repeating, context to test. It’s not cost-effective if every role you hire needs to test different competencies, in a different situation. For example, SJTs are a fantastic assessment for hiring call centre staff.
  • Businesses that hire graduates and entry level roles. Experienced candidates can call on real-world experience to show-off their professional judgement – but junior professionals might never have had opportunity to exercise their skills. That’s where SJTs can be useful, helping candidates who don’t have much (or any) practical experience show how they’d hypothetically behave. It’s the next-best thing to relevant real-world experience.

That’s an overview of the businesses who tend to see value from situational judgement testing. To get some practical tips to make SJTs work for you, check out: How to get the most from situational judgement tests.

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Ettie Holland Written by Ettie Holland

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