Candidates who boast of being “creative” on their CVs and in job interviews could find their skills being put to the test for the first time thanks to a new tool aimed at measuring creativity.
The psychometric assessment has been developed by Australian psychologist Dr Amantha Imber alongside global giant Kimberley Clark.
The company behind major brands like Kleneex and Huggies approached Amantha after the head of innovation found that recruiting creativity people was difficult without giving them some kind of test to check their claims
She believed it was too easy for people to lie about their ability.
Amantha and her team spent three years designing the tool, known as the Inventium Creative Aptitude Test (ICAT).
The test is based on the latest psychological and neuro-science research and identifies 14 key traits to creative behaviours which form the basis of the psychometric assessment.
Those taking the test are quizzed on topics including applying experiences to work place problems, desire to master new skills, dealing with open ended problems, trusting their intuition, self confidence in their ideas and assertiveness.
ICAT also predicts behaviours the person is likely to exhibit in the workplace like commitment to change, challenging the norms of the company, adaptability, ability to work with other people and communication.
Recent studies have shown that creativity is becoming one of the top traits big employers look for.
IBM’s global survey of 1,500 CEOs found creativity was rated as the most important trait leaders needed to possess and a 2010 study by Ernst & Young found that ‘the ability to manage, organise, cultivate and nurture creative thinking is directly linked to growth and achievement’.
Amantha, the founder of Inventium, believes checking someone’s creative ability is difficult – anyone can come up with examples of creative thinking even if they aren’t their own – and is confident this tool will give employers a very accurate picture of an employee’s ability.
“Before developing ICAT, we looked at what companies are currently doing to check a candidates creativity and found the measures completely pointless. The creative industries, for example, ask to see a portfolio of work. How do they know the portfolio contains just the work of the person they’re planning to recruit?
“This tool will help companies find employees who will think differently to solve problems, who can generate ideas and help the business grow. Creativity isn’t just about coming up with great ideas and executing them, it’s also about finding a new way to solve a financial or staffing problems, making processes more efficient and engaging employees.
“The ideas bit is important – this is what enables companies to innovate. The day to day problems that come with running a business must never be overlooked. If you’re unable to solve these, then how will you move forward?”
The test is an online assessment, taking just 25 minutes and from that Amantha and her team is able to assess how creative a person is and will build a programme of how those skills can be developed.
She concluded: “I’m confident this assessment will give employers an overall picture of a person’s creative ability as well as giving guidance on how those traits can be developed in the future.
“As companies continue to rebuild after the recession, ensuring staff are well developed and new recruits well suited is going to become even more important. Having the right team who are able to think creatively both in terms of problem solving and developing innovative ideas is going to help drive businesses forward.”