Psycon’s over 60-year history was started in a former garage by three open-minded psychologists who followed the latest trends.

Since then, the mechanical psychological testing apparatuses have turned into today’s remote assessment systems and aptitude tests into versatile surveying and development concepts. Psycon’s modern facilities are currently at seven locations.

Operation

Psycon’s history began in 1953, when a personnel recruitment company called Valintakoe Oy was registered.  The goal was to provide aptitude surveys based on occupational psychology to pioneer companies to support them in their important personnel decisions. Earlier in Finland, aptitude tests had been utilized mainly at the Finnish State Railway’s (VR) psychotechnical laboratory – though, already in existence since the 1920s.

In the 1960s, the name Valintakoe Oy was officially changed into Psyko-Sosiologinen Tutkimuslaitos. Around the same time, the company was also involved in advertising research. The 70s brought along steady growth, but the actual expansion began in the 80s when the marketing name Psyko became established in the growing client base.

Psycon’s business became more versatile, and services were also offered to internationalizing Finnish companies. The growth can be well described by the number of offices. Valintakoe Oy’s first office was located in a garage, but today Psycon has offices in Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Oulu, Lappeenranta and Kuopio. We also have an office in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Methods and ethics

Psychology has been taught as an independent discipline at the University of Helsinki only since the 1940s. The discipline of applied psychology has earlier been referred to as, for example, psychotechnics. One significant step in the method development was taken when the governmental career guidance office launched an extensive research project that included some of the future founding fathers of Valintakoe Oy. The aim of the research was to investigate properties and interrelationships of approximately 60 psychological tests. The results of this research formed a basis for Finnish applied psychology.

The personal assessment method development has always been active at Psycon. Renewal and refreshing of surveys, talent meters and personality tests is continuous, as is standardization and analysis of dependencies using complex statistical methods. Even today, in personal assessments, the consultants follow the multimethod principle, according to which the defined qualities to be assessed are often measured in a number of parallel methods to ensure reliability.

Already at the beginning of the operation, it was decided that the participants are notified of their assessment results, because the founders regarded this as an ethical necessity and something that would also strengthen the client relationships. This practice caused intense discussions within the other companies in the field. Today, each person participating in an assessment will automatically receive a copy of the assessment report.

Tools

At the beginning, in addition to pen and paper methods, assessments were performed using, for example, mechanical devices, to analyze the observation ability and motor skills. Scoring and normalization were carried out manually. As early as the 1980s, Psyko, as the company was known at that time, included in its service offering the PC-based Profile test, which was localized for Finland and targeted for the client companies’ use.

Today, the persons to be assessed can work using the web-based PsycOnline assessment system before the assessment day and complete some of the tasks related to personal assessment beforehand. The system operates in a data-secure and reliable way. The user can log in effortlessly from all around the world.