Kirsty Nolan

Psychometric Operations Director
Kirsty Nolan

As a Chartered Occupational Psychologist Kirsty has had the opportunity to successfully create and grow both products and teams in the field of assessment for selection for over 25 years. She has a passion for seeing the potential both in people and in new ideas - generated by the opportunities we create when we bring the right mix of people together. 

Her role at Arctic Shores means she has the privilege of leading two extremely talented and technically brilliant teams; The team of Cognitive Scientists, Data Scientists and Psychometricians who design and develop the tasks that make up our innovative and market leading assessment; The team of Occupational and Applied Psychologists who work hard to put our assessment in the hands of our customers and candidates in a way that makes it so easy to deliver value. In addition, Kirsty gets to work alongside the experts that make up our Product team; an extremely talented bunch of Product Managers and UX Designers all led by the incredible Claire Jaques as CPO, who is an inspiration to work for and someone whom she continues to learn so much from every day.

"I have never felt so mentally stimulated and proud of what I do, and the people I work with - so that’s why I joined, and remain, with Arctic Shores. The work we do really makes a difference to how our customers can discover and see potential and counter natural bias. This mission means so much to us as we continue to innovate and grow together as a team and business every working day."

Career pathway

After completing her undergraduate and Masters degrees it was important that she created the opportunity to train in a supervised environment as she worked to become a Chartered Occupational Psychologist. Kirsty completed this training in her first Psychologist role at Royal Mail, working alongside a truly inspiring team of 17 in-house Psychologists. This was an opportunity that you just wouldn’t come across now; such a large group of in-house Psychologists ranging in experience and interests from which she could learn.

"I always go back to these days and remember their importance in providing me with the foundations for the rest of my career - an opportunity to put the theory into practice in an environment that (at the time) was not overly restricted by time and budget - so the emphasis was very much on doing the right thing."

Seven years later (having gained her Chartered status) she stepped into the world of consultancy and professional services which provided another distinct opportunity to learn - in a very different way. At TMP Worldwide (now People Scout), an RPO provider, she worked through the roles of Senior Consultant, Head of Assessment and eventually Director of Assessment and Development. She was there for the best part of 10 years because of that opportunity to continue to develop - both herself and others. Kirsty worked with clients as wide ranging as Local Government, Security Services, Care Quality Commission, Met Police and UK parliament to KPMG, The AA, Network Rail and Sainsbury’s. Her roles involved business development, consulting to design end to end assessment and development solutions, client relationship management, as well as leading a team of 14 Occupational and Business Psychologists to do the same. This is where she learned the transferable skills of pace, delivering value and return on investment. Working within an RPO provider also meant gaining experience and insight into the end to end recruitment process, from attraction through to onboarding and everything in between. This was truly critical for her current role, working to develop assessment products that sit somewhere within that process.  

Three years as Director of KJN Consulting allowed her to perform a similar role as previously professionally, but with the opportunity to develop as a business owner. Her network allowed her to gain freelance work for a number of assessment consultancies. She worked with Lloyds Bank, Lidl, Mace and BAE Systems through Cappfinity. Working with Nicky Garcia and the team at Cappfinity was a great experience and an opportunity to work more directly with a strengths approach to assessment, which further fuelled her passion for assessing for potential.  

Kirsty joined Arctic Shores in a professional services role back in 2019 to cover a maternity leave. The move into a product role is one that required the business to see her potential and one that she will always be thankful for. It allows her to bring years of transferable skills and experience from professional services into product  - her understanding of psychometric principles combined with her extensive experience of providing resourcing solutions to solve the toughest of customer pain points. 

Qualifications and Professional Development

Kirsty studied at University of Surrey and Cranfield respectively for her BSc Psychology and MSc Occupational Psychology. During her MSc she completed her Test User qualification for ability tests and shortly after completed Test User qualification for personality with Oxford Psychological Press (along with conversion courses since means she is trained in the MBTI, CPI, OPQ, Strenthscope, The Strengths Profile, Wave and Me2 Creativity tool). 

Other relevant qualifications towards the start of her career, but providing useful foundations, included a BTEC in Assessor Training and a Diploma in Coaching for Performance. 

Across the years she has delivered and supported a number of presentations and award submissions for the British Psychological Society (Divisions of Occupational Psychology) and Association of Business Psychology conferences, the two key annual industry events in the UK.

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