What is psychometric testing?
A psychometric test is a standardised test that is designed to measure an individual's cognitive abilities, personality traits, and behavioural tendencies. These tests are often used in the context of employment and education to assess an individual's aptitude, personality, and suitability for a particular role or program.
Examples of psychometric tests include aptitude tests, personality tests, and cognitive ability tests. These tests are typically administered in a structured format, with questions or tasks that are designed to measure specific skills, traits and values and beliefs.
Types of tests
Verbal reasoning test
This test measures an individual's ability to understand and analyse written information, and to draw logical conclusions based on this information. These tests may include questions that require the candidate to read a passage of text and then answer questions about it or to complete a series of statements based on information presented in the text.
Numerical reasoning test
A numerical reasoning test measures an individual's ability to understand and analyse numerical data, and to draw logical conclusions based on this data. These tests may include questions that require the candidate to solve math problems or interpret graphs or charts.
Situational judgement test
Situational judgement test measures an individual's ability to evaluate and respond to different scenarios and problems that may arise in the workplace. These tests may present the candidate with a series of hypothetical situations and ask them to select the most appropriate response or course of action.
Abstract reasoning tests
Abstract reasoning tests measure an individual's ability to understand and analyse abstract or conceptual information, and to draw logical conclusions based on this information. These tests may include questions that require the candidate to identify patterns or relationships in a series of shapes or symbols or to complete a series of statements based on information presented in a logical sequence.
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Is psychometric testing effective?
Psychometric testing, when done accurate is a value add to the business. Bespokehr found that implementing psychometric testing resulted in 20% reduction in staff turnover, saving the company time and money in the long run. Furthermore, Cut-e, a psychometric assessment company, found that psychometric test help 81% of companies make more reliable and less risky decisions and 57% of companies believed such tests could help predict future performance.
Benefits of psychometric tests
For large organisations, psychometric testing help with the recruitment process. Where a role has hundreds of applicants it can be ineffective to have HR teams look through all the CVs and cover letters. Psychometric tests help to narrow hundreds of applicants to a manageable size which then allows the business to conduct interviews with a manageable size candidate pool.
Having all applicants complete the same tests increases objectivity and fairness. Standardised tests ensure that all candidates are being evaluated based on the same criteria and measures, rather than being judged on subjective factors such as their appearance or personal characteristics.
Tests are administered in a standardised way and the results are scored using a set of predetermined criteria. This helps to ensure that the results are fair and accurately reflect the individual's abilities or traits, rather than being influenced by the personal biases or prejudices of the hiring team.
Limitations of psychometric tests
Although we mentioned that standardised tests reduce bias and increase objectivity and fairness, there is a drawback to this. Since these tests are designed to be administered in a standardised format to a large number of people, they cannot accurately capture the differences that exist among individuals. This can be especially problematic for candidates who may have unique abilities or experiences that are not accounted for in the standardised format of the test.
Such tests may not portray a true image of a candidate's suitability for a specific role due to the limited scope. Take for instance situational judgement tests, these usually consist of multiple-choice questions and can often ignore specific requirements of the job or the individual's previous experience, education and training.
Should you adopt psychometric tests in your recruitment process?
Usually, these tests are adopted by large organisations with hundreds of applicants for a small number of roles. If your HR team is struggling to sieve through a large number of applications consider if you can have any qualifying questions to qualify if a candidate is suitable from early on. If this still leaves you with a large number of candidates to assess you may benefit from adopting psychometric tests.
Another aspect to consider is how relevant the test is for the job role. While a numerical reasoning test is suitable might be good measure to assess candidates for an accounting or finance role, the link wont always be this clear. With the ever increasing variety of job role its important to assess candidates appropriately and in accordance with the role they are applying for.
Adopting psychometric tests will come at a price therefore you need to assess if the size of your business and the efficiency gained would justify the added cost.