Should I use psychometric testing when recruiting?

17/01/2019

Psychometric testing is a useful way to measure whether a potential recruit is a good fit for your organisation beyond the usual attributes of education, works skills and experience gleaned from a resume.

As an interviewer, psychometric cognitive testing can give you greater insight into the personality and behaviours of a job candidate that may not immediately be apparent in a standard interview process.

Around 20% of organisations worldwide employ psychometric testing to help then gauge an individual's future performance within the company and make more successful hiring decisions. That percentage is growing every year as employee wellbeing, and retention rates become of increasing concern in the workplace.

 

What can psychometric tests measure?

When correctly applied by a qualified and experienced professional (such as an industrial or corporate psychologist or a human resources staff member), cognitive and personality tests can help avoid the significant costs associated with a bad hire, generally estimated to be equivalent to that individual’s yearly salary.

While there has always been debate about psychometric testing’s efficacy, they can be valuable in getting an objective overview of a recruits personality, character, strengths and weaknesses. They can also measure intelligence, abstract, verbal or numerical reasoning and motivation.

When assessing a recruit, it's important to consider how they will fit into the team in general, and personality tests can go a long way to providing invaluable information about an individual's working style. You can also get a sense of how they interact with others – important for team synergy and wellbeing.

Psychometric leadership testing can help determine whether a team member will be effective in a management role.

 

What kind of psychometric tests are available to businesses?

These are the top seven most commonly used organisational psychometric tests:

  1. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  2. Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire
  3. DISC
  4. Verbal Reasoning Assessment
  5. Numerical Reasoning Assessment
  6. Situational Judgement Test
  7. Logical Reasoning Assessment

 

How to conduct psychometric testing the right way.

You can minimise any potential risks and optimise any of the above tests’ predictive accuracy of these tests by following a few simple guidelines:

  • Understand why you're asking potential recruits to take psychometric tests. The best results are achieved when businesses know in advance what they want to measure in terms of job performance. You can't measure something effectively if you don't have a clear idea what you measure it against.
  • Choose the right test for your organisation. Make sure your chosen test has proven efficacy for predicting the traits you want to see in employees. Researching and evaluating each test on its scientific merits is a vital step towards successful hiring practices.
  • Never use a psychometric test in isolation as a recruiting technique – they are designed to be part of an integrated evaluation strategy.
  • Be aware of legal compliance for anti-discrimination laws if you're using these tests as a screening tool (e.g. cognitive ability tests given to intellectually disabled candidates or mental health assessments).
  • Make allowances for those who speak English as a second language (or whose first language is not the same as the test in question).
  • While it isn’t required you share results with candidates (as in psychological research), there are ethical and practical benefits to allowing individuals to see their results if they so wish.