Psychometric testing is a great tool to highlight key applicant attributes. It reduces time spent wading through applications. Typically, employers will utilise psychometric testing to provide an objective overview of a candidate’s personality and capabilities as it can predict future performance and cultural fit.
Here are some key advantages and pitfalls to keep in mind if you are considering including psychometric testing elements.
What is psychometric testing?
Standard psychometric testing consists of professionally developed and validated measures of adult personality traits, leadership style and ability. Employers use the psychometric scores to identify key elements of a candidate’s personality and abilities that could be difficult to extract in a standard interview. Incorporating psychometric testing also makes conducting large scale assessments a relatively quick and easy process.
In addition to the standard personality assessments, there are also specifically designed situational judgment tests (SJTs). These are customisable to the role requirements. For example, an SJT would typically include a short work based scenario. This gauges how the candidates would react or solve a problem. A lot of companies are now offering SJTs as apps and simulated role play games which help provide an accurate measure of their ability.
When you should use psychometric testing?
1. Psychometric testing benefits during shortlisting
Are there specific personality attributes that you value as an organisation? We typically have an idea of the perfect candidate in mind, and this can vary between roles and organisations.
Having someone who is task oriented and highly independent may be perfect for backend tech development whereas a client based role may require someone who is warm, outgoing and empathetic.
While reading a CV is helpful in determining who should be shortlisted against the requirements of the role, psychometric testing provides a greater understanding of candidate personality profile, behavioural style, and cognitive ability.
2. Psychometric testing benefits at interview
Psychometric testing is also a great interview tool, and can help tailor your interview questions. An interview process is a great way to assess skills and experience. However, it can also be subjective in regards to aligned values.
Psychometric testing allows employers to have a well developed and objective profile of each candidate prior to interview. This would also be the stage of the recruitment and screening process that you might like to engage a psychologist. They will be able to best interpret psychometric testing reports, and develop targeted questions to address the results in line with role requirements.
A few final points:
Psychometric testing is a great tool when utilised correctly. It is important to do some research into what type of testing would best serve your recruitment process and establish a candidate testing program that’s right for the role.
- Psychometric testing can give employers an idea as to future performance, and improve employee retention by ensuring successful placement.
- Be mindful that most standardised tests are written and developed in English western society which can mean results differ across cultures. However, most psych consultants will be able to establish which answers could be subject to a candidate’s ethnic background. Appropriate allowances should be made for candidates when English is not their first language.
- A low score doesn’t necessarily mean they are a poor candidate. It is important to consider the recruitment process holistically.
Ultimately, psychometric testing is what you make of it. When used appropriately, it will help you produce the best talent and source the most suitable candidates for the role.
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