Psychometrics refers to ‘the psychological theory or technique of mental measurement’ – (Merriam-Webster 2018). Getting a better sense of a candidate’s personality and behavioural traits is much more difficult in an interview than learning about their skills, education and experience.
As a result, many employers include psychometric testing for assessing current or potential talent and as part of their recruitment process. This is helpful as it gives a better overall evaluation of the candidates and allows you to make a more informed decision about who best fits a role. Not everyone believes that this type of testing is valuable, however those that have used it believe that they get a more objective overview of a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, character and style of work.
How does psychometric testing help with decisions?
By carrying out psychometric testing, you can learn a lot more about a candidate’s skills, motivation and culture fit.
During the assessment process, interviewers generally assess both skills and experience quite accurately, however it can be slightly subjective, and a lot of the decision can be left up to gut instinct. Psychometric testing however, provides objective data which can help you get a better sense of the candidate’s overall suitability. Some point out that by using psychometric testing, a ‘scientific’ credibility and objectivity can be brought to the recruitment process. If all applicants are given the same standardised test, it may be a more accurate, as well as fair, way of assessing candidates. These tests for the most part, are no longer in the form of pen and paper questionnaires and are becoming more digitised. This makes the process even more efficient as they can be easily integrated into any stage of the process and can be taken anywhere at any time.
Aptitude testing – Verbal and numerical reasoning
This form of testing indicates how capable a candidate is at processing verbal and numerical information within a set time. Today these tests are usually carried out online either before or on assessment day.
Typically these are used at the beginning of a recruitment drive, large organisations tend to use this testing as a way of screening and then eliminating a high volume of candidates. In cases such as these, psychometric testing can massively reduce the work of the hiring manager and the selection of suitable candidates is smaller.
EQ- Emotional Intelligence
This form of testing measures a person capability in understanding their own and other peoples motivations effectively mapping out their relationship management ability a key part of leadership.
It can be very useful to get an insight into the intrinsic motivation of a potential leader. What truly they are interested in and will be drawn towards focusing on. not always be the best way to assess these types of skills.
The most common version of this type of testing is the Myers Briggs 16 personailty factors. This type of test is usually taken online in 20-30 minutes and results are process very quickly. It gives a breakdown of how a person will behave and so interact with others. This of course is very important in understanding how a person will “fit in” with their team and other colleagues.