Psychometric assessments are defined as measuring an individual’s skills, aptitude, and personality. In large organizations, they are used often as part of leadership development or assessment centers and in management trainee recruitment programs. In small and medium organizations, the prioritization in utilizing psychometrics is mainly for recruitment purposes. Ultimately, the use of these tests depends on the mindset and budget of each organization culture. Over time testing has becoming more affordable and competitive and it is possible to find a company with a reasonable price.
The power of psychometric testing lies in the fact that they are a more objective and scientific way of understanding an individual. This becomes critical in recruitment as most of us have biases that tend to creep into our hiring decisions. By using psychometrics, we reduce the risk of mis-hiring based on prejudices and subjectivity. There are normally three main categories of psychometrics: numeric reasoning, verbal reasoning, and personality assessments.
Numeric and verbal assessments measure the candidate’s level of what we traditionally call IQ. We know how critical this is when we discover later that just because the candidate may have impressed us with smooth talking and the ability to articulate themselves clearly, does not mean that they are able to produce the next departmental budget or understand a key customer satisfaction survey. With these tests there is a very clear right or wrong answer, there is no ambiguity and as the assessor you can objectively see the level of intellect or logic the candidate has and can make a quick “yes” or “no” decision.
Personality tests give you deeper insights about the candidate’s character, qualities and how they behave. There are multiple occasions where the hiring manager struggles with whether they can truly tell from the interview if the individual will “fit” in a certain culture, role or perform working with a particular boss or team. Unlike numeric, verbal, or logical reasoning tests, there is no right or wrong with personality tests. The hiring manager will be looking for “Best fit”. For example, a report will indicate the strengths in managing people, planning, collaboration, compliance etc. It is possible that candidates may get frustrated when not selected post the testing, however what these tests do is protect a future scenario for the individual where there may be clashes or culture misfit. Best practice hiring tries to achieve the perfect match to create a win-win scenario for all.
In summary, if you do decide to invest in these tests for your candidates and you eventually hire them, you can continue to use the data for further growth and development in the organization. Psychometrics are a smart investment and by using them in recruitment, you will save time in the long term by hiring and retaining the best candidates.