Why use Psychometric Testing in Recruitment

17 July 2020
4 minute
Psychometric recruitment testing hero

Businesses worldwide have long been reaping the benefits of psychometric tests. This invaluable candidate assessment method can help businesses save time and money. It can even help identify an individual’s long-term potential by exploring and measuring their personality, behaviours and cognitive ability. 

In this article, we discuss why you should use psychometric tests in recruitment, how to go about performing them, and the kind of traits or skills they evaluate. Here at Thomas, we offer a full suite of psychometric tools, designed to help make the recruitment process more robust and reliable. Read on to find out what these types of tests could do for recruitment in your business.

What is psychometric testing in recruitment?

Psychometric testing refers to a variety of tests and tools that measure a candidate’s suitability for a role or organisation. These tests cover several different areas and subject matter areas.

Psychometric aptitude tests measure a candidate’s abilities as well as their intelligence levels and help explore aptitude which pertains to numerical, verbal and logical skills to determine problem-solving and information processing speed.

Other psychometric assessments explore personality, behaviour and emotional intelligence to look at how candidates communicate as well as their potential for leadership.

Why psychometric tests are used in the recruitment process

Typically, candidates are assessed by reviewing their CV or resume, conducting an interview (or a series of interviews), and perhaps assigning them a task or project.

Psychometric tools in recruitment offer more detailed and insightful information than these traditional assessment methods. They can help to assess aptitude and personality, and exploring things like an individual’s communication style, emotional intelligence and behaviours as they relate directly to the workplace.

These insights allow employers to determine how well you might work within a team, your management style and your willingness to follow the rules or take risks, for example. These are all key indicators of whether someone is right for a job within a particular company.

In addition to this, psychometric testing insights provide value long after the initial recruitment process. Not only can they reaffirm the calibre of a recruit, but they also equip hiring managers with the information needed to inform future progression conversations and ensure high levels of job satisfaction and engagement.

What recruiters are looking for with psychometric testing

Depending on the role, hiring managers will look for different things when conducting psychometric tests in recruitment. Take a high-pressured Head of Marketing position as an example. This post might require an individual that works well in stressful environments, communicates effectively with stakeholders at all levels, and someone who’s a natural-born leader.

On the other hand, a technical IT vacancy may call for an individual who is both methodical and disciplined and works well independently. In the same way, you’d want a team leader to possess high levels of emotional intelligence, while an editor will need to demonstrate a solid score for error checking (there is, in fact, a psychometric test that looks at an individual’s ability to spot inaccuracies in information).

For each of the scenarios, there’s a specific psychometric test or series of tests, that will measure each of the individual traits explored.

Does psychometric testing work in recruitment?

Psychometric assessments are said to help employers make more effective and informed decisions in the hiring process, generating more information about a candidate, showcasing strengths and weaknesses and identifying potential progression opportunities for later on.

But do they really work?

Studies have shown that psychometric testing can, indeed, save time and money while recruiting, and employers have admitted to feeling more confident when choosing candidates. Experts in the field maintain the reliability and accuracy of these tests but also advise that these tools are best used alongside traditional methods such as face-to-face interviews. One study found that 75% of The Times’ Top 100 Companies were using psychometric testing alongside other tried and tested recruitment methods and tools.

Psychometric assessments in recruitment work to benchmark candidates in a way that is often difficult to do with other methods, such as interviews. By scoring candidates on set criteria, it becomes easier to distinguish standout candidates and shortlist the most promising ones more quickly.

With all that said, more traditional assessment methods do still have a place in recruitment. In other words, psychometric tests on their own are not enough to inform all hiring decisions. Companies can make the most out of their recruitment process when using psychometric testing alongside other traditional recruitment methods. And it’s crucial to ensure recruiting is performed optimally, given the costs of poor hiring. In fact, the cost of a poor hire doesn’t only relate to recruitment fees, training and loss of productivity - it can also have a severe impact on company morale and culture.

By using psychometric tools, employers are better equipped with a deeper level of understanding to determine whether a candidate has the skills and personality traits for the role in question. To find out more about Thomas and how our suite of psychometric tools for recruitment can help you and your organisation, get in touch.

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