Why do People Think Psychometric Tests are a Good Idea?
The growth of psychometric testing
If you work in recruitment or are familiar with typical hiring methods you’ll undoubtedly recognise the term psychometric testing. Despite this, you may not realise to what extent psychometric testing can practically benefit your recruitment strategy. In recent years psychometric testing has seen a spike in popularity, purportedly used by more than 75% of the Times Top 100 Companies in the UK and over 80% of Fortune 500 Companies in America. It’s undeniable that the pre-hiring tests are very much on trend in the recruitment industry and, in general, they are highly regarded by those who have adopted them.
Psychometric performance is linked to work performance
Good psychometric test results have been statistically correlated to high job performance. In fact, aside from inviting candidates for a trial day, psychometric tests have been proven to be the most reliable pre-hiring performance indicator in the market. There have been numerous scientific studies into the validity of the psychometric test together with how efficiently they assess a candidate’s ability and there seems to be unanimous agreement that they are a very effective pre-cursory performance indicator. Assuming that the tests are conducted properly and used in conjunction with traditional face to face interviews they have been cited as hugely reducing the risk of hiring someone ill-suited to your team.
They reveal more than a candidate’s aptitude
The word psychometric refers to the science of measuring mental capacity and processes. Psychometric tests are wholly unaffected by any factor other than raw intelligence and candidate potential; they are a consistent and standardised measure of ability. Before the intervention of psychometric testing in hiring, ascertaining candidates’ mental capacity was solely down to the deduction skills of the interviewer. Whilst someone can try to remain subjective to the best of their ability it is almost impossible to remove subconscious bias entirely – which is where psychometric testing truly earns its stripes. The tests can not take academic qualifications, personal history or previous work experience into account. Candidates answer pre-determined questions which generate unambiguous results which can be easily compared to other candidates’ scores. Employers get a fuller and better rounded impression of a candidate including test results that disregard any influence of human prejudice.
The evolution of psychometric tests
Over time what we understand pre-hiring psychometric testing to be has evolved. There used to be a few basic tests. Now, there are a plethora of tests with names like situational judgement, mechanical reasoning, financial analysis and resilience questionnaires.
These tests no longer reveal just a candidate’s cognitive ability, but also determine traits such as how business-minded they are, how strong their leadership skills are and the type of working environment they’ll thrive in.
Given the high demand for these tests and the current rate at which all things are being digitised there are a large number of online providers and test writers whose job it is to make sending these tests as easy and functional as possible. Reliable, thoroughly tested and affordable tests are now available at the click of a button – meaning large corporations and smaller businesses alike have access to the best, scientifically approved, performance assessors available.
By and large, those with experience in administering psychometric tests in their hiring processes have agreed that it is a good idea. When applied correctly with the appropriate level of human assessment they have proven to be a very efficient tool. The important thing to remember about these tests is that they are primarily a resource to help predict the job performance of a candidate before you make the decision to hire them. The necessary emphasis should be placed on the word help. They were designed to be used to remove unconscious bias and create unprejudiced comparisons between potential new hires, however, they were not created to replace the traditional interview entirely. Test results can be worked into an interview discussion or the results can be used as a method with which to refine a shortlist of high calibre candidates and in doing so the pre-hiring selection process can be greatly impacted.