Psychometric tests are part of many recruitment processes in a number of industries. Choosing the right tests to administer as part of the procedure will depend on what skills candidates require to be successful in the role.
For some recruiters, psychometric tests are an integral part of the initial assessment of potential candidates - they are quick to implement and with planning can reduce a candidate pool from thousands of applicants to a handful of qualified, able, and skilled options - making it much easier to arrange interviews and take into the next rounds.
If, as a recruiter or employer, you are unsure of which psychometric tests would be most suitable for use in your industry, then you need to speak to an expert who can guide you through the options to find out more.
What are Psychometric Tests?
Psychometric assessment is a broad term to describe any test that is used to evaluate performance, whether that is in terms of knowledge, abilities, or skills, personality traits, attitudes and behaviour, or ability to learn through academic or job potential.
Psychometric tests are psychological tools that can be used to streamline recruitment, get quality candidates on board and reduce employee turnover by ensuring every candidate has the required skills, aptitudes and behaviours to perform the job duties.
Psychometric tests are online assessments usually used after online application forms and CVs have been sifted, to dramatically reduce a candidate pool to only the best applicants, making the interview process more straightforward.
Are Psychometric Tests Beneficial to Recruitment?
Psychometric testing offers measurable and objective assessment of potential candidates. Although good recruiters can often get a good understanding of applicants through 'gut feeling' in the interview process, unconscious bias is just one of the reasons why both telephone and face-to-face interviews can be subjective.
Based on psychological research, psychometric assessments provide an objective, data-driven, and science backed way of measuring skills, aptitudes and behaviours. They add value to the recruitment process, improving the time spent interviewing candidates who are not equipped for the role, while also reducing employee turnover.
Psychometric testing used to be a clunky process, using pen and paper or having candidates physically attend an assessment centre. Thanks to the development of technology, psychometric testing can be completed online, using bespoke questions, adaptive technology, and even artificial intelligence to make it simple to integrate into any stage of the recruitment process.
For roles that attract a large candidate pool, the right aptitude tests ensure that the recruitment team only invites the applicants who already have skills and knowledge, and are able to learn quickly.
There are a number of psychometric testing types available for use in recruitment, and the right test (or mix of tests) will depend on the nature of the role and the industry you are recruiting for.
Situational Judgement Tests (SJTs) are usually used in graduate-level recruitment, and they assess a candidate on their choice of actions following a hypothetical scenario. The situation is usually based on a real-life problem that the candidate might face in the job role, and there are multiple-choice answers, each offering a particular course of action.
The assessment focuses on the candidate choosing the most appropriate response according to the job role and desired outcome of the recruiter.
Verbal reasoning tests assess the candidate on their ability to quickly read, understand and analyse a passage of text. The question asks something related to the content of the text passage, and the candidate needs to select whether the statement provided is true, false, or cannot say.
This is a test of the candidates ability to extract information from text, and not a test of skill. All the information needed to correctly answer the question is provided, so the candidate does not need to have specific knowledge in order to answer.
This assessment is about making a reasoned and logical deduction from information provided, rather than jumping to a conclusion.
Numerical reasoning tests are an assessment of a candidate's ability to read, understand and analyse numerical data quickly. This data is usually provided in tables or graphs, rather than as a straightforward equation.
The question has a multiple-choice answer, and requires the candidate to use basic mathematical operators and understand manipulation of percentages, ratios and fractions. Numerical reasoning assessments are probably the most used psychometric test.
This assessment is not about extended mathematical knowledge, but is assessing the candidate on their ability to extract data and manipulate it correctly to find the appropriate answer.
Logical reasoning encompasses many types of tests that broadly assess problem solving abilities. They include:
An inductive reasoning assessment uses a series of images that follow an unknown pattern, and the candidate needs to select the next image in the pattern according to inductive logic.
Deductive reasoning assesses a candidate's ability to make a logical argument based on the data provided. In deductive reasoning, a candidate also needs to be able to identify a false conclusion.
Abstract and diagrammatic reasoning are broadly the same thing - using images to identify patterns, relationships and trends. The questions might ask for the next image in the series, the missing item, or the odd one out.
Critical thinking assessments are usually used for high-level roles like management, where being able to think critically is essential to make decisions. Critical thinking is the candidate's ability to assess logical reasoning through arguments, assumptions and conclusions.
There are a number of different personality and behaviour tests available, but the benefit to recruitment of these is that employers can assess a candidate for their personality traits and culture fit.
Your particular industry will be looking for certain personality traits that will be a good fit for the business, and ensure that the right behavioural types are found - an extrovert might be more suited to a sales role, while someone who is detail-oriented might be better suited to an auditing role.
The right personality assessment for your recruitment needs is based on specific psychological research and knowledge about motivators, what causes stress, and how the candidate will deal with problems.
This might be based on the personality types of Myers-Briggs, the DiSC assessment, 16 Personality Factors (16PF) or any number of others - but all will help a recruiter to identify the personality and behavioural traits in candidates that predict success in the role.