What are Psychometric Tests?
Psychometric tests, or aptitude tests, are assessments, which are able to test cognitive skills and personality traits that are not necessarily tied to a person's work history or educational background, but life experience, skills and general intelligence.
First developed as personality tests in the 1880's, you may be familiar with the big names like the Myer Briggs test, or the OCEAN big five traits. However, nowadays, psychometric testing is much more varied and can be used to gauge a wide range of competencies and behavioural preferences that can help improve the accuracy and efficiency of the hiring process.
There are lots of different kinds of psychometric tests, the most popular being verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, abstract logic, and personality tests. Some, like verbal and numerical reasoning, test cognitive skills like language skills and understanding of mathematical concepts. They also assess more complex abilities such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and attention to detail. This means that using psychometric testing can give a more holistic view of how a candidate thinks and approaches problems, rather than just if they get the correct answer.
Why are companies using psychometric tests?
There are many advantages to using psychometric tests with the most popular one being able to shortlist candidates based on skills rather than experience and with much more efficient data-driven data. The modern day job market is extremely competitive and many companies find themselves receiving more applications from qualified candidates than they can effectively deal with. This is where psychometric can be beneficial to the efficiency of the hiring process.
Psychometric tests add another screening tool in order to filter out candidates who have stronger competencies in skills that cannot be measured by traditional methods such as CV and interviews. Psychometric tests have also been found to have a strong correlation with potential job performance, and are nearly 40% more accurate when choosing the right candidate for the job. This can also have a big impact on long-term finances by reducing employee turnover and improving productivity.
Recently, companies have also become more proactive in combating systemic discrimination in the workforce and making career paths that have been traditionally closed-off, accessible to a more diverse range of candidates.
Psychometric testing removes human bias (conscious and unconscious) as it works with objective data and parameters, meaning it will find the candidates who most match the requirements and perform the best without subjective influence. While psychometric tests were found to be most effective when used in combination with other recruitment methods such as in-person interviews, they help give concrete data on which candidates should be shortlisted over others.
Another use of psychometric testing is to improve efficiency of employees already working for the company. By using personality-based tests you can find out a lot more about how your team works and implement changes that mean the work environment is better suited for each member, and therefore, more productive. Assessing current employees is also a great way of producing a candidate profile that can be used for hiring purposes as the more you know about the people that already work for you, the better you can find someone who will complement the team.
What Companies are Using Tests?
The use of psychometric tests is on the rise and reports show that 75-80% of Fortune 500 companies use them in some capacity (either hiring or personal development), showing their popularity among mature businesses.
Companies like Domino's change their assessments depending on whether they are hiring for short term or long-term staff. Tests have the advantage of being extremely flexible and bespoke to different roles and expectations which is why they are so popular.
How do I Introduce psychometric testing into a hiring process?
The first step to introducing psychometric testing into your recruitment process is to understand the core qualities, skills and traits your roles require.
One of the best ways to do this is to firstly test your existing employees in order to gain insight into the types of people that were already successfully recruited and how well they are performing in the job. Once you have this data, it is a lot easier to know what you are looking for when it comes to bringing new people on board, both in terms of competencies and cultural fit.