What is in a Psychometric Test?

Posted on Fri, November 25, 2022 by Vicki Mann

In today's fast-paced, ever-changing world, it is more important than ever to make the right decisions when hiring. For many employers, one of the most important tools for recruitment is a psychometric test as it allows for non-bias decisions to be made about how well a candidate will perform in certain roles. But what is in a psychometric test? and what can it tell you? This blog post will answer those questions and more. 

What is a psychometric test?

Psychometric tests are different types of assessments that are designed to measure and evaluate a candidate's potential for a specific job role. These tests can measure a range of different abilities, skills and knowledge to provide insight into how an applicant will perform in a variety of job-related situations and scenarios. The most common psychometric tests are aptitude tests, personality tests and skills tests.

They allow candidates to be judged on their skills and abilities only, attempting to remove any bias as no personal information is revealed about the candidate prior to psychometric tests, allowing for objective judgements to be made. 

Origins of psychometric tests

The origins of psychometric testing can be traced back to the work of French psychologist Alfred Binet. In the early 1900s, Binet developed a set of tests designed to measure individual differences in intelligence. These tests were later adapted by British psychologist Charles Spearman, who used them to identify different types of mental ability. Today, psychometric testing is used for a variety of purposes, and has proven to be very effective when it comes to recruitment.

What are the different types of psychometric tests?

Aptitude Test

Aptitude tests are one of the most common types of psychometric tests and are designed to assess an individual's cognitive abilities and potential for future success in a particular area. These assessments measure abilities based on an individual's intelligence, focusing on cognitive abilities such as numerical skills.

By using psychometric aptitude testing, it allows for employers to predict how well someone is likely to do in a specific role. Aptitude tests are often used in combination with other measures, such as personality assessments, to get a more comprehensive picture of an individual's strengths and weaknesses, however this is often the first type of assessment that is used.

This type of psychometric assessment can be very important for many employers as roles may require a candidate to have strong numerical reasoning or data checking. Other examples of aptitude tests include: 

  • Numerical reasoning
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Data checking
  • Abstract reasoning

Personality Test

A personality test is another type of psychometric testing that is used to assess an individual's personality traits and highlight specific ones that are desired for a particular role. Unlike other types of psychometric tests, there are no correct answers as it intends to give insight into a person's personality. 

Situational Judgement Tests

Situational Judgement Tests are a common type of personality test that is used which allows employers to gain insight in how a candidate will behave in certain situations that the job can entail. For example, a job may require a personality with strong leadership skills or the ability to work well in a team. 

SJT assessments can also motivate and push a potential employee, helping employers to gain a better overall understanding of their workforce.

Why is psychometric testing used in recruitment?

Employers may use psychometric testing in the recruitment process to identify candidates who have the necessary skills and qualities for the job. The main purpose of psychometric testing is to assess a candidate's suitability for a particular role, by measuring their skills and abilities. Psychometric tests can be used to measure a wide range of skills, including cognitive ability, verbal reasoning, numerical ability, and problem-solving. For example, employers might use psychometric testing to identify candidates who are good at problem-solving or who have the right personality for customer-facing roles.

Psychometric testing can also be used to assess an employer's training needs. For example, if an employer wants to identify employees who need additional training in customer service, they might use psychometric testing to identify those employees who are not as good at dealing with customers.

Lastly, these types of assessments are used in recruitment as they are a great way for employers to learn what existing team(s) an individual will fit best in. By identifying the different personality traits and skills through, employers are able to match them up with like-minded individuals to help maximise productivity and efficiency. 

How are psychometric tests used in recruitment?

The process of recruitment can be an arduous one, and one that is essential for any company to get right. Psychometric tests work effectively when used alongside other recruitment methods to help whittle down and produce the right candidate for the job.

Psychometric tests are best implemented after the initial stage of application, with the different types of testing implemented at different stages of the recruitment process to help accurately narrow down the best applicant. Whilst interviews are the more traditional way to find the right candidate, they have many limitations that can rear its head. Interviews are time-consuming and can be expensive as it's the current employees of the company that are required to carry out this part of the process. Therefore, psychometric tests help to streamline the process and make it more efficient by ensuring that the more appropriate and skilled candidates get through to this stage.

As well as this, whether we like it or not, unconscious bias is inevitable and can negatively impact the way a company carries out recruitment. Psychometric tests can eliminate this by testing and evaluating candidates strictly on the results of these tests. 

In summary

Psychometric testing is a valuable tool in determining whether or not an individual has the skills necessary for a particular occupation. There are a variety of psychometric tests which can serve different purposes in the recruitment process. Aptitude tests measure a candidate's ability to learn and solve problems, personality tests assess a candidate's suitability for a particular role, and skills tests evaluate a candidate's proficiency in specific areas.

Psychometric testing can be an invaluable tool for employers when making hiring decisions. If you would like to learn more about how psychometric testing can be used in your business, contact us today and our team of professionals will be happy to help.

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