Examples of psychometric tests

Psychometric Tests In Recruitment: A Complete Guide

Ever come across those post-application assessments that seem to sneak into the hiring process? Ah yes, those are what we fondly refer to as psychometric tests.

Even if you’ve managed to dodge them thus far, chances are you’ve caught wind of their presence in recruitment.

If you are wondering why they are administered and their importance? 

We have put together this comprehensive guide to help you understand all about psychometric testing in recruitment.

So get comfy and let’s dive right in.

What is psychometric testing?

Before defining let’s take a brief psychometrics history class, shall we?

Researchers agree that Francis Galton developed the first modern psychometric test in the 1880s, he focused on measuring intelligence through sensory and motor skills assessment, coining the term “psychometric” in the process. 

Galton’s work influenced psychologist James Cattell, who established the first dedicated Psychometrics laboratory in 1887. 

In 1917, Robert Woodworth created the Personal Data, aiding in the detection of psychoneurosis among World War I recruits, and laying the groundwork for future developments. 

Subsequently, in the 1950s and 1960s, extensive research led to the creation of the Big Five personality test, a widely recognized model for measuring personality traits.

Psychometric tests are assessments that help to test the abilities of candidates. They test their strengths and weaknesses to see if the candidates have what it takes to do well in the job. 

They help employers and recruiters to make better hiring decisions by reducing bias and subjectivity in the hiring process.

Who Administers Psychometric tests?

A person who administers and scores psychometric tests under the supervision of a clinical psychologist is called a psychometrist. 

However, it is important to know that the specialist who creates and designs the psychometric test is called a psychometrician. The psychometrician is responsible for ensuring that the tests are accurate and customized to the needs of the situation.

Even though both terms are related in the field of psychometrics they are different and have distinct roles and responsibilities.

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Why are psychometric tests used in recruitment?

The recruitment landscape has evolved, bringing in more and better ways to acquire the best talent in the market. 

Long gone are the days when employers solely focused on just CVs and interviews to determine whether they hired the right person. 

Now employers want to know more about the candidate, they want to know whether they have the skills both soft and hard for the job. 

They also want to learn about the interests and cultural fit of the candidate. 

Another thing is that some candidates are not the best at expressing themselves during interviews yet they have so much more to offer.

This is why psychometric tests have become popular among recruiters. They offer a holistic approach to hiring through testing a wide range of abilities, including aptitude, intelligence, personality, and skills. 

All important aspects that affect the performance of a candidate at their job.

Now that you have an idea of what psychometric tests can offer, let’s look at the different types of tests.

Types of psychometric tests.

As a recruiter, there are numerous tests you can use in the recruitment process. 

However it is important to understand what you want to find out, this will help pick the most relevant test that will help you get your desired results.

As I have mentioned above there are many things that they test, so here are the common psychometrics tests used in recruitment.

Cognitive Tests

Cognitive ability tests measure how well someone can think, reason, and solve problems. 

They help employers understand how quickly and accurately a person can learn and apply new information. 

They are not necessarily tied to specific job roles or fields but instead, provide a broad assessment of an individual’s cognitive capabilities.

These tests often include subtests that evaluate specific cognitive domains, such as verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, logical reasoning, and spatial awareness.

Here is a breakdown of some of the cognitive tests:

Numerical Reasoning

In this test, candidates are presented with numerical data in the form of charts, tables, graphs, or other formats. 

They are then asked to analyze and interpret this information to answer questions or solve problems. 

Numerical reasoning tests assess a person’s mathematical skills, including basic arithmetic, percentages, ratios, and data interpretation.

Verbal reasoning test.

This type of cognitive test is designed to test how well a person can interpret and understand written information. 

The format is a way that the candidate is given an excerpt and then asked questions that they can answer with true or false. 

The way they answer the questions will show how well they understand and analyze the information and how they can use it to make decisions.

Passing a verbal reasoning test means that a candidate has demonstrated a sufficient level of proficiency in understanding and interpreting written information.

Inductive reasoning tests

This type of test is curated to assess how well a candidate can identify or spot trends and patterns. 

When you do an inductive test you are provided with a sequence of shapes or numbers and are expected to predict the next pattern or shape. 

This will help to know whether a candidate can come up with solutions to problems that are spotted from a certain occurrence of events.

Logical reasoning tests

Logical reasoning tests help to see how well a candidate can derive reasonable conclusions from available information. 

The test asks people to use data to make decisions and see if they can come up with logical answers.

Every employer wants a hire who can make sound and logical decisions at work, for the organization’s benefit.

Personality Tests

A personality test is an assessment that helps a recruiter understand what kind of person a candidate is. 

It may include questions about their feelings, behaviours, and preferences to figure out their personality traits. 

These traits can include things like whether they are outgoing or shy, organized or spontaneous, and how they like to interact with others. 

The test gives the recruiter insights into a candidate’s unique personality and how he/she will fit in the organization’s culture.

The test will also help identify traits of the candidate’s personality that will determine if they will excel in the role or not.

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Skill tests

These are assessments designed to see how good a candidate is at certain skills needed for the job. 

They test how knowledgeable you are in your industry or field and how good you are too. 

They will help the recruiter to identify if you have the skills desired to excel in a specific role.

Here are common examples of skill tests used in recruitment:

Typing Tests

These check how fast and accurately you can type on a keyboard. 

They’re handy for jobs that involve a lot of typing, like data entry or administrative work.

Language Proficiency Tests

These test how well you know a language.

 If you’re applying for a job where you need to communicate in a language other than your native one, they might test your speaking, reading, and writing skills in that language.

Mechanical Reasoning Tests

These assess your understanding of how things work, like machinery or tools. 

A candidate might be given diagrams or scenarios and asked questions to see if they can figure out how things function.

Emotional Intelligence Tests

An emotional Intelligence test is a type of psychometric test that is designed to measure how well a candidate can understand and manage their emotions.

These tests help a recruiter figure out how well the candidate can use each emotion and whether they can mix them well or not.

Here’s how they work:

Understanding Emotions

The tests are set to check if the candidate can recognize and understand their feelings and those of others. So for instance how well can they know when they or someone else is happy, sad, or angry?

Managing Emotions

The tests will also assess how well one can control their emotions. For example, can they stay calm in stressful situations or handle frustration without getting too upset?

Empathy

This part of the test will show how good you are at putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and understanding their feelings. A good example is being able to imagine how a colleague feels when they’re sad.

Social Skills

These tests will also assess a candidate’s ability to interact with others at the workplace. Can they communicate well, resolve conflicts peacefully, and build good relationships with colleagues?

These are just some of the types of psychometric tests that are used in recruitment to ensure that decisions made are accurate and data-driven.

So the type of tests a recruiter may opt to use will directly depend on what they want to know about the candidate and in some cases the type of job being recruited for. 

The use of psychometric tests has become very popular, but what are the advantages and disadvantages of using them,?

Let’s see the pros and cons of psychometric testing in recruiting below.

Advantages of psychometric testing in recruitment

Streamlining Recruitment Processes

Psychometric testing helps to make the recruitment process faster ultimately helping to save time.

This becomes possible by eliminating candidates who don’t pass for a certain role. 

Instead of having them go through the entire recruitment process and eventually finding out, they weren’t the perfect fit.

This helps make the recruitment process faster and more efficient.

Reducing Bias

The use of psychometric tests in recruitment has helped minimize hiring bias. These biases could be based on gender, education, race, nationality and so much more. 

Through administering the tests candidates are chosen solely based on their capabilities and skills, which are required for success in the role.

Pinpointing Leadership Aptitude

With psychometric tests, an employer can identify leadership traits among candidates that are desired in an effective leader who will steer the organization in the right direction. 

Leadership in the workplace is critical and it could make or break the business.

So these tests will help to identify leaders who can make a difference and make sound decisions that are beneficial to the company.

Assessing Cognitive Abilities

Psychometric tests assess cognitive abilities like problem-solving, logical reasoning, and numerical skills. 

This gives employers a fair and standardized way to evaluate a candidate’s overall intelligence.

Customization and Adaptability

Psychometric tests offer the advantage of tailoring them to specific job roles or industries, ensuring that the assessment aligns with the requirements of the position.

Furthermore, administering these tests online allows for flexibility in scheduling and accessibility for candidates worldwide.

Performance Prediction

Recruiters administer the tests to understand whether the candidate has what it takes to be successful in the role.

By analyzing the result of these tests an employer can gauge how the participant will perform in the role. 

Then they can ultimately pick the most promising candidate that did well in the tests as per the required standards.

These are some of the numerous advantages of using psychometric tests in recruitment.

However, there are a few disadvantages to using these tests to determine the best candidate.

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Disadvantages of psychometric testing in recruitment

These include:

They could be inaccurate

One major con of psychometric testing is that it might not be fully accurate during the recruitment process. 

The tests may fail to fully capture a person’s personality and emotions. 

They can also predict whether the participant is faking to appear as an ideal candidate.

This could mean that people who are not necessarily right for a role might end up getting hired and those that are may be dismissed.

So it wouldn’t be wise to fully rely on these tests to make hiring decisions.

They require expertise

Another downside of using psychometric tests when hiring is that they require expertise to be administered.

This will mean that if a company doesn’t have a psychometrist they may not reap the benefits of these tests.

They cost money

If as an organization you do not have a specialist to administer the tests your other option would be to outsource. 

Don’t get me wrong outsourcing these services is a smart choice, especially if you outsource from a reliable provider with trained staff like Flexi Personnel.

However, all this will come at a cost that may not be affordable to the company.

Ethical Concerns

Using psychometric tests can lead to ethical issues because they involve people’s privacy, consent, and the risk of misusing their information. 

Test results might be used unfairly, hurting people or making existing inequalities worse. This shows why it’s crucial to follow ethical rules and use tests responsibly.

It is important to ensure that people’s data is respected and protected when administering these tests.

When can you use psychometric tests when recruiting

Psychometric tests can be used at different stages of the recruitment process.

They can be used during:

Initial Screening

They can be used to narrow down a large pool of applicants by identifying those who possess the basic skills and traits required for the job.

During Interviews

Psychometric tests can complement interviews by providing additional information about a candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, and working style.

Final Selection

Employers may use psychometric tests to make the final decision between shortlisted candidates.

Are psychometric tests reliable, do they work?

Yes, psychometric tests do work and they are reliable. Since they can provide consistent results. 

However, it is important to remember that the results can be affected by various factors such as a person’s background, where they take the test from, and also the way they feel during the test.

Even though they are reliable it is advised to regularly evaluate them and improve on them to ensure they provide the most accurate results possible.

How Flexi Personnel can help

If you are hiring and need reliable and up-to-date psychometric tests administered to the candidates, Flexi Personnel can help. 

We have highly trained psychometrists who will help ensure you hire the right person for the job. Eliminating the extra cost of bad hires.

We will also ensure that we customize the tests to the requirements of the job to help narrow down the best fit for the role and your organization.

If you are looking for a provider, check out our post on the best psychometric testing services in Kenya.

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Are psychometric tests accurate?

Designers create psychometric tests to reliably indicate certain traits or abilities, but they’re not perfect. They constitute just one part of the hiring process and should complement other assessments and interviews.

How much does a psychometric test cost?

The type of test, the number of candidates being assessed, and whether a professional administers the tests or the organization purchases them directly can influence the cost of psychometric tests. Prices can range from a few dollars per test for basic online assessments to several hundred dollars for more comprehensive evaluations.

How long does a psychometric test take?

The duration of a psychometric test can vary depending on the type and complexity of the test. Typically, they can range from 15 minutes to 2 hours. Some tests require completing quickly, while others demand more time for detailed assessments.

What happens if you fail a psychometric test?

If you fail a psychometric test, it doesn’t mean you can’t do the job. It just means your skills or personality might not match what the job needs. You might not move forward in the hiring process, or you might get feedback on how to improve.

Who conducts psychometric tests?

Human resources professionals, hiring managers, or external consultants who specialize in psychometric assessments typically administer psychometric tests in the context of hiring. These individuals use the tests to evaluate job candidates’ cognitive abilities, personality traits, and other relevant characteristics to determine their suitability for a particular role.

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