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Psychometric assessments are evaluation tools to assess a person’s psychological attributes objectively. These attributes could be personality, aptitude, values or preferences. Businesses must harness these tools to uncover essential information about an individual’s aptitude, personality traits, abilities, intelligence and behavioral style. Besides, they can reveal how someone thinks, reacts and responds to different situations. Additionally, companies that use psychometric testing can gain an in-depth insight into the evaluation of candidates and find a good fit for the job.
This blog details how these tools have enabled companies to make informed decisions, with a significant focus on their applications across multiple organizations.
The fact that psychometric test outcomes can be statistically proven and associated with high job performance stresses the role of these assessments in every step of the talent management process, from talent acquisition to development. Psychometric assessments play a critical role in hiring and L&D strategies for organizations by ensuring that they identify, onboard and develop suitable candidates for required roles.
Moreover, due to their increased popularity and usability, various sectors, such as technology companies, financial institutions, management consultancies, civil services, armed forces, etc., use these assessments. Most companies that use psychometric testing as part of their recruitment process rely substantially on tests that psychometric assessment companies offer.
Mercer | Mettl is one of the most widely used and well-known psychometric assessment companies, which is trusted by more than 6000 clients worldwide.
Companies that use personality tests understand a potential employee’s strengths and weaknesses and easily determine whether he/she will fit in the team and the company. Such tests are ingrained in business culture, particularly in top companies. One of the most popular psychological personality models that may be used in companies for selection purposes is the Myers-Briggs Test. According to CPP, Inc., the renowned publisher of the Myers-Briggs test, 89 percent of the Fortune 100 companies and 80 percent of the Fortune 500 companies have utilized the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test to understand employee performance in the workplace. A long list of companies that leverage MBTI, ranging from Deloitte, Bain, Mckinsey and Accenture, attests to their popularity.
Similarly, personality assessment tools such as the Mettl Personality Profiler (MPP) can help businesses immensely, helping employers gain access to critical information about job applicants’ or employees’ underlying personality traits that influence their workplace behaviors. MPP highlights relevant personality traits required for essential roles, bringing individuals with the necessary competencies and skills for hiring, training and development, promotion, team building, etc., to the forefront. All of it makes a significant difference to organizational outcomes. MPP was developed along the lines of the Five-Factor Model (FFM). The FMM categorizes individuals based on five broad personality traits: extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism.
It comes as no surprise that companies that use personality tests gain a granular understanding of job-related outcomes. So, let’s look at some of these companies and how they use psychometric tests.
Most companies use psychometric tests to make strategic decisions about hiring and L&D based on data. They rely on psychometric assessments to gain actionable insights on recruitment, workforce planning and employee development. Here is a rundown of some of the leading companies that transformed their businesses using psychometric assessments:
CP PLUS, India’s leading tech security solutions provider with a strong presence in over 60 countries, was established in 2007 in Germany. CP PLUS is actively altering the surveillance and security landscape with its comprehensive range of advanced security and surveillance solutions. The company puts a premium on psychometric testing tools for focused hiring in a reasonable time frame and find the right employees by assessing their hands-on skills. Earlier, the company utilized personality assessment tools to effectively filter out unsuitable candidates during the initial screening process and handpicked candidates for different sales roles from a diverse talent pool. Furthermore, the organization administered pre-employment sales psychometric assessments to identify critical behavioral and cognitive competencies specific to its requirements and successfully evaluated every candidate’s professional aptitude for sales-centric roles.
An iconic brand that introduced the concept of bread to India, Modern Foods was launched in 1965 as Modern Bakeries (India) Limited. With close to 100,000 stores and manufacturing in 40 factories across India, Modern Foods has an employee strength of over 400. The company has also reaped the benefits of the psychometric evaluation tools while revamping its people management strategy for organizational growth. Using psychometric assessments, the organization built an efficient, accurate and scalable sales hiring strategy to hire the right people. Such assessments helped it identify critical behavioral and cognitive competencies to evaluate a salesperson’s true potential.
The company also conducted a virtual assessment and development center (VADC) to identify high potentials from its existing team to expand its business into untapped territories. The VADC comprised four assessments: personality test, cognitive test, inbox prioritization and situational judgment test.
Modern Foods also utilized psychometric tests to outline an objective plan to manage a multi-generational workforce, team restructuring and promotions.
SRL Diagnostics is an India-based diagnostic company providing diagnostic services in pathology and radiology. It has an employee strength of 6,000 and is spread across six regions, serving people needing varied diagnostic assessments. The company recognized the need for psychometric competency-based evaluations to build a high-performing team from its internal talent pool. It wanted to restructure its sales team better to serve diverse customer needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The sales assessment evaluated employees on various competencies, segmented and customized as per their job responsibilities. Resultantly, it empowered its employees to best use their abilities to achieve the mandated business results.
Telkom is a state-owned information and communications technology enterprise and telecommunications network in Indonesia. The Telkom Group announced its digital transformation in 2020 and introduced three new business portfolios. This development prompted the need to upskill its employees digitally. Therefore, the company administered digital readiness assessments to its employees, including digital potential and proficiency assessments.
Such tests were designed to test the knowledge, skills and behaviors that underpin Telkom’s current employees’ preparedness and readiness levels to adapt to the organization’s transformative culture. For example, the digital potential assessment included personality assessments, critical thinking and abstract reasoning competencies, and the digital proficiency assessment covered the crucial skills to use digital tools and technologies. Consequently, these assessments helped the company profile over ten thousand employees on their digital readiness levels. Moreover, Telkom also assessed candidates on over seventy-five new skills to cater to new roles.
India’s multinational technology company Paytm uses psychometric assessments as a value add while hiring. It has always eyed accelerated business growth; and, therefore, is aware of the constant challenge of hiring right in significantly less time. The company leverages behavioral analytics to understand a person’s likelihood of committing fraud and compliance with the organizational processes. It uses psychometric testing that is pivotal in uncovering the most coveted traits such as emotional control and customer service orientation and revealing such undesirable traits as workplace aggression or gender insensitivity.
One of the world’s leading healthcare platforms, Practo, uses psychometric tests besides asking its candidates to solve real-time problems. Indeed, Practo’s CEO and Co-founder Shashank ND once asserted that they, as a team, believe in hiring people who match the company’s culture and are passionate about its vision. Thus, psychometric tools are how employers can measure an applicant’s suitability for a specific role.
Citigroup is one of America’s leading multinational investment banking and financial services firm that uses numerical reasoning and logical reasoning psychometric tests. The numerical tests are known for increasing difficulty with succeeding questions, and its logical reasoning, a nonverbal rather pictorial test, is particularly challenging. Therefore, applicants may have to pass these tests before being offered a role based on the domain and position for which they apply.
Headquartered in Irving, Texas, ExxonMobil is an American multinational oil and gas corporation. The global company administers a series of tests to assess candidates’ intelligence and skills. The recruitment process is divided into four stages: online application, telephonic interview, pre-employment assessments and in-person interview. Primarily, candidates must complete their job applications, clearly detailing their work history, educational background, resumes and cover letter. Then as they move through the hiring process, the company may assess and interview them multiple times before selecting them for the job. Most importantly, employers want to ascertain candidates’ suitability for specific positions, considering the immense cost of replacing new hires. Therefore, it employs an array of psychometric tests, ranging from personality tests to verbal reasoning tests to logical thinking tests.
The American multinational automaker employs over 190,000 people across the globe, with a widespread presence in 73 countries. Building and managing such a diverse workforce requires an exceptional hiring strategy. The famous car company uses a two-part psychometric test, namely, numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning tests. These tests enable recruiters to objectively assess a wide range of candidates with diverse qualifications and experiences. As a result, Ford Motor can quickly identify suitable applicants for a given role by analyzing the tests’ outcomes. Gathering such granular insights into candidates’ skills from just interviews and CVs seems rather unlikely, so it employs professional psychometric tests in various stages of the hiring process.
Hewlett Packard (HP Inc.) is an American multinational information technology company that develops personal computers, printers and related products and provides 3D printing solutions. The psychometric tests for HP vary, depending on the type of job functions for which an applicant applies. Depending on the particular job profile, HP uses multiple psychometric assessments during its recruitment processes, such as personality tests, numerical reasoning tests, verbal reasoning tests, presentations, case studies, and group exercises. The job applications and evaluation process is divided into five stages: online application, aptitude assessment, telephonic interview, assessment center and final interview.
Established in 1969, Macquarie Group Limited is an Australian multinational investment bank and financial services company with a global workforce of over 14,000 employees. It has a strict selection system to ascertain that only competent candidates progress through the numerous rounds and join a high-caliber workforce. Psychometric assessments are leveraged throughout the hiring process to filter out unwanted candidates who lack the knowledge and competencies necessary for a career in this organization. Macquarie uses numerical reasoning, logical reasoning and verbal reasoning tests in its selection process.
Founded in 1940, McDonald’s, an American fast-food company, is the world’s largest fast-food restaurant chain, employing over 1.7 million people across the globe. The company uses personality tests to assess whether a person is a good fit to become a part of the McD family. Personality questionnaires are tools to gauge a candidate’s behavioral preferences, and the company uses these tools to assess a wide range of applicants. By gleaning the results of such standardized questionnaires, the company quickly determines the most suitable candidates for particular roles.
Headquartered in Zurich, Credit Suisse Group is a global financial services holding company that uses psychometric assessments in its hiring process. The Swiss banking firm utilizes online assessments to determine the most suitable candidates for in-person assessment centers, for the next round of the application process. These tests assess a person’s intellectual and psychological aptitudes. The psychometric tests that candidates will most likely face are numerical reasoning tests and logical reasoning tests. Besides, the organization may administer other kinds of tests; however, it often uses the tests mentioned above.
Established in 2009, Lloyds Banking Group plc came into existence when Lloyds TSB acquired HBOS plc. It is a British financial institution and the fourth-oldest bank in the UK. The bank implements an extensive selection procedure, usually involving two aptitude tests: numerical reasoning and strengths and cultural assessment. Candidates are instructed on which assessments they need to complete. The former is presented to the candidates, usually in the form of tables, statistics, graphs, and financial data, wherein they are expected to showcase excellent data analysis and logical comprehension skills. The latter is administered to assess a person’s behavioral and managerial skills and the ability to handle workplace situations.
Headquartered in New York City, JPMorgan Chase is an American multinational banking and financial services holding company. The world’s most valuable bank offers a wide array of investment banking and financial services, employing over one hundred and seventy thousand employees across the globe. The bank rejects a staggering percentage of job candidates based solely on psychometric test scores. The organization uses assessments in the selection process, including numerical reasoning tests, verbal reasoning tests, inductive reasoning tests and situational judgment tests.
The hiring process commences with an online application wherein applicants need to detail personal and professional information and submit individual copies of CVs and cover letters. The next step involves inviting candidates for various types of online psychometric assessments. After that, successful candidates are called for interviews, followed by a series of competency, technical skills, motivation and self-awareness-based questions, depending on the position for which they have applied. Finally, shortlisted candidates have to clear the assessment center, which includes various exercises, such as role-plays, case studies and presentations, fast-track tests and group exercises.
Deloitte is a multinational financial services organization providing consulting, audit and assurance, tax, risk advisory, financial advisory, and other related services. The company has a global workforce of over 300,000 people. Deloitte conducts multiple psychometric assessments to measure various aspects of a candidate’s personality, including intelligence, skills, and the ability to adapt to challenging environments.
There are two main types of tests: the Deloitte game-based assessment and the Deloitte aptitude assessment. The former is a gamified assessment called ‘Cosmic Cadet’ that aims to identify how a candidate thinks and reacts in different scenarios. The results come in a personalized feedback report. The latter is a union of three tests, including numerical reasoning, situational strengths and verbal reasoning. The selection process may differ based on the role a person is applying for, but it usually involves online psychometric assessments.
Founded in 1989, Hamilton, Bermuda, Accenture is a multinational consulting and professional services company with a leading edge in digital, cloud and security. In the Accenture recruitment process, situational judgment tests are essential in assessing various job candidates. These bespoke psychometric tests are administered early in the hiring process, typically to screen applicants before the interview round. Such assessments include a made-up scenario inspired by everyday work challenges to determine those behaviors and skills which the organization desires.
Headquartered in Pune, Tech Mahindra is one of the leading IT service providers globally. The Indian multinational company provides IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) services to its client. The company is a subsidiary of the Mahindra Group, with an employee strength of over 125,236 across 90 countries. Rajeev Dubey, Former group president, HR, at the Mahindra Group, once offered insight into how the company uses psychometric assessments to determine whether a person fits into the company’s culture or has some dysfunctional traits, such as insensitivity, aggressive behavior or low integrity. Similarly, based on the role requirements, Tech Mahindra utilizes psychometric assessments in its hiring process.
PWC is a global professional services network of firms operating under the PWC brand. It is one of the biggest accountancy firms globally, why its jobs are highly sought-after. PWC assesses a wide range of skills when hiring top talent. The PWC assessment test includes digital games that measure math, memory and reasoning skills and various types of psychometric assessments. PWC receives thousands of applications each year and requires an efficient screening of applicants before final interviews. That is where psychometric assessments enable recruiting teams to identify candidates that match their requirements.
PWC psychometric test assesses applicants for some must-have skills for consultants, including numerical competency, ability to work under pressure, decision-making and logical reasoning. PWC uses the two most common types of psychometric assessments: ability tests and personality questionnaires. The former combines numerical, verbal, and inductive reasoning (or logical reasoning) tests. The latter is a work-style preference questionnaire to gain insight into candidates’ typical behavioral styles and abilities to address different situations.
KPMG International Limited is a multinational professional services network, offering professional advisory, tax and audit services. KPMG employs more than 227,000 employees globally and is perceived as a great place to work. Thus, the competition to get into the firm is intense. Here, the path to employment involves numerous steps, starting with an online application process, followed by psychometric assessments, and concludes with the candidate’s final interview. KPMG generally uses numerical and verbal reasoning tests as part of its recruitment process.
The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) was founded over a hundred and eighty years ago. It is a multinational consumer goods company with several iconic, trusted product brands in its portfolio. The company uses various assessment tools, including psychometric assessments as sieves for recruiting the right candidates from thousands of applicants each year. P&G uses online assessments to assess skills and cognitive abilities.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to administering assessments because candidates applying for different roles may have varied experiences. Hence, they may require different types of evaluations instead of standardized tests.
P&G uses peak performance assessment to understand the applicants’ experience, background, interests and job attitude and measures their suitability against its competencies to predict success on the job. Candidates may also be asked to undertake online interactive assessments of their cognitive abilities based on the job requirements. Besides, the company also administers sales virtual job interviews for the candidates who have applied for a sales role. The interview aims to measure various aspects that are critical for success in a sales role at P&G.
EY (the erstwhile Ernst & Young Global Limited) is a global professional services network. Headquartered in London, EY is considered one of the leading accounting firms with one of the largest professional services networks in the world. EY employs over 300,000 people across the globe. It is one of the leading employers in its domain, which creates substantial competition among those vying for a place in the coveted company. However, the recruitment process is challenging and includes various steps that need completion.
The hiring process consists of an online application stage, followed by EY online assessments. Successful candidates then proceed to the subsequent rounds, which include telephonic interviews and assessment centers. Depending on the specific job profile, EY can administer multiple psychometric assessments: numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, abstract reasoning, diagrammatic reasoning, situational judgment tests, spatial reasoning, personality tests, case studies, group exercises and presentations.
HDFC Life Insurance Company Ltd. is a leading insurance solutions provider that offers a wide range of individual and group insurance solutions. It is headquartered in Mumbai. The company uses unique and diverse tests and employs psychometric assessments as part of its pre-employment hiring process. Applicants may be asked to complete online psychometric tests before the interview round or take assessments throughout the recruitment process. Psychometric assessments may include aptitude tests, which gauge candidates’ skills concerning the position for which they apply, such as logical reasoning, quantitative ability, verbal perception and communication skills. These tests may be administered along with personality tests to ascertain applicants’ strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, behaviors and work-related aptitude. Besides, the company can give additional assessments to assess potential employees’ cognitive competencies and workplace adaptability skills.
WNS is a leading global provider of business process outsourcing and management solutions for over 200 companies across a broad spectrum of industries. The selection process at WNS includes psychometric profiling, ability tests, competency-based tests, product tests and interviews. Psychometric tests enable the organization to define the desired profile of its employees. Additionally, the psychometric test results can be used as a comparison against the desired traits required to carry out a particular role. Similarly, competency tests enable the company to assess the candidate’s caliber for a specific post.
Well, that is the long and short of it! Companies globally have used psychometric evaluations for recruitment for some time now. The University of Cambridge conceptualized the initial versions of these tests in the 1880s. We have come a long way since then! The current job market is fiercely competitive, which can pose several recruitment challenges for employers. Hiring someone who looks promising but falters in performance or even fails to settle in can sap organizational resources.
Experienced recruiting managers can indeed assert their ability to predict a candidate’s suitability. Still, companies require a more nuanced mechanism to safeguard the objectivity of their recruitment process. Companies can use psychometric testing for a fair and reliable selection process and delve deeper into the underlying aspects of candidates’ characteristics that are challenging to gauge from CVs and intuition-based hiring. Psychometric assessments help objectively evaluate candidates’ aptitude and personalities, weeding out the risk of unconscious hiring bias. They also provide a level-playing field for every aspirant to showcase their real potential.
Originally published March 30 2018, Updated September 15 2021
Abhilash works with the Content Marketing team of Mercer|Mettl. He has been contributing his bit to the world of online business for some years now. Abhilash is experienced in content marketing, along with SEO. He’s fond of writing useful posts, helping people, traveling, and savoring delicacies.
Psychometric tests measure an individual’s personality traits and behavioral tendencies to predict job performance. Psychometric assessments gauge cultural fitment, trainability, motivations, preferences, dark characteristics, etc., to hire and develop the right people.