Get awesome marketing content related to Hiring & L&D in your inbox each week

Stay up-to-date with the latest marketing, sales, and service tips and news
Pre-employment psychometric testing: how to eliminate bias?

Talent Assessment | 6 Min Read

Pre-employment psychometric testing: how to eliminate bias?


The modern workplace is transforming and looking for methods to eliminate bias in recruitment. As a result of increasing awareness toward workplace diversity, businesses are using pre-employment psychometric tests to ensure an unbiased recruitment strategy.

Psychometric testing evaluates candidates’ personality traits, intelligence, aptitude, cognitive ability, and behavioral style. These tests help employers understand candidate persona, ensure appropriate career guidance, and improve hiring diversity. Psychometric tests usually employ a wide range of formats, including multiple-choice questions, situational judgment scenarios, and interactive tasks, to evaluate different aspects of candidates’ psychological makeup.


The need for psychometrics in recruitment

image 1


When hiring, HR managers may experience unconscious bias, overpowering their recruitment decisions. Psychometric tests help eliminate this bias and allow HR managers to identify suitable candidates for a job position based on their psychometric and technical abilities. Employers can assess different factors using psychometric testing, such as positive personality traits, dark personality traits, behavior, cognitive abilities, motivation, preferences, and values.


Comprehensive evaluation


Resumes and interviews may offer a subjective understanding of candidates’ skills and abilities. Psychometric tests, on the other hand, provide a scientific and standardized approach to assessing abilities, personality, and potential. They offer a holistic view of candidates’ suitability for specific job positions.


Reliability and consistency


Psychometric tests are designed and validated using rigorous scientific methods. They measure candidates’ personality traits, behavior, motivation, values, and preferences. This helps employers make informed decisions based on standardized assessments.


Fairness and objectivity


Psychometric tests provide a standardized assessment for every candidate, regardless of background. This eliminates biases and discriminations based on factors like gender, race, or education.

As a result, employers are able to promote equal opportunities by ensuring selection decisions are based on merit, experience, and relevant abilities.


Common types of biases present during hiring

Pre Employment Psychometric Testing_Infographic 1

Confirmation bias

Confirmation bias occurs when recruiters or hiring managers interpret information according to their pre-existing beliefs. This bias can be reduced by approaching candidate evaluation with an open mind, considering all relevant information. Hiring managers should utilize structured evaluation criteria and scoring rubrics to ensure consistency and objectivity in assessing candidates.

Halo effect

The halo effect refers to the tendency to form a positive or negative impression of candidates based on one or more of their prominent traits. To mitigate the halo effect, HR managers can evaluate candidates based on multiple dimensions and criteria rather than relying on a single quality. It is necessary to encourage multiple perspectives and inputs from different assessors to ensure a comprehensive evaluation.

Similarity bias

Similarity bias occurs when recruiters prefer candidates who resemble them in terms of background, experience, or interests. To address similarity bias, hiring managers should seek diverse candidates and ensure an inclusive selection strategy. Businesses can implement blind recruitment practices, where personally identifiable information can be eliminated from resumes and applications during initial screening.

Unconscious bias

Unconscious biases are implicit attitudes that affect the interviewer’s perceptions and decisions without conscious awareness. To address this bias, hiring managers should offer awareness and unconscious bias training to recruiters. Utilize a structured interview process focusing on job-related competencies and skills, minimizing the potential impact of unconscious biases.


How does psychometric testing eliminate bias?

When psychometric tests help minimize bias through standardized assessment and accurate results. Some ways in which psychometric testing can contribute to reducing bias are:


Standardized administration


Psychometric tests are administered and scored in a standardized manner. Every test taker receives the same instructions, time limits, and scoring procedures, ensuring fairness and consistency across scores. Standardization helps eliminate unconscious and similarity bias during evaluation.


Objective evaluation


Psychometric tests are designed objectively with specific constructs or abilities using predetermined scoring algorithms and criteria. They aim to minimize subjective judgments and personal biases that can influence decision-making.


Fair selection


Psychometric tests are developed using rigorous item analysis techniques. This process involves evaluating each test item for its difficulty level, relevance to the measured construct, and potential for bias.




Five tips for eliminating bias during the hiring

Pre Employment Psychometric Testing_Infographic 2

Blind recruitment

Utilize blind recruitment practices where personally identifiable information, such as name, gender, or ethnicity, is removed from resumes and candidate applications during the initial screening stage. This helps reduce bias based on demographic factors and shifts the focus to qualifications and capabilities.

Diverse hiring panels

Create diverse hiring panels composed of individuals from different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Multiple assessors can provide different viewpoints and help counteract individual biases.

Data-driven decision-making

Use data analytics to track and analyze recruitment processes, including the demographics of candidate pools, application-to-interview ratios, and selection outcomes. Regularly reviewing these metrics helps identify any potential biases and take corrective actions.

Multiple interviewers and assessment methods

Involve multiple interviewers and incorporate different assessment methods, such as structured interviews, behavioral assessments, and skills-based evaluations. This reduces the impact of individual biases and provides a comprehensive candidate evaluation.

Collaboration with diversity and inclusion initiatives

Collaborate with diversity and inclusion initiatives within the organization to ensure alignment and share best practices. Leverage their expertise to identify and address biases in the recruitment process effectively.



Pre-employment psychometric testing has emerged as a valuable tool for fair and inclusive hiring. Organizations can minimize the impact of recruitment bias in traditional recruitment processes by focusing on objective measurements of candidates’ skills and abilities.

Mercer | Mettl’s psychometric tests help evaluate candidates’ personality traits, intelligence, aptitude, and behavioral styles. These tests eliminate bias from the recruitment process and ensure structured candidate evaluations for suitable selection according to the job position.



How do you avoid bias in evaluation?

Why do psychometric tests reduce bias towards or against a candidate?

Originally published July 3 2023, Updated March 5 2024

Written by

About This Topic

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.

Related Products

Psychometric Assessments For Hiring And L&D

The Best Psychometric Tests To Enable You To Find Your Ideal Candidate

Know More

Mercer | Mettl Aptitude Assessments For Hiring

Scientific Aptitude Assessments That Help You Identify Top Talent

Know More

Personality Assessments For Hiring And L&D

Personality Tests To Measure Personality Traits & Behavioural Outcomes

Know More

Related posts

Would you like to comment?


Please write a comment before submitting


Thanks for submitting the comment. We’ll post the comment once its verified.

Get awesome marketing content related to Hiring & L&D in your inbox each week

Stay up-to-date with the latest marketing, sales, and service tips and news