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Talent Assessment | 10 min Read

An Ultimate Guide to Psychometric Tests

Introduction

It isn’t the equipment or the data or the technology or any such physical or intellectual property that primarily shape a business. It’s the people part of your company that moves your business forward. The decisions they take in various complex situations, the process they undertake to address work-related challenges or their outlook towards their peers and superiors; in other words, their behavior becomes a defining factor for any business.  

Mettl’s psychometric tests can measure the behavior and personality of a candidate and help you make better job-related decisions.  In this comprehensive guide, we ‘ve extensively covered the science behind psychometric tests based on which Mettl’s psychometric tools are handcrafted. It entails the detailed description of each of the psychometric tools and how it can be applied in businesses.

At last, after understanding why people behave in a particular manner and that we can predict that behavior in the workplace via specific psychometric tools, we’ll take you on tour. The tour of how these tools impact your business outcomes. It’ll describe how psychometric tests can be used in hiring, training, and development of employees and hence making them better leaders in the coming future.

Let’s begin with understanding the science behind this.

The Science Behind Psychometrics

What is Psychometrics?

Psychometrics is a branch of knowledge that deals in the theory and practical application of psychological measurement. Generally, psychometrics has its implementation in psychology and education that encompasses assessment, measurement, analysis, testing, and other similar activities. This subject area is extensively used in the objective evaluation of skills, knowledge, attitudes, competencies, personality traits, and accomplishments. Various researchers emphasize the development and validation of measuring instruments such as tests, questionnaires, psychological symptom scales, rater judgments, and personality tests. Then others focus on research about measurement theory (intraclass correlation, item response theory).

Psychometric practitioners usually have a particular qualification, and the majority of psychologists have undergone advanced graduate training. Apart from being engaged in traditional academic institutions, some practitioners are involved in government projects or HR departments. Many psychometricians specialize as learning and development experts. 

Psychometrics in HR is not a new concept as it has been there for quite a while. Psychometric tools give an insight into the mental capabilities and behavioral styles of candidates. 

HR professionals would benefit from the insights gained from these tools. For instance, the outcome of psychometric testing will give them a deep dive into the hidden aspects of candidates that are difficult to decipher from a face-to-face session. It makes perfect sense to use such tools while carrying out talent recruitment, development, and retention activities. But a word of caution: any psychometric instrument should be used upon a thorough understanding of the goal and the variety of reports each tool creates.

Personality and Behavior

Personality traits are determined characteristics that are exhibited consistently despite changing circumstances. Behavior, on the other hand, is the range of actions in which one conducts oneself to the environment, person, or stimulus.

For instance, extraversion is a trait, while an extrovert sitting quietly in a meeting is a type of behavior. Since the characteristics reflect an individual’s patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behavior, they become the substratum for anticipating future intended action.

To be precise, personality is what we are, while the behavior is all about what we do. Personality traits don’t change over time; however, we can adjust and alter the behavior to an extent. This equation can establish the psychometric theory or the science behind them.

Exhibited Behavior = f (Bright side, Dark side, Cognitive abilities, X-factors)

THE_SCIENCE_BEHIND_PSYCHOMETRICS

The Bright Side

The bright side of human personality comprises of those positive personality traits which are noticed quickly and capable of enhancing job performance. It is what we see when people are at their best. 

The bright side of human personality is based on a Big Five Personality Traits of the Five-Factor Model, which specifies that people can be described based on their standing on the five broad personality traits. 

Mettl has, further, used these five factors as a construct to develop and categorize its set of behavioral competencies. 

Positive traits in an individual make them feel confident, with the focus being on the betterment of the organization and not on individual success. People who rank high on these traits tend to be fair-minded co-workers and are endeared by people as a professional. 

Leaders exhibiting an overall positive personality are efficient enough to articulate a vision in a way that builds commitment towards the organization’s goal.

However, you can’t judge a person only based on the bright side of the human personality. If the human character could act as the drivers of success, then there are some hidden traits, too, that can serve as the derailers.

Let’s have a look at the traits as well as the determinants of personality.

The Dark Side

Dark Personality Traits are stable characteristics of a person when triggered, lead to the display of undesirable, counterproductive, and destructive behavior that negatively impacts surrounding people (friends, family, co-workers, or customers).

Mettl has created a dark personality inventory, encompassing almost all the lowlights of an individual at work, to measure dark traits in the candidates. 

Here’s a brief look at the traits and related facets.

Dark traits get triggered by various factors, such as:

Just the presence of dark traits in a person does not ensure that they will act in an unwanted way. The dark characteristics in a human can get triggered by various factors, such as:

1. Level of Dark Traits

Greater be the level of dark traits, higher would be the chances they get triggered, even with the slightest provocation.

2. Environment

Places where people tend to be superior, there comes a subtle tendency to misuse that power, hence triggering dark traits.

3. Situation

Relaxed– where the person is at ease and not being observed & Stressed– where the person is made to do a lot in limited time.

To know everything about the dark side, do read our data-backed and scientific report on Uncovering the Dark Side of Human Personality.

The Cognitive Abilities

Cognitive abilities are brain-based skills one needs to process any activity, be it simple or complex.  It is more of the ability to comprehend, understand, and benefit as a matter of fact. 

The way things are perceived, the strategic thinking, the decision-making abilities, all these also form the substratum of how people behave. It could be divided into two categories:

Fluid Intelligence

The ability to perceive things, absorb and retain new information to tackle issues in different circumstances. The core competencies used to measure this are:

  • Abstract Reasoning
  • Spatial Reasoning
  • Visual Reasoning

Crystallized Intelligence

The capacity to recover and utilize data obtained over a lifetime or leveraging the acquired knowledge to perform tasks. The core competencies used to measure this are:

  • Language & Comprehension
  • Logical & Critical Reasoning
  • Problem Solving
  • Decision Making

Well, you can visit the guide to cognitive assessments for a detailed explanation.

Apart from the bright & dark side and cognitive abilities, some other factors are affecting human behavior. These are clubbed under the X-factors.

The X-Factors

Although the dark and bright sides form a significant part of human personality, yet there are several other factors, which we call The X-Factors, that act as catalysts and affect the intended human behavior.

The Nature vs. Nurture debate centers on whether human behavior is influenced by a person’s genes or by the environment. 

Nature 

This is pre-wiring and is affected by biological factors, basically the genetic legacy or the inheritance.

Nurture 

This is the impact produced from external factors, for example, the experience acquired knowledge, learning, or exposure of a person.

The X-factors include certain factors discussed below:

1. Upbringing

Kids are like sponges- they tend to learn and demonstrate behaviors that their parents portray. This can be seen in the positive and negative behaviors they display.

2. Motivation

The way soldiers behave is unique and outstanding. The joy of meeting their loved ones after winning the battle and love for one’s country keeps them pumped to act accordingly, even in the hardest situations.

3. Values

If we think of an organization as a decision-making body, then values establish the relationship between decisions and what happens consequently. They grow gradually over time, subject to a person’s social and psychological development.

What is a Psychometric Test?

Psychometric Tests are the standard, legitimate, logical, and scientific method used to measure the behavioral traits and mental capabilities of the people. These assessments are proposed to gauge whether the individual is suitable for a specific job role because of two core skills: personality and ability.

They provide the best of the ways to evaluate the human behavior of an individual subject to several certain situations. The word ‘psychometric’ fundamentally refers to the measurement of the mind. It is a short version of “psychological measurement”. 

The psychometric tools are used in the recruitment process and for training purposes to make selection and engagement experiences significantly better. One must gain an understanding of these tests to make decisions effectively and quickly.

What is in a Psychometric Test?

A psychometric test assesses the performance of candidates and is presented in the form of an assessment or activity.. Psychometric assessment includes a multifaceted evaluation of skills, personality traits, abilities, attitudes, and job/academic performance, and more. Here are different types of psychometric tests that could be useful for employers.

Listed below are the three main psychometric testing areas:

Aptitude Tests: These tests are aimed at measuring several cognitive abilities from literacy and numeracy skills to spatial contextual awareness and more.

Behavioral Tests: These tests are focused on highlighting particular personality traits that could ascertain the suitability of candidates for specific roles.  Such tests are available in either of these formats: leadership tests, personality questionnaires, situational judgment tests, and motivation tests.

Assessment Centres:  These assessments are based on human interactions. Under this type, psychologists/assessors conduct several kinds of exercises, such as simulations and job-specific evaluations.

Psychometric assessment sessions usually last between twenty to thirty minutes; however, they can take up to sixty minutes or less than twenty minutes depending on the circumstances. In general terms, psychometric tests either assess speed (with precision) or accuracy (considering the most difficult questions), or even a combination of both factors. 

Psychometric tests in interviews

Introducing the wrong person in an organization could prove to be a costly mistake! On the contrary, selecting the right person can work wonders for the betterment of the organization. Some of the most sought-after characteristics, such as reasoning ability, team-working skills, and empathy, may not be easily assessed at the interview. So psychometric testing gives a reliable indicator of the quality of candidates. Most importantly, such tests reduce recruitment bias (based on gender, race, disability) to a considerable extent and may also enable the interviewer to tailor the session to each individual. Both employers and applicants can experience a fair, transparent recruitment process through these tests.

More employers consider psychometric testing to be an ideal way for vetting potential employees and determining the candidate’s personality and ability to fit into the role. These tests are either computer-administered or paper-based.

In case you’re interested in knowing about the pros and cons of psychometric assessments, here is an interesting blog!

What are the Psychometric Properties?

Be it hiring or developing the employees, choosing the correct set of assessments is the pivotal decision that can make or break the success of a business. Two critical properties of an assessment, from a psychometric/statistical standpoint, are its reliability and validity. Do the assessments measure what they are supposed to measure? and do they assess the same thing each time with a similar set of results?

In addition to the validity and reliability of tests, the standardization of the tests normed with respect to several aspects such as age, gender, occupation, employability, education, etc. also determines the psychometric properties.

  • Reliability
  • Validity
  • Norming

Here’s all you need to know about psychometric properties

Reliability of a Psychometric Test

The reliability of an assessment refers to the consistency of scores obtained under the repeated testing of the same individual on the same test under identical conditions (including no changes within the person).

Since this ideal is impossible to meet, one aspires to collect evidence of reliability and express it in the form of a correlation coefficient that can range from .00 to 1.00. An utterly reliable test would have a reliability coefficient (Cronbach’s alpha) of 1.00, and a completely unreliable test would have a reliability coefficient of .00. 

For instance, a batsman at 4th position scored a century in each of the matches of a series. He, of course, is a reliable player, for he is consistent, however, can’t assure the victory. 

Reliability refers to the consistency of the test. 

The reliability of an assessment can be evaluated in two broad ways:

Internal Consistency

While taking the test, the test-takers might have noticed that several items aim to measure the same thing, the same competency in this case. Well, this is intentional. This methodology assures accuracy while measuring the concept.

For instance, to evaluate the level of satisfaction of your customers via your customer services, you should measure overall satisfaction. Options should be on Likert scaling, varying from Strongly Agree to Disagree. Some of the particular items could portray:

  • Satisfied with the experience
  • Will recommend the company to peers
  • Will write a positive online review

If the survey turns out to be reliable or has the right internal consistency, the answers would be the same for all the questions, be it agreeing or disagreeing strongly with all the three.

Test-Retest Reliability 

Unlike the former one, test-retest reliability is more of a time-dependent way to measure the reliability of an assessment. It makes sure if candidates respond to the items the same way each time they take the test. It uses a correlation (using Pearson coefficient) of scores from the first test and then the second test over time.

For instance, the IQ of a person does not suddenly change or experience a drastic jump. So, these IQ tests taken over each month would provide almost similar results on the same set of candidates. This will extract out the test-retest reliability of IQ tests.

Validity of a Psychometric Test

Validity is subjectively defined as the test’s capacity to measure what it claims to measure. It’s imperative to say that a test with high validity guarantees the items remain firmly connected with the test’s intended core interest.

Let’s go through the most important types of psychometric validity: 

Predictive Validity

This tells us how precise a tool is at predicting a specific outcome and is the greatest possible extent of validation. In our case, a better tool will be the one that predicts how well an individual will perform their job. 

For instance, the predictive validity of the JEE (engineering entrance exam) is measured through the correlation of students’ JEE scores with their undergraduate scores. If high-scorers in JEE perform better in their undergraduate than the ones who score low, then the JEE is considered to be predictively valid.

Predictive_Validity

Convergent Validity

To establish the evidence of convergent validity, i.e, the second most precise validation methodology, scores on a test must relate to scores on other tests or variables that purport to measure similar traits or constructs.

For instance, IPL 2018 has seen the use of Decision Review System (DRS) which is but another set of a hawk-eyed test of decisions like LBW and other such vital decisions, which either way the field umpires decide. If both the field umpire’s decision and decision through DRS comes out to be the same, this proves the validity of the game.

Convergent_Validity

Construct Validity 

Construct validity is another method to ascertain the validity of a test. It signifies that the test is precisely measuring the construct it claims to measure. Construct validity finds its use in education, psychology, and social sciences. 

It comes after the predictive and convergent has been applied and is more oriented towards whether the test score interpretations are consistent with theoretical and observational terms around the construct.

The phenomenon to be measured must exist in the first place. There are different approaches (factor analysis and other correlational methods) compiled to generate the overall construct validity of a test.

Contruct_Validity

What is Norming?

Psychometric tests are frequently normed or standardized against groups for comparison. It likewise avoids taking a look at individual items or questions, and instead observe the total score of an individual in comparison with a representative sample.

Representative sample alludes to a group of similar people when developing a test. Let us be more precise: using a group of children when developing a test for children and an adult group when developing a test for adults.

Different test-takers have very different performance levels, and therefore, their scores differ quite a bit.

Listed below are the features of norming:

  • Assess the relative performance of test-takers
  • Brings value to the assessments
  • Indicates the real objective of a candidate among the pool
  • Leads to a better interpretation of results
  • Can provide primary care for top scorers

When you get a 97 percentile on a trait like openness to experience, you realize that you are essentially more open than 97% of the sample group, whereas 94% would directly mean you score 97 out of 100.

The different parameters of the demographic of norming sample subject to the gender are as follows:

  • Age Distribution
  • Work Experience
  • Employment Status
  • Educational Qualification
  • Occupational Area

Can Psychometric Tests be Faked?

Theoretically, Yes.

As per the job description, candidates can very well extract out the standard set of character sets that employers look for. For instance, conscientiousness, integrity, teamwork, and persistence, these are some of the competencies which anyone could figure out. This leads them to somehow adjust their test responses in a way that they match with those required. Also, if you search on the internet, you may find several tips on how to fake psychometric tests.

Well, it’s an individual’s personality and behavior at the other end. As a matter of fact, hardly anyone can practice or rehearse the answers to questions that ask if he/she loves to read books in free time or rather travel. After all, these are just random and quick answers which are obviously unique for everyone.

In addition, if you dig a little deeper, people leverage certain superfluous and funny tactics to game psychometric assessments.

 It takes no time for people to deviate from the social norms that society has laid out for them. Similarly, when it comes to psychometric tests, candidates are very comfortable faking it or providing positive or extremes responses just to be someone else who they aren’t. Let’s go through some of the biases people follow while responding.

Understanding Response Bias

Response style is the tendency of a person to respond to the tests in a biased manner, either consciously or unconsciously. Response bias, on the other hand, is a systematic tendency to respond to a set of items on some other basis than the specified content.

To identify which candidates’ responses were likely to be genuine or less likely to be distorted, reasons being faking or careless responding, there are specific key points, put in place for hiring managers to prioritize candidates for further consideration.

Socially Desirability 

It is the tendency to portray oneself in an unrealistically positive or socially relatable manner. For instance, when a candidate selected response of ‘most like me’ out of other replies, more than an expected number of the time, it depicts something is not right. The candidate is then cautiously recommended.

Extreme Responding

Respondents tend to endorse extreme response categories on a rating scale, even if they do not have that view. For instance, some people aim to choose the least or the highest response, no matter what their real stance is. They target to either love or hate everything.

Central Tendency

It also indicates the person is prone to answering with the utmost honesty. Unlike extreme responding, it is the tendency of people, which means either the candidate is unsure about the response to the items or has chosen a safe mode of clicking only the middle one. The respondent is hence not recommended.

Careless Responding

It is the tendency of the respondent where the person tends to pay insufficient attention to the items before responding, leading to a biased estimation of relationships. The person intends to select only one response all the time deliberately and hence is not recommended.

Genuine

When a candidate is not flagged or reported using any of the above response styles, and he/she can proceed with confidence, that one is the genuine and recommended candidate.

The scaling methodologies used in our tools are, of course, a factor as to why our assessments are far too genuine to make better decisions. The two scales on which our tools reside are:

Likert Scale

It is a type of rating scale that is leveraged to evaluate the attitudes or opinions. The respondents are asked to rate items on a level of agreement with this scale. It utilizes a five-point scale, not limited to only “agree” or “disagree”, but varies from “often’ to “never”, “very good” to “very bad”, or be it “Definitely” to “Never”.

Well, it would be essential to understand that the Likert Scale is subject to distortion from several causes, such as Central Tendency bias or Social Desirability Bias.

Likert_Scale

Semantic Scale

It is a bipolar scaling method that measures the response with respect to two different items, both having positive response options with a neutral option in between. For instance, if you have money and been given two options as in going out and enjoy that money and have fun or purchase books and read. You could agree with either both or neutral.

It could be distorted from response styles like extreme responding, careless responding, and social desirability.

Semantic_Scale

Psychometric Tools at Mettl

Recruiters can easily use psychometric tools for the assessment of competencies. Mettl has a set of valid and reliable assessment tools for behavioral problems, individually designed to evaluate the bright side, dark side, and motivation factor in a candidate/employee while hiring/training.  

i) Mettl Personality Inventory (MPI) 

 

About MPI

The Mettl Personality Inventory (MPI) is an innovative, data-backed personality assessment that evaluates critical work-relevant personality traits.

‘Know Thyself’ is the key to professional growth and personal development. Capturing this spirit, the Mettl Personality Inventory (MPI) has been designed to measure the person’s strengths and growth opportunities, gauging how his/her behavior influences himself/herself and others. The tool gives a better understanding of personality traits and how to deal with them effectively. 

Science Behind MPI

The MPI measures the work-relevant bright side of the personality traits. Mettl scientists went beyond the well-established model of the broad “Big Five” personality factors and developed twenty-six ‘scales’ or narrower facet-like constructs, which form the building blocks of our assessments. These scales span a vast domain of personality and are mapped to companies’ or job roles’ specific performance models or behavioral competencies to obtain the optimal prediction of job success.

Ideally, the MPI should be administered to job applicants who have passed a few minimum qualifications for the job. The assessment results can serve as an essential piece in the jigsaw puzzle of the hiring decision – but not the only determinant.

MPI_TABLE

Applications

The MPI is best used as part of a systematic selection process, along with other scientifically developed and job-relevant predictors of future success.

Recruitment

Cashier Hiring Test, Cab Drivers– Used in hiring blue-collar workers

Training and Development

Learning Agility Assessment to evaluate the capacity of employees to learn new things 

HiPo Identification

Leadership Assessment, Managerial Potential Assessment – to have a healthy pipeline of future leaders

Succession Planning

Employee Retention Assessment–  to fast-track high potential to retain them

ii) Mettl Personality Profiler (MPP)

 

About MPP

The Mettl Personality Profiler (MPP) is an innovative, evidence-based assessment that measures the relevant personality traits required for critical work. It helps predict behavioral competencies, which, in turn, lead to organizational outcomes of interest. It is designed to help employers gain access to otherwise hidden information about a job applicant or an employee, which is critical in influencing her/his behavior at work. Key highlights and functionality are like the MPI with adaptability outside the Mettl Competency Framework.

Science Behind MPP

The MPP is based on the well established “Big Five” model of personality traits and the corresponding facets aligned to the bright side of human personality. The MPP uses the semantic differential item format to reduce the problem of respondents ‘faking good’ and thereby improve the assessment usefulness. 

The FFM specifies that people can be described based on their standing on these five broad personality traits: extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved), openness to experience (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious), emotional stability (secure/confident vs. sensitive/nervous), agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. cold/unkind), and conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless).

MPP_TABLE

Applications

The MPP, when used with large numbers of job applicants, in recommended ways, will yield a better-quality workforce over time.

Recruitment

Aviation Pilots, Insurance Sales Executive– hiring white-collar employees

Training & Development

Learning Style Test to understand the current proficiency level of an employee; train and develop them effectively

HiPo Identification

Leadership Assessments– to have a healthy pipeline of future leaders

Succession Planning

Employee Retention Tests– to retain the potential employees

Difference between MPI and MPP

Well, MPI and MPP are almost the same at the front end with more or less similar applications. The basic difference lies in the scaling technique used in its development, Likert in MPI, whereas Semantic in MPP. The usage of Semantic scale, the bipolar item approach accompanies with a bit more of thinking level and a significant change in response style. 

Therefore, MPP is suitable for white-collar workers. The primary reason being, it becomes a bit easier for some smart people to fake items based on MPI.

iii) Mettl Dark Personality Inventory (MDPI)

 

About MDPI

With the increase in work pressure and subsiding patience, workplaces nowadays provide the ideal environment, appealing and triggering dark traits, which tend to threaten the security of employees, clients, and work culture as a whole. Mettl has created a dark personality inventory that contains six dark traits, aiming to measure negative personality constructs in potential hires and existing employees as well.

Science Behind MDPI

With extensive research, we came up to a point where we divided the human personality into six traits, based on which MDPI has been built. We’ve already discussed those traits in the above sections. We studied several factors responsible for triggering dark traits and segregated the industries and job roles into three categories in the decreasing order of risks:

  • Red Zone- These are the high-risk zones that hold power to jeopardize the company’s reputation and customer safety. 
  • Yellow Zone- These are the medium risk zones, the reason being employees might exploit internal work culture, intellectual property, and data stored by the company.
  • Green Zone- These are the low-risk zones for employees that can harm assets like company property, financial assets, machinery, or other physical assets.

MDPI_TABLE

Validity

Construct validity estimation with EFA and CFA

Applications

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. Find Mettl Dark Personality Inventory and other related tests to discover your dark and bright side.

Screening while Hiring 

cashier hiring, cab drivers, blue-collar recruitment test– to filter out the unwanted ones.

Safeguard your culture

Workplace culture assessments– to ensure no danger to the work culture.

Safeguard your customers

school safety assessments– to assure a safe place for customers & employees.

iv) Mettl Motivation Inventory (MMI)

 

About MMI

Just as a smooth and intense motor is vital for the continuous working of the car, motivated and finely tuned workforce is imperative to operate the business smoothly and adequately. Mettl Motivation Inventory is a comprehensive test of motivation that gives a precise understanding of what drives and motivates a person to perform and excel at work effectively.

Science Behind MMI

The more motivated the workforce is, the higher is the organization’s chance for success. Typically, it measures eight key motivators under three significant needs listed below:

Sustainability Needs- This talks about the elements that aim at meeting the needs of one’s current situation and the predicted future. The key motivators of these needs are:

  • Money
  • Security

Relatedness Needs- This refers to the part of a person’s identity, which equates to the social and external esteem needs. These needs cover the following three motivators:

  • Recognition
  • Affiliation
  • Competition

Growth Needs- It is self-explanatory and alludes to the individual’s internal expectations and desires constituting what they will obtain from their work. The key motivators here are:

  • Power
  • Advancement
  • Achievement

Applications

The Mettl Motivation Inventory’s in-depth insights and range of business-relevant reports make it suitable for the selection of graduate, professional, and management positions.

Retention

Employee Retention Test to explore the motivators needed to retain the potential employees

Engagement

Employee Engagement Assessment to uncover the factors driving a healthy engagement at the workplace

Exit Interview

Exit Interview Assessment to discover the elements desperately needed at the workplace to motivate employees

How Do Psychometric Tests Impact Business Outcomes?

These days, making predictions has become crucial. People nowadays tend to foresee the climate, sports results, money related information, etc. Well, it is quite similar to the corporate world, running with the same pattern. Talking about business, the two quite significant elements responsible for starting it are ‘Human’ and ‘Capital’.

Leaving aside the ‘capital’ side, Mettl solves the ‘human’ side of the equation. Mettl’s tools can be leveraged to have a considerable impact on each of the aspects of employee life-cycle. This starts with hiring the best fit, culturally and role-wise, to training them and finally transforming them into better leaders.

Let’s take a gander at all the segments where psychometric tools or the behavioral assessments could impact a business.

  • Hire the Right Person
  • Develop Right
  • Make Better Leaders

Recruitment

Principally, developing the business begins with hiring the right people. This is the crucial step in building up a business, and to succeed, the HR team ought to have a strategic recruitment process using the right kind of tools required for the same.

Leveraging psychometric tools during the recruitment process provides a better overall evaluation of a candidate and ideally secure the best fit for the role. Typically, a behavioral assessment for employment doesn’t come in isolation; however, as one segment of a more extensive and coordinated assessment strategy. The people who already use this believe that it gives a more objective diagram of a candidate’s character, qualities, shortcomings, and working style.

When talking about recruitments, psychometric tests contribute to two different areas:

Role Fitment

Choosing the correct fit is the fundamental objective of the recruitment process. Based on the job role-specific competency framework, organizations use different kinds of Pre-Employment Assessments:

Nowadays, evaluating the candidate’s behavior alongside aptitude in the hiring process is preferred more than evaluating just the skill. Mettl’s psychometric tools: MPI and MPP, which are based on the Big Five Personality Traits aids in:

  • Uncovering the bright traits of candidates 
  • Adding a scientific filter to the recruiter’s gut-based decisions

This ensures that the organization has hired candidates worthy of their roles and that they will guarantee the overall productivity and fewer nuances, for they are hired to do what they are good at. For instance, psychometric tests assure that the person appointed as a sales manager is actually a strategist, excellent at communication, having mentorship qualities, and qualifying other such criteria.

The outcomes this has on an organization are:

  • Employees possess key performance indicators
  • Reduced attrition rates
  • Achieve a competitive advantage
  • Overall employees and business growth

Culture Fitment

The organization culture is a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs that regulate how people behave in organizations. It presents the unique social and psychological environment of the company.

Turnover from a poor culture fit can straightforwardly cost directly up to 50%-60% of an employee’s yearly pay and indirectly to 90% to 200% of the annual compensation.

An organization needs candidates whose qualities, judgments, outlook, and behavior fit in with the organizational culture. The role of psychometric tools in discovering the cultural fit employees can be seen as:

MPI/MPPfocuses on a person’s strengths, growth opportunities, the positive side of human personality, who’ll fit for long.

MDPI–  uncovers the candidates with dark personalities along with the level of risks they accompany with them.

Not only would you be able to test individuals for cultural fit via psychometric tests, but you also ensure the absence of bad hires. The other significant outcomes it will have on a business are:

  • Sense of well-being
  • Reduced attrition
  • Enhanced performance
  • Highly engaged employees

Training & Development

In this dynamic and competitive world, we wake up with something new in the business world every day. It’s undeniable that innovation is one of the reasons which support the changes in the aims and objectives of the organizations. This kind of situation demands a recalibration of the skills of employees concerning competencies aligned with the business objectives.

Training employees, in itself, is a complete long process where psychometric tests and tools play a vital role. 

  • Identifying Training Needs
  • Pre-Training Assessment
  • Training
  • Post-training Assessment

Training Needs Identification

The first step in the training process is to identify the skill gaps in employees. This includes:

Why Train?

Identify and develop critical competencies in employees to achieve business goals.

Who to Train?

Selecting employees who need training based on their competency levels.

What to Train for?

Preparing a customized training plan based on skill gaps and training needs. Apart from physical assessment and development centers (AC/DC), which include activities like sailing, rope climbing, etc., there is a virtual AC/DC setup to identify the 3-W's of training. Getting to know the exact amount of training to the precise employees would become an excellent piece of data to train employees.

Training Effectiveness

For an organization, it becomes crucial to know if the training program incorporated post understanding the training needs is effective enough. 

This talks about if the training had a long-term, lasting impact on employees, whether the training program was powerful enough to help candidates apply their learning effectively and hence increase performance at work. 

Psychometric assessments are again involved at each stage of the process.

Pre-Training Assessment

To measure the current proficiency level of the employees for the desired competencies.

Post-Training Assessment

To evaluate the effectiveness of training, leveraging the Kirk Patrick 4 level training evaluation model.

With such a detailed process concerning the training and development of employees on the desired competencies using psychometric tests, a company can definitely do a lot more in terms of its productivity. 

If the employee has been trained well on the skills he wishes to, the chances grow multifold that they’ll stay in the company for long. This leads to reduced attrition and a huge decrement in the investments made to onboard them, which sums up approximately to half of their annual salary. 

The outcomes of a better L&D program in an organization, apart from the increased productivity of employees are higher morale and improved business results.

Organizational Planning

Organizational planning means pinpointing the organization’s short and long-term objectives, hence planning and organizing it for what will happen in the years ahead. The business-related decisions require proper justification with data-backed information. 

Even the Willis Tower Watson Study measured the utility of psychometric assessments by the organization in succession planning and identifying high potential across varied seniority. 

Let us move on to the use cases:

Succession Planning

Succession planning is a procedure for identifying and developing new pioneers who can substitute the old leaders on the off chance they leave, retire, or expire. It builds the accessibility of experienced and competent employees that are already set up to accept these roles as they end up being available.

This would require the assessment of skills, seeking to fill in the gaps between what an organization needs next, and the current skill set of employees aligned to business objectives. This may also accompany training and development initiatives, for better leadership development. Psychometric tests track and develop the right set of high potential employees and prepare them for future roles through a structured and scientific process.

If we move on to the process, it goes like this.

1. Identify

Define critical competencies needed to succeed in critical roles & nominate candidates.

2. Assess

Use reliable and valid tools to evaluate candidate readiness for crucial skills

3. Plan

Use customized reports to handpick the right candidates for succession.

4. Act

Develop and track the growth of selected candidates for a promising future.

It negates the cost and time behind external recruitment and training, which turns out to be statistically more expensive.

Succession planning aims to address many of the human resource issues such as:

  • Increased turnover rates,
  • Rapid changes in work,
  • A desire for a conducive workplace across different levels.

High Potential Identification

High potential (HiPo) identification determines the furthest reaches of an employee’s development range. It would be sufficient to say that the more potential they have, the less expensive and speedier it is to develop them.

It is likewise essential that potential employees are force multipliers, pushing up the performance bar for their co-workers, and obviously for their immediate reports. They imitate and preach winning practices that shape high-performing cultures by their words and activities.

Just adding a star performer to a team boosts up the effectiveness of other members by 5-15%.

There are psychometric tools around that aim to identify the high potential in an organization. 

The ingredients or the generic markers of potential include:

Ability

Cognitive tests are designed which measure the intelligence or brain-based skills required to carry tasks to completion.

Social Skills

MPI/MPP evaluates solid cooperative relationships with co-workers, be it colleagues or boss which can be easily measured.

Drive

MMI depicts hard work, willingness to push extra miles, responsibilities, the kind of ownership, and other such motivators.

Although identifying high potential employees isn’t an easy task, for not many employees are highly able, socially skilled, and driven. The use of scientific and data-backed tools contributes to more influential employees that contribute significantly to the organization.

This has a tremendous impact on business and is the key to higher levels of ROI.

Conclusion

It’s great that you made so far. You’ve got to understand the science behind psychometric tests and that they are the measurable ways to decode human personality and behavior. Depending upon the bright side, dark side, cognitive abilities, and some X-factors, the intended behavior could differ from the human personality.

Then, there are valid and reliable tools based on the same science to measure the precise personality and behavior of people at workplaces. You’ve also got to understand how psychometric tools and their results about individuals could impact business outcomes, be it recruitment, training, and planning to make better leaders.

Originally published December 3 2019, Updated August 5 2020

Ankur Tandon

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Helping businesses beat content mediocrity by generate engaging content, both short and long form including blogs, social media, case studies, newsletters and more.

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