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How Relevant are the Psychometric Tests in the Hiring Process

Talent Assessment | 6 Min Read

How Relevant are the Psychometric Tests in the Hiring Process?


Employees are likely to stay longer in an organization if they share common values, and it is one of the foremost challenges for the recruiters to ensure this match. Psychometric tests for hiring is a useful tool in the talent journey to ascertain whether these values are aligned. It is also a perfect method for employers to know whether a candidate is a right fit for a particular job role. Also, candidates can decide based on the psychometric assessment’s scores about a specific job’s alignment with their interests and abilities.

Recruiters and talent managers try to find new ways or opt for reliable methods to identify suitable candidates. But in this process, some recruiters go for a wrong methodology to understand the candidates for their personal traits. For example, it used to be common in organizations to employ the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). It turned out to be an ineffective method of employee evaluation later. Initially, a widely accepted practice for recruitment but now the opinions coming from far and wide are against it. The question for recruiters has always been to find an original and scientific method that can be used on a large number of candidates repeatedly. 

In this way, during the recruitment process, a performance assessment system should quantitatively evaluate the candidates.

The assessment predicts a future employee’s behavior and performance. In this context, the psychometric assessment test makes its presence felt because it’s an empirical validation of the right candidates. This is why 75% of the Fortune 500 companies use psychometric tests for recruitment today.

Recruiters look for indicators that could ensure how a future employee is going to perform in the organization. For a recruiter, such predictions based on statistical data help take a better stance for the final selection.

There’s no doubt that it’s a cumbersome task for any organization to make a thriving employee base. And every method and tool that reduces the time and effort invested in the recruitment process has a valid point to make. Psychometric tests for recruitment are widely used today because they are an unbiased and scientific way to utilize time and effort to execute a result-driven recruitment process. And this is one important reason why psychometric tests have become an unavoidable element in HR strategy. Let’s dig deeper and understand why the statement mentioned here is true.

Did you know?

Charles Darvin, in his 1872 book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, one of the first books to feature printed photographs, which discussed the evolution of human psychology and its continuity with the behaviour of animals.

What is a Psychometric Test for Recruitment?

A psychometric test is a method to measure psychological factors such as positive and dark personality traits, motivation, values, preferences and cognitive abilities. It comes with well-crafted questions that converge to measure the aptitude, memory, and intelligence of an individual. 

A psychometric test is used for the evaluation of the candidates applying for new positions as well as those employees who are doing the cross-departmental or role-based transition. It is now a common practice in various disciplines such as education, healthcare, business, employment or social sciences to put the candidates through the psychometric tests. Recruiters conduct these tests in the initial stages of the recruitment process. It makes a trustworthy method for screening applicants. 

The psychometric assessment for recruitment comes with questions that have no right or wrong answers. But when analyzed thoroughly, the results provide predictive insights about an individual’s personality. Insights on behavioral traits and cognitive skills are two important dimensions that help recruiters decide on the candidate. The scope of psychometric testing in recruitment becomes more critical because these personality traits don’t surface during the interviews.

What are Different Types of Psychometric Tests for Recruitment to Screen Candidates?

One of the first questions for every recruiter is to know the candidate well before the final selection. The underlying idea of every test and interview is to have more understanding about the candidate. Knowing them better is the only way to deploy them into the job roles that fit their abilities. 

But the challenge for the recruiters has always been to find some valid reason to hire a particular candidate. Traditionally, a candidate who fares well in the initial levels of the tests and interviews is suitable for the job. But there are certain traits of the human psyche that these traditional ways of evaluation fail to access. For example, suppose you are hiring for a team lead. In that case, there are specific skills that are expected in the individual, such as, ability to communicate with the other team members is the most basic requirement. Further to it, the ability to handle pressure and quick decision making come as other essential qualities. A questionnaire or a thorough interview is not enough to quantify these personal qualities and assure the recruiter for the final selection. 

  • Psychometric tests for hiring are a reliable methodology for measuring the candidates on various parameters that theoretical tests or interviews fail to assess. 
  • They provide the recruiters with proven metrics that compartmentalize individuals based on their inherent personality traits and skills. 
  • They can be administered on many candidates together simultaneously. 
  • Psychometric tests provide meaningful insights. For example: for hiring suggest that a candidate who has good communication skills and theoretical knowledge of the subject may lack team management and interpersonal skills. The talent manager should be well aware that a particular individual will not be suitable for a team leader’s role. 
  • Psychometric tests make the hiring scenario predictable to a certain extent and provide valid reasons to pick a candidate for a particular job role.

What are Different Types of Psychometric Tests for Recruitment to Screen Candidates?

Once you put yourself in the recruiter’s boots, there are three main determiners for the candidates – performance, potential, and personality. When it comes to screening candidates, it is essential to simultaneously check up various facets of the personality in a single questionnaire. A recruiter is interested in precisely two aspects of an individual: behavioral traits and cognitive skills.

Cognitive Assessments

Cognitive or aptitude tests holistically help assess a candidate’s capacity to think logically. It includes questions that assess the core brain functions like problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making. It is a widely-used method that is used in making hiring decisions by recruiters across the world. Various tests come under the aptitude test. They include: 

  • Numerical Reasoning- It evaluates the candidate on the ability to work with numbers and calculations.
  • Verbal Reasoning- It is used to evaluate the candidate’s ability to understand written information and decision-making.
  • Logical Reasoning- It mainly focuses on the candidate’s ability to conclude from the information given.

Personality Tests

Every person has certain personality traits. Personality tests provide informed insights into an individual’s personality. Understanding the personality helps the recruiter to choose the right job profile if the candidate is finally selected. A personality test also indicates whether the chosen individual would be the right fit in the organizational culture. It encompasses an individual’s patterns of thoughts, feelings, and is also linked to behavioral competencies. The test can also measure how motivated they are toward their work and what drives them. 

Some companies follow the OCEAN model, which is also known as the five-factor model (FFM). It’s a model that divides the human personality into five groups depending on various traits such as:

  • Openness- People who are open to new experiences and who remain curious about art and aesthetics.
  • Conscientiousness- It is related to self-discipline and acting with responsibility. It also signifies how an individual controls his human impulses.
  • Extraversion- It suggests about people skills and how individuals perform in social settings.
  • Agreeableness- It shows how individuals get along with other people.
  • Neuroticism- It suggests emotional instability and negative emotions such as depression and anxiety.

The objective analysis of the candidates can be done in different ways. It depends on the recruiter’s priority and needs to conduct a personality test to solve a purpose. 

Did You Know?

British army uses The British Army Recruit Battery Test (Known as BARB). It’s a computer based psychometric test that evaluates candidates for their suitability in the army.

Why Should You Choose Psychometric Tests for Hiring Employees?

There was a time when psychometric tests were used only for clinical psychology. However, its role gradually became more significant because it gave vivid results about an individual’s mental capabilities. These traits are further categorized in different sections, such as behavioral tendencies and cognitive skills. These insights lead to some more information about the strengths and weaknesses of an individual. 

A recruiter needs to understand the employees’ strengths and weaknesses to deploy them in job roles corresponding to their skills. Psychometric tests for recruitment is a method to measure these skills objectively. Psychometric tests also help the recruiter look beyond the information about the candidate on paper, such as education and work experience. 

The psychometric tests provide some important clues about individuals’ working behavior for the recruiter to ask questions to understand their fitment for the prescribed job roles. Given below is a chart that will help us understand some of the specific skills that the psychometric tests reveal.


If we look at the chart, it tries to develop a holistic picture of an individual’s personality. The results coming from the psychometric tests have several permutation & combinations. For example, an individual who is an introvert with a good ability to focus may lack team-building skills. According to this insight, that particular individual may not be a good choice in people management roles. In this hypothetical scenario, the psychometric test gives the recruiter a reliable and valid measure to make an informed decision.

There are different types of tests available to analyze candidates. However, a recruiter needs to determine which test is the most suitable for them.

Certain characteristics make a test reliable and result-oriented

  • The test should have a standardized format and follow uniform protocols every time.
  • The test should follow consistency to avoid discrepancies and misleading results.
  • The psychometric test for hiring should be free of designing or informational errors to ensure reliability.
  • A psychometric assessment of recruitment should strictly measure the particular metrics of an individual. It should not deviate from these metrics in any single question.
  • The employment psychometric testing should be able to provide precise insights with predictive capabilities.
  • It should be unbiased in terms of language, ethnicity, gender, or culture.

How Can Mercer | Mettl Help?

The psychometric tests from Mercer | Mettl are well-crafted to evaluate the candidates for their behavioral and cognitive skills. We also provide tailor-made solutions to help companies for their specific needs during recruitment. Our main approach is to make the assessment process easy, reliable and science-based.

Psychometric Tests

Mercer | Mettl’s psychometric tests for recruitment are capable of assessing various traits with predictive insights. These traits include-

  • Positive Personality Traits These are key performing traits that influence the candidates’ trainability and flexibility to learn and apply new things.
  • Dark Personality Traits These are negative traits that any organization avoids, to maintain a healthy working environment. 
  • Motivation, Value, Preference It suggests how intensely the employees are driven to achieve company goals.
  • Cognitive Ability Attention span and how effectively an individual can process the data for making an informed decision.

Mettl Personality Profiler (MPP)

The Mettl Personality Profiler is a tool to map a job role in the periphery of the organization’s competency framework. It helps in deciding on the essential traits to complete critical tasks. Mettl personality profiler also caters to the clients’ specific needs and helps them execute a frictionless recruitment process. It helps in the learning and development process for training employees. It is equally useful in high potential identification and succession planning.

Mettl Sales Profiler (MSP)

Mettl sales profiler is a well-designed tool to consolidate a competency framework for the sales profile. It helps in identifying people with the knack for sales. Matching the behavioral and cognitive competencies for the sales profile is one of the important features of the Mettl sales profiler. The evaluation is based on psychometric tests that provide reliable insights to choose people who would make a winning team.  

Every organization tries to find candidates who turn out to be key performers in their respective job roles. These candidates should also be able to align themselves with the company’s values. The psychometric tests for hiring from Mercer | Mettl covers every essential idea to make a recruiter’s life easier by providing reliable information and insights about the candidates.  

Mettl Dark Personality Inventory

The dark traits tell about an individual ‘s negative qualities that make an unhealthy environment at the workplace. Mettl Dark Personality Inventory can give information about a person’s six dark traits: self-obsession, opportunism, insensitivity, temperamental, impulsiveness, and thrill-seeking behavior. These traits are undesirable, and it is equally important for an employer to be aware of such negative qualities in the existing and future employees. 

Mettl Personality Map (MPM)

Mettl personality map is a new age personality mapping tool that is very comprehensive. It works beyond the well-known ‘Big Five’ model and includes some unique personality traits such as risk propensity, take charge, growth mindset that provide various predictive insights about the employee behavior. It can be used throughout the employee life cycle such as during hiring and then later training and development. It is highly relevant for the higher level competencies and to assess the senior level employees.

Originally published May 1 2018, Updated August 13 2020


Written by

Vipul Srivastav is a seasoned marketing professional with expertise in branding and communication. He writes on numerous web platforms to share his views and experiences on various topics. In his free time, he does photography, reads fiction, listens to U2, and stays curious about the outer space.

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