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Talent Assessment | 2 Min Read

Real Value of Psychometric Profiling in Human Resources


It’s a challenge for every recruiter to be sure about the skills and abilities of the finally selected candidates. Every company makes comprehensive strategies and follows a certain process to zero in the right talent who will become the workforce of the company in the future.

It has been found that sometimes the selected people do not fit in the job properly when they finally start working. In other cases people selected for a particular job profile eventually end up working in a different profile because that suits them better. And the company only gets to know about it when an individual finally joins the company and spends some time with it. So, one can say that the assessment didn’t lead to the intended results. There are several reasons behind this mismatch –

  • Outdated hiring processes that do not include the extensive assessment and mapping of the candidates.
  • Lack of awareness about the demands of the job roles and how a particular candidate will fulfill the expectations of the company.
  • Lack of smooth and intelligent screening of candidates to filter out the suitable candidates out from the bulk of applications.
  • Companies lack in clarity about what exactly they are seeking in a candidate.
  • The needs of a company can be unique and going by the methods followed by other companies lead to misfit candidates.
  • Recruitment processes don’t include the cognitive and behavioral competencies of the candidates.  

Considering all these gaps between a right candidate and the recruited one, psychometric profiling test is the best way to overcome these challenges. It helps companies become more confident in the selection of right candidates. Candidates having the right skill sets and competencies that help the company build a team that work towards achieving the company’s goal. Let’s see and understand how the new era psychometric profiling tests are creating impact in the hiring process.

What is a Psychometric Profiling Test?

Psychometrics is a simple term although many people find it like a psychobabble and a little complex. Psycho implies “mind” while metrics means “measurements.” A simple definition lies in the word ‘psychometrics’ itself: psycho deals with the ideas related to the mind, while metrics is about measuring the attributes and characteristics. So, we are looking at ways to measure things related to the mind.

Psychometric profiling tests bring a clearer understanding of the overall potential of the candidate and also provides real insights into deciding the right kind of job profile for the selected candidate. It is a data-driven approach to assess an individual in terms of his personality, behavioral traits and reasoning skills. 

Psychometric profile assessment, also known as psychometric assessments, is an analytical procedure for measuring mental capabilities and inclinations of individuals. The comprehensive report provides a detailed overview of different aspects of the individual’s personality. Based on these reports a company can decide on the job profile that perfectly goes well with the competencies of an individual.

In organizations, psychometric profiling tests are used during the hiring procedure, both internally and externally, to gauge whether candidates or employees are aptly suitable for the given job profile. This is done on the basis of the required personality characteristics and cognitive abilities. Psychometric profiling identifies the extent to which a candidate’s personality and cognitive abilities match those required to perform a role.

Psychometric profile assessments are usually kept in the preliminary round of the recruitment process. The questions are designed to measure various aspects of the individual’s personality. These questions don’t have the right or wrong answers. They touch the ability of a candidate’s decision making, accuracy, and other behavioral tendencies.

The psychometric profiling tests lead to several kinds of assessments such as:

Cognitive Skills

Cognitive skills define the functioning of the brain of an individual. Human brain is a repository of information and we use it whenever we are in need of it. A workplace needs people with good cognitive skills because it helps them to pay attention to details, interpret data and stay focused while working on the company’s specified goals. Cognitive skills define-

  • How well the brain processes an information
  • Attention time span of a person
  • Reading, thinking and learning capabilities of a person
  • Agility of brain to retrieve the already saved information
  • Understanding and processing of new information

The importance of cognitive skills is unavoidable because a person with good cognitive skills can easily focus on a single task for a long time. It doesn’t mean that it hampers their ability of multitasking but good cognitive ability ensures retaining the information from several places at a time and processing them all together. Listening and understanding information comes easy to a person with high cognitive skills. Cognitive skills are directly related to the productivity and performance of an individual.

Behavioral & Personality Traits

These two aspects of an individual that majorly influence the overall performance of an employee. Personality traits are lasting characteristics that are inherent in an individual and that don’t change despite the changing circumstances or environments. If we look closely every person has a pattern in thoughts and behaviour.

On the other hand behaviour of a person is about the way they deal with things around them. It includes the way they say or do something. Traits are long lasting whereas behaviour can be changed to a certain level with constant efforts.

The Assessment of personality and behavior traits becomes very critical because the results make it clear that the person will be able to take up the particular job role with enthusiasm and motivated engagement. 

The behavioral assessment depicts about people in terms of:

  • How motivated they are.
  • How they think.
  • How they relate to others.
  • How they make a decision.
  • How well they fit in the existing organizational culture.

The role of psychometric profiling becomes all the more important because there are certain traits in the individual’s personality that don’t come out clearly in other types of online or offline assessments. 

Such cognitive and behavioral assessment bring a certain degree of predictability about a person who is going to join the workforce of a company. It helps the HR department to deploy them in the most appropriate job role according to their capabilities. 

Psychometric profiling tests come with well-crafted questions. The response of the candidates give a very clear picture of the candidate’s suitability for the job role.

How Psychometric Profile Assessments Lead to the Right Employees?

Psychometric profiling tests make a true measure of the abilities and traits in the personality of an individual. However, these psychometric analysis tests are designed to examine candidates statistically and therefore they remain unbiased and objective in the final outcomes.

Every company struggles while hiring the right employees with the needed skills and abilities to ensure a workforce that has talent and drive to perform. This is where psychometric profiling tests come into picture as an answer to make the hiring process more intelligent and result-oriented.

The key role of psychometric profiling alongside with assessments is to be able to come up with well-informed and witty decisions in manpower recruitment, selection, and development.

It is not easy to decode a person in terms of their inherent capabilities. However, as we saw on different levels when we analyse the cognitive, behavioral and personality traits of an individual, it becomes a lot easier to gauge their abilities and compartmentalize them accordingly.

Psychometric profiling tests help discover people’s underlying temperament or working style that don’t get visible in the traditional assessment processes. To differentiate people from one another or to assess only one, to understand whether they are introvert or extrovert, psychometric profiling is a must. These characteristics help to identify and explain the consistencies in an individual’s behavior which could ultimately determine their suitability for the particular role.

Moreover, these psychometric profiling tools help determine a candidate’s temperament and also aim to explain and identify as to what extent an employer might need to control, moderate, or develop these natural temperaments in order to be successful in the job role. 

It is very crucial that the assessments have real and palpable criteria that prove to be a prominent factor during job performance. Hence, it is important to make the selection through comprehensive assessments which include the key areas of the employee skills for respective positions.

Psychometric profiling test is a very effective way to help organizations to do unbiased and science-based assessment. Now we can deal with bigger data through such psychometric profiling tests, one can make predictions to a large extent about the right fit of the employees. Data analytics validates such kinds of assessments with reliable statistical results.

  • The psychometric profiling tests are more objective because it is difficult to decide on the working style of the employee through traditional ways of assessments and interviews.
  • A company that considers soft skills while hiring the candidates needs to have a reliable indicator that the hired person is going to do well in the given job role in the future. The role of psychometric profiling tools becomes all the more important in this way.
  • Apart from the behavioral patterns, it is equally important to understand the desires and ambitions of the candidates and psychometric profiling also touches that aspect of the individuals.
  • Creativity, critical thinking and empathetic perspective of the workforce decides how well they are going to face the business challenges and deal with it. Psychometric profiling includes these aspects as well.
  • Candidates are likely to stay with the company longer if their values match with the company’s values. Psychometrics help employees in their talent journey to check and see if the alignment of values remains seamless.
  • Psychometric profiling tests also depict the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates.

The answers in such candidate profiling tests are not right or wrong but they are meant to illustrate the natural qualities and tendencies of an individual. On the basis of these psychometric profile assessments, it becomes easier for the company to find the right person for the job. Psychometric profiling tools help to avoid a problematic situation wherein there is a gap between employee’s talent and the demands of the job.

What is Online Social Media Profiling?

Employment-related online social profiling technology which conducts background checks which will the basis for evaluation. This reveals the truth behind the façade of employees because of their declarations or tweets online as well actions says what could be hidden from resumes or CVs. Many companies are now looking into the digital footprint of job candidates and employees to know whether they are actually abiding citizens or are compliant with existing state laws or company rules and regulations.

This enables many companies to think ahead. Psychometric profiling helps organizations peel off the façade of many candidates or employees to reduce or eliminate irreversible errors once people are hired. Online social psychometric profiling and screening looks into an individual’s social media background and trail to summarize online behavior or conduct in an evaluation report. These random or routine checks during recruitment have become essential to reduce business disruption, employee churn, re-recruiting costs and, turnovers or potential damages to your brand.

Online psychometric profiling would peek into the following virtual media information:

  • Bullying or harassment made on other people online.
  • Negative comments about employers and brands which speaks a lot about an employee or candidate.
  • Inappropriate use of language (cursing or lewdness).
  • Harmful or distasteful imageries posted
  • Inconsistency of facts posted across multiple sites.
  • Person’s so-called visibility landscape which reflects much of their privacy management and the categories they belong to.

Why Psychometric Profiling Tests are Unavoidable for Human Resources?

We are therefore clear that psychometric testing pertains to using specific tests or profiles, and could even be a combination of these two in order to form a holistic understanding of a candidate’s suitability for the job.

For example, if you are looking for sales representatives; then you would want someone who is people-oriented, who can deal with sales queries, knows how to make a sales pitch, and who can essentially resolve customer complaints. In addition, they will also need to have good interpersonal skills, communication skills, numerical reasoning skills, the ability to be decisive, think quickly, have a good sense of judgment, and can work with precision.

Assessing candidates on all these parameters is a cumbersome task and it also needs to screen candidates to save the time and efforts. Psychometric profile assessment tools are designed to make the hiring process easier and help the company to put directional efforts.

This is why most organizations are finding psychometric profiling an absolute necessity for finding the right pool of talent for their businesses. Psychometrics in the forms of testing, profiling, and assessments are used for the following:

  • This is specifically used for profiling of individuals and teams in order to develop self-awareness, understanding and team communication.
  • Facilitates career guidance such as individual interests and values inventories.
  • Provides necessary insights that can be used while training in order to help people understand their strengths and what needs further that facilitates personal learning and growth.
  • Assesses the suitability of employees or candidates for promotion of assignment.
  • It is primarily used for recruitment and the selection process, alongside other assessment methods to explore the match between the candidate and the role.
  • For succession planning, to assess and develop future talent and leadership potential.
  • To identify training and development needs.
  • Role-based profiling and screening; which improves the quality of talent matching.
  • Monitoring of employee skills and capabilities enables you to take early action if required.

Psychometric profile assessment is considered to be the new mode of evaluating each potential candidate’s cognitive behavior and capabilities which can deliberately align with your organisation’s vision, goals, requirements, values, and work culture.

Such test results become a real-time reflection of how a person would work towards the goals of the company. Would an individual be an asset or liability once hired? This is what psychometric profiling aims to find out.

How Mercer | Mettl Can Help?

The psychometric profiling test from Mercer | Mettl are designed to evaluate various aspects of the candidates including the behavioral and cognitive skills. When it comes to hiring, every company wants to use the best possible methodology to make the assessment intelligent and comprehensive that leads to potential employees. In a way, this methodology should be reliable, efficient and also scientific.

Mercer | Mettl’s psychometric profile assessments come equipped with tailor made questions that judge on various traits of the candidates. These traits include-

  • Positive Personality Traits- These are key performing traits that influence the job performance, cultural fitment and flexibility to learn new things. 
  • Dark Personality Traits- Negative traits that affect an individual or the whole organization and what should be avoided.
  • Motivation, Value, Preference- How well the employees are driven to work towards the company’s goal and make the right decisions. 
  • Cognitive Ability- Individual’s capability to think logically and process the information and data with a result-oriented approach.

The psychometric profile tool from Mercer | Mettl can be used for campus & off-campus hiring, lateral hiring and leadership hiring. With the help of well crafted procedures, finding the right employees becomes effortless and efficient.

For the learning and development process, a company needs to identify its high potential employees and make sure to retain them for a longer period of time. Psychometric profiling is highly effective in making the training and development process in tandem with the company’s goal.

Additionally, Succession planning and leadership development require psychometric profiling to assess the best fit that can lead the team.

Every organization has a work culture and a candidate once hired should be able to align himself with the existing values and culture of the company. The psychometric profiling tests from Mercer | Mettl are meant to ensure this alignment and reduce every possible gap between what company wants to communicate and how employees take it forward. Because only the right ones will be able to take it forward in a promising way.

Originally published March 27 2018, Updated August 6 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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