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Psychometric Test   | 3 Min Read

The Pros And Cons Of Psychometric Assessment

Written By Tonmoy Shingal

Psychometric assessments have been deployed by about 80% Fortune 500 companies in the USA and by close to 75% of the Times Top 100 enterprises in the UK. It has been adopted by a wide range of industries that include financial institutions, IT, management consultancies, civil services, fire and police services, and armed forces.

What are Psychometric Assessments?

Psychometric assessments are designed to allow recruiters to check a potential employee’s mental abilities, skill, intelligence, personality traits, motivations, and interests. By applying psychometric assessments on candidates, recruiters can ensure that only the right people are brought into the company. They prove to be useful tools in assessing a candidate and their growth and development once they are a part of the organisation.

A reliable psychometric assessment will evaluate a candidate and provide an objective measure of the human characteristics they measure. These tests have been proven to be an adequate estimate of candidate performance on the job at the time of recruitment and selection.

When used in combination with other stages of the selection process like the interview, a recruiter can get a holistic view of the candidate’s likelihood of success at the job. There are three types of psychometric tests - aptitude and ability tests, skill and attainment testing, and personality testing.

Even though psychometric assessments have been widely used as an effective tool for hiring and managing talent, its effectiveness has been questioned several times. HR professionals work under the constant pressure of meeting deadlines regarding fulfilling the talent requirements of their respective organisations.

In a country like India, where demand for job openings far exceeds the supply, a number of candidates applying for a job can be a lot more than is necessary. In this scenario, organisations prefer to use psychometric assessments to screen candidates that help them gain access to fast and accurate results.

The Pros and Cons of Psychometric Assessment. What are psychometric assessments?

Though using psychometric assessments is a great way to save time and reduce cost per hire, the final result should be a considerable improvement in the quality of hire. Whether or not a psychometric assessment is achieving that is the real measure of predicting its performance. Hence, there is a lot of debate surrounding psychometric assessments. Let us explore in detail the pros and cons of psychometric testing.

Pros of Psychometric Assessment

Because of the standardisation and objectivity that accompanies psychometric assessment, they provide nearly accurate results when it comes to judging if a candidate is appropriate for the role in question. Different positions require a different combination of skills and personality traits.

For example, if a company wants to fill up a sales and business development position, some of the desired qualities will be social astuteness, self-motivation, and strategic thinking. On the other hand, someone who scores high on the sociability factor will not be a good fit for a job that requires one to audit sensitive accounts.

So, we see that validated and proven psychometric tests supply reliable results. This helps HR professionals to know for sure if a candidate will be a good performer at the job, something that face-to-face interviews cannot guarantee.

The next advantage that psychometric assessments hold is that they are cost-effective and easy to deploy as compared to other means. This might seem contradictory at first considering the costs involved in not only incorporating the test into the recruitment process but also to equip staff to be able to handle psychometric assessments.

However, it takes several months to gather information about a person that a reliable psychometric assessment can supply within a matter of hours. Taking that into consideration, psychometric assessment can help avoid costly recruitment mistakes in the long run.

Be it hiring new employees or the growth & development of existing staff; psychometric assessments can contribute to avoid high costs that arise due to high turnover and poor performance of employees.

Further, psychometric testing helps an organisation to maintain standards when it comes to objectively measured personality traits and aptitude. Once the recruiter has the test results, he/she can explore other points of concern by conducting further interviews. This proves useful if one wants to evaluate the candidate further in certain specific areas in detail, based on the test results.psychometric-test-pageAn efficient means to know a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses before taking him/her onboard; psychometric assessment let recruiters know how to manage candidates. This makes way for a candidate’s career progression within the company.

If a candidate is shy or introvert but possesses the qualities required for a job opening, these tests can give a platform for them to be recognised. On the other hand, recruiters will not be tricked by overconfident candidates who come up with answers that their interviewer wants to hear rather than the real truth.

Cons of Psychometric Assessment

The world of psychometric assessments is crowded with tests and questionnaires most of which are not valid. An organisation must ensure that they have trained professionals who can distinguish authentic tests from the incompetent ones.

The absence of the right training can be another hindrance. It often happens that these tests are being deployed by people who are not trained well to use them. Personality tests and instruments require adequate experience to be able to put them to advantage.

The prospect of misjudgment of the test results is quite high. So, companies have to incur additional cost to train people or hire third-party professionals.

Standard psychometric assessment is readily available, and there’s a great chance that a candidate who wants the job will do his/her homework before appearing for the test. They can alter their responses to bring out the results desired for the kind of person the company is looking to hire for that particular role.

Many job seekers fail to give their best during the test because of nervousness or undue pressure due to time limitation. Psychometric assessment often does not take into account certain factors like cultural background or language barriers, which may lead to valuable talent to be overlooked.

The best way to utilise psychometric assessment would be to combine it with other recruitment methods. They should not be considered as the final decision-making factor.

Even though psychometric assessments will give you valuable data and insight, it cannot replace intuition when it comes to hiring. However, making them a part of the recruitment process shall give companies a solid foundation for having the right conversation with the candidates to know them better.

Other methods such as interviews, group discussions, and case studies must be combined with the results of a psychometric assessment to paint an accurate picture regarding a candidate’s abilities.


Topics: Psychometric Test

Originally published April 11 2019,updated June 29 2019

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