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Psychometric assessments have grown into a substantial industry. Organizations spend staggering sums on different types of psychometric tests to assess their employees’ personality types, learning objectives and personal inclinations. From a psychometric test for managers, to a special test to gauge remote work skills, the list of psychometric tests is exhaustive, and every test has its purpose.
Psychometric tests have found wide applications in the corporate setting. In the United States, the sale of these assessments and inventories for hiring and development has been phenomenal. Past trends suggest that companies use psychometric tests (mainly personality and aptitude tests) for recruitment and selection, training and development and career guidance, etc.
Psychometric Assessments: Gauge Human Behaviour and Traits for Better People Decisions
Employers measure personality, intelligence and skills by including psychometric tests as a vital aspect of the recruitment process. Recruiters use psychometric test scores to address hiring challenges, such as hiring the right fit, decreasing the time-to-hire and increasing the retention rate, etc. These tests allow employers to evaluate whether candidates demonstrate such traits as agreeableness, cognitive abilities and stress management skills required to perform the job. Such tests are either taken online or on paper. Particularly within agile organizations, various types of psychometric tests are used for an unbiased, validated assessment of candidates’ professional skills and personal traits and tendencies.
There is no definitive placement of psychometric tests. However, recruiters can administer the tests at the shortlisting, screening or interview stage of the hiring process to measure cultural fitment, motivation levels, values, working style, intelligence, abilities, personality and the aptitude required for the job.
There are many different types of psychometric tests. Some tests are used to measure a specific aptitude or skill, while others delve too deeply into a subject’s particular traits. Although these tests may appear in various formats, they are divided into two types: personality profiling and cognitive testing.
Here’s a list of psychometric tests most popularly used by organizations worldwide in their recruitment process.
Listed below are some of the most commonly used psychometric tests:
Hiring managers use personality profiler tests to match the scores of potential candidates against given job specifications and competencies to ascertain their job suitability. While there are no perfect answers in personality tests, an individual’s responses can imply whether their personality attributes are well-aligned with the organizational requirements. Most companies initiate the recruitment process with personality profiling, but it may also be implemented after assessing job-specific skills.
Here are some commonly used personality tests:
MBTI is one of the popular ones among different types of psychometric tests being used across industries. The test assesses individuals on four different parameters. They include introversion or extroversion, sensing or intuition, judging or perceiving and thinking or feeling. It is further subdivided into a combined assortment of sixteen different personality types. It stands to reason that a vast majority of Fortune 500 companies have made their new hires undergo the MBTI test in the past decade, and many continue to employ it to streamline the hiring process. This evaluation tool is useful in identifying candidates’ intrinsic preferences. Although it’s a helpful tool for self-awareness, its usefulness in job selection is not established. Past research suggests that HR professionals considering selecting candidates based on the MBTI results could make bad hiring decisions. Since the tool is readily available, smaller firms employ it instead of seeking professional assistance to screen employees.
Also known as the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire, it was the brainchild of a psychologist, Raymond Cattell, who majorly focused on sixteen traits that humans possess in varying degrees, such as tension and warmth. The test comprises one hundred and seventy questions that are different from questions in several other assessment tools - as the test identifies how a candidate might tackle a particular situation at work, rather than using a personality-centric approach. 16PF provides insights into whether a candidate can undertake a complex task quickly or handle stress effectively. The tool is well-suited to address hiring and employee development challenges because it emphasizes solving practical problems rather than getting answers to general personality-based questions.
DISC is a powerful assessment tool that is gaining ground among HR professionals. Walter Vernon Clarke, an industrial psychologist, developed the tool by taking inspiration from the theoretical works of William Moulton Marston. The assessment tool enables identifying four behavioral traits: Dominance(D), Inducement(I), Submission(S) and Compliance(C). These behavior traits help categorize individuals as either people-centric or task-centric. Most companies utilize the DISC assessment to filter out good employees, hoping that a particular personality trait would be better suited or ill-suited for particular jobs. Still, the DISC tool was not developed with this intention. The tool is best suited for addressing situations involving the dynamics of interpersonal relationships. Some other versions of this tool offer insights into a person’s probable actions in a particular team, position or management based on their DISC profile. The assessment has also proved beneficial in bringing skills such as leadership and problem-solving to the forefront.
Aptitude or cognitive tests are a type of psychometric test that evaluates cognitive abilities or intelligence, which can be defined as a combination of verbal, numerical and spatial abilities with core brain functions, including attention, speed and memory.
The verbal reasoning test is a surefire way to assess a candidate’s potential and eligibility for the job and their organizational fit. Companies use the test to gauge candidates’ knowledge and comprehension skills. Several types of verbal reasoning assessments are in-demand. For example, the verbal reasoning test for evaluating a candidate’s language skills comprises analogy and sentence completion questions, etc.
The test’s outcome enables employers to determine the extent to which potential applicants can demonstrate business acumen skills and address real-world challenges. It is one of the types of psychometric tools that gives critical insights when assessing abilities such as creating enriching business reports and documents, and evaluating the eloquence in writing while addressing business challenges.
Verbal reasoning assessments are often part of a broader suite of psychometric assessments used for hiring. The language is an important part of many jobs, from writing emails, to creating decks and presentations and making a sales pitch. Several industries, especially call centers and hospitality, evaluate candidates on the nuances of speech, using a technologically enabled English evaluator.
Many industries desire candidates who are good at interpreting, analyzing and drawing conclusions from numerical data. The numerical reasoning test evaluates test-takers on these skills. It helps employers identify the right person who can find solutions to critical business challenges and work well with the company’s financial results, analysis reports and performance figures. The assessment tool comprises questions on ratios, percentages, statistics and graph interpretation. Numerical data generated by organizations is an abundant source of critical information that can be further used to achieve business goals and track progress. The numerical reasoning test aims to find such highly analytical people, capable of working their way through business problems, offering realistic and logical solutions.
The logical reasoning test is another type of psychometric test that is presented mostly in a non-verbal format. It is used to measure the candidates’ inductive and deductive reasoning skills. The test allows examinees to utilize critical thinking abilities to decipher and manipulate pictorial or numerical pattern-based questions. Logical reasoning tests are usually also referred to as ‘Abstract Reasoning’ or ‘Inductive Reasoning’ for portraying a specific skill set.
Even though different psychometric tests are available for recruitment and selection purposes, there are several opinions on their perceived value in the organizational context. Those who use them vouch for their indispensability. Others prefer their usual ways, such as person-to-person meetings over digital assessments. Psychometric tests have been mission-critical in ensuring the hiring process’s success. When subject matter experts analyze outcomes using psychometric instruments, they use the findings as crucial assets that supplement the interview process and produce results in favor of any company implementing them.
Mercer | Mettl is one of the most trusted psychometric test providers. It offers an online platform to enable recruiters and organizations to measure candidates’ abilities in various domains, empowering them to make well-informed decisions about recruitment, training and development of candidates/employees.
Our extensive library of tests and simulators helps you assess the desired qualities of potential and existing employees. Our wide range of psychometric, cognitive, behavioral, role-based and technical assessments ensures you make the right people decisions. With Mercer | Mettl as your psychometric test provider, you can assess every aspect of an individual’s personality and aptitude. After all, it’s humans and not machines that build successful businesses.
Mercer | Mettl allows you to customize tests as per your organization’s competency requirements. However, Mercer | Mettl provides a wide variety and types of psychometric tests.
Originally published April 12 2018, Updated October 4 2021
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.
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