Psychometric tools measure aspects of cognitive ability, behavioural style and personality, which may be difficult to pick up solely from a face-to-face sit-down. During interviews, employers are often faced with nerves, time constraints and structured HR questions that don’t always paint an accurate or full picture of whether or not a candidate will suit a role.
By delving deeper into areas such as how well a person communicates, how quickly they process new information and how well they lead, employers have a lot more to work with when it comes to decision making. Let’s take a look at some of the things psychometric assessments measure in more detail.
Psychometric aptitude testing – what does it measure?
As we’ve discovered, aptitude tests measure an applicant’s cognitive abilities. Different tests can explore different areas, such as how a person responds to challenges within written extracts (verbal reasoning), how well and how quickly they deal in numbers (numerical) or how methodical their thinking is (diagrammatic and logical testing).
Personality and behaviour testing – what does it measure?
These types of tests measure the potential for leadership, how well an individual might work under pressure or as part of a team, and likely motivators in the workplace.
These tests are not just helpful when it comes to candidate selection, but can help individuals to be more successful once in the role. For example, they can indicate how well a certain candidate adapts their communication style when interfacing with specific colleagues.
Knowing a future employee’s behaviour profile can also be useful in team-building, where they can be matched with certain team members based on scoring. Such tactics ensure teams the development of teams that work well together, which in turn can serve to strengthen company culture.
How psychometric tests are calculated and scored?
Psychometric tools use what we refer to as standardised scoring, which leads to much easier and more straightforward comparisons among candidates. In other words, an individual’s overall test score will be compared to a comparison group – one that’s either representative of the combined candidate group or the current post holder.
Let’s break this down a little more. An individual’s overall score is known as a ‘raw score’. So, if they answered six questions out of ten correctly, their raw score is 6/10. However, this isn’t very useful to an employer. Why? Because it doesn’t tell them how good the score is, or how well that individual performed against others.
To turn the raw score into what’s known as a comparison score, each score will be given a ranking, or, ‘percentile’. This then shows how a candidate has performed in relation to the rest of a group. Essentially, this way of scoring allows employers to see how well someone has performed amongst those with similar abilities, enabling a more seamless shortlisting process.
When it comes to behaviour and personality assessments, while there are technically no right or wrong answers, an employer is able to review if a candidate’s working style will fit with that of the business, which is hugely important. It’s important to note that test creators do not set benchmarks. Organisations do so, which means they have complete control over ‘what good looks like’, ensuring they filter out the right people for the job.
All in all, psychometric testing can promise a much more reliable and consistent recruitment model when used alongside the traditional interview format, making for more candidate selection, decreased staff turnover and earlier identification of the future leaders in your business.
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