Saturday 17 April 2021
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Why employers use psychometric testing in recruitment


Some prospective employees are alarmed or concerned when they hear that psychometric testing may be part of the recruitment process. However, recruitment and human resource (HR) specialist companies know that testing of this type can provide incredibly useful information about a candidate that is not otherwise evident in an interview.

What is psychometric testing?

Psychometric testing is essentially a way of ‘measuring the mind’. Psychometric testing can provide valuable information about an individual’s personality and behavioural traits. This information is very hard to get from a traditional interview and can reveal how well a candidate will fit with a role, and the company.

While there is conjecture about the real value of psychometric testing, employers who have used it successfully attest that it gives a useful overview of a person’s character, style of working, strengths and weaknesses. It’s also worth noting that testing of this type is almost never done without other ways of assessing a candidate’s suitability.

For employers, psychometric testing can bring desirable advantages. Not only can this type of testing help you to ascertain the future performance of an applicant, it can also assist with the retention of employees and facilitate positive employment decisions.

What information and insight does psychometric testing give an employer?

There are many different attributes that can be evaluated via psychometric testing. As well as reasoning skills and intelligence, psychometric testing can also give relevant information about a candidate’s motivation and personality. One of the major benefits of psychometric testing is that it provides informed data and can remove the gut instinct and initial impressions that influence performance in a traditional interview.

In some ways, psychometric testing provides more scientific information and objectivity that can be applied to the appointment process. Because all candidates are given the same standardised test, this type of testing can also be a more fair and accurate way of measuring a person’s compatibility with a role.

At what point of the process is this testing used?

Different employers use psychometric testing at different stages of the recruitment process. Some opt to test applicants who have made it through one or more previous rounds, while others prefer to use psychometric testing as a vehicle for screening significant amounts of candidates early in the process. The results of the testing can help with the decisions necessary to reduce the large number of applicants who may have applied.

Used in this way, psychometric testing can reduce and support the workload of the manager. Immediately, psychometric testing can illuminate a reduced number of candidates who have the skills, values and motivations sought for the role.

Above all else, psychometric testing can help to reveal the traits and qualities of a person that are not often evident in other components of the recruitment process. While education and qualifications definitely matter and are important, they will not always give a good basis for performing the role. More importantly, a timely assessment of personal skills and attributes can reveal so much more about a person’s suitability and aptitude for a role.

For more information about testing processes in recruitment and HR, visit