Psychometric Assessment

Ever heard of blind hiring? This term was coined to establish a zero-bias hiring process where candidates with the right skill, qualifications, and aptitude are chosen for open positions in an organization. While all organizations would like to believe that they practice blind hiring, the truth is that hiring biases still run rampant at each stage of hiring. A psychometric assessment test plays a crucial role in eliminating hiring biases. How? Read on to learn all about psychometric tests, why they are needed, and how they improve hiring outcomes. 

What are Psychometric Tests?

Let’s dive right into the topic – What is a psychometric assessment test? Psychometric tests are assessment tools that are used to objectively measure an individual’s personality traits, aptitude, behavioral style, abilities, and intelligence. A psychometric test is widely used in career guidance and employment to match a person’s abilities and personality to a suitable career or role. 

A few statistics that emphasize the importance of blind hiring – 

Between 85% to 97% of hiring managers rely on intuition while hiring.

42% of hiring professionals say hiring bias is the main reason interviews fail. 

Top MNCs like HSBC, Deloitte, Google, and BBC are practicing blind hiring for better outcomes. 

Psychometric assessment combines personality tests and aptitude tests. Evaluation of personality and behavioral traits gives a complete picture of the candidate’s skills and capabilities. Psychometry is a scientific field concerned with the theory and techniques of testing personality traits and cognitive ability through various assessments, measurements, and models. Psychometric tests are used in several fields, such as education, psychology, and recruitment, for assessing cognitive ability, personal traits, and mental health status. 

Psychometric assessments are scientifically designed instruments that are designed to evaluate an individual’s psychological characteristics. Psychometric tests for hiring employ various methods, including tests, questionnaires, and other measurement techniques, to gather data about an individual’s cognitive and emotional capabilities. For best hiring decisions, psychometric tests have to be used in combination with other hiring evaluations. 

Psychometric tests for hiring are widely used to evaluate skills and abilities that cannot be assessed during an interview or through candidate’s cover letters and resumes. For example, evaluating the potential hire’s integrity is not possible through conventional hiring methods like interviews or screening through resumes. The 3 main parts of psychometric tests are – 

  1. Cognitive ability – This test evaluates the intelligence, aptitude, and skills of potential hires.
  2. Mental health status – This test detects potential disorders or conditions.
  3. Personal traits – This test evaluates behavior, attitudes, values, and interests.

What to expect when taking a psychometric assessment test? Any type of psychometric test will require you to answer multiple-choice questions within a fixed time limit. The length of the test and the time provision will vary depending on the test type and provider. These tests are an assessment of mental agility, so you will need to be prepared to answer the questions rapidly without compromising accuracy. 

The important thing to bear in mind while taking the test is that you should focus on answering the questions rapidly, but not too much in a rush to finish the test. Some tests use adaptive algorithms that adjust to the difficulty based on previous answers. The level of difficulty of psychometric tests will vary depending on the position you are applying for. Gaining familiarity with the type and format of questions helps take up psychometric tests easily.

Why Do You Need Psychometric Tests?

Hiring teams need to handle an extremely high number of applications for any one role. Conventional hiring methods are not capable of scaling up to such high volumes of applications. Psychometric tests are a great tool to shortlist the applicant pool. There is a strong correlation between test scores and job performance. If you score highly on a psychometric test, the chances of performing well in the job are correspondingly high. 

Psychometric tests have proven to be effective in recruitment and education domains. They have been integrated into pre-employment assessments owing to their effectiveness in the hiring process. These tests enable employers to siphon out the top 5-10% of candidates, who have displayed that they possess key transferable skills. The use of these evaluations accelerates the hiring process and provides a logical candidate shortlist that is of manageable length and reduces HR costs. 

An online psychometric test is considered a reliable indicator of candidate potential and suitability. There is a strong correlation between a high score and subsequent high-quality performance in the role that has been identified. Verbal and numerical reasoning tests are most popular among employers, as they test the comprehension and arithmetic skills of candidates. The tests of accuracy under pressure indicate as to how candidates will cope in a demanding role. 

Psychometric tests bring objectivity back into the recruitment process and prepare the hiring team to handle any surprises. Psychometric evaluations allow the hiring team to make data-driven hiring decisions. A psychometrics assessment allows the hiring team to measure things that you couldn’t otherwise detect. A psychometric assessment also allows the recruitment team to compare several candidates simultaneously. 

What do Psychometric Tests Measure?

Psychometric tests can measure a wider variety of skills, aptitudes, and traits, like the ones mentioned above. The skills/traits that these tests can measure can be categorized into cognitive abilities and personal characteristics. Taking a psychometric test online can provide deeper insights into the personality and behavior traits of potential hires. Let us look into each of these categories –

Cognitive abilities – The cognitive abilities of candidates help measure the intelligence, aptitude, and skills of potential hires. 

Intelligence – Psychometric tests can measure intelligence in several forms: logical reasoning, spatial thinking, mechanical reasoning, emotional and social intelligence, introspection, and more. 

Aptitude – Psychometric assessments allow the hiring teams to evaluate the capabilities of candidates and their ability to learn new skills. 

Skills – You can also assess specific requirements that are strictly related to the job, and related experience and knowledge. Broader skills such as communication and teamwork can be evaluated in these evaluations. 

Personal traits – Psychometric tests also help measure personality traits, behavior, and motivation. The attitude, behavior, values, and motivation factors of potential hires are evaluated here. 

Attitudes – You can evaluate the attitude of the candidate towards other people, new and unfamiliar situations, and work challenges. 

Behavior – Personality evaluations help evaluate and predict the behavior of the candidate under specific circumstances that are encountered in the role for which they are being considered. 

Values – Values related to work culture are evaluated here. Measurement of these values informs a person’s attitude and behavior at work and in general. 

Motivation – Different people have different motivators. These motivations could be around their work choices or willingness to excel. 

In addition to the above, psychometric tests can be used in a medical context to assess someone’s mental health status. Personality tests cannot be used as a standalone assessment tool, but rather be used as part of a carefully defined strategy that considers company culture, team cohesion, and diversity.

Types of Psychometric Assessments

The main types of psychometric tests are broadly categorized into ability tests and personality questionnaires. The most common types of psychometric tests that hiring teams use are numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning. Personality tests explore your interests, values, and motivations, and help analyze how your character fits with the role and organization. 

Aptitude tests on the other hand assess the reasoning or cognitive ability to determine if you have the right skill set for the role. Let us delve deeper into each type of psychometric assessment.

Numerical reasoning

Numerical reasoning tests demonstrate the candidate’s ability to work with numbers quickly and accurately. The questions in numerical reasoning do not test high-level ability, but your capacity to use simple mathematical concepts to analyze data and draw conclusions. Numerical reasoning evaluates your knowledge of ratios, percentages, number sequences, data interpretation, currency conversion, and financial analysis. 

Mechanical reasoning

Mechanical reasoning tests challenge your understanding and application of mechanical concepts. You need to deduce the elements at work in a particular scenario and answer directly related questions. These questions are usually specific to the sector, they require an element of background knowledge and experience. Common topics that are included in mechanical reasoning evaluations are forces, energy, electrics, and gears. 

Logical reasoning

The logical reasoning evaluation is made up of non-verbal reasoning tests that assess your ability to interpret shapes, numbers, and patterns. One common type of questioning is to identify the next figure in the sequence from a selection of possibilities. These tests commonly include elements from diagrammatic and numerical reasoning assessments. 

Verbal reasoning

These tests evaluate the comprehension and interpretation of skills through written passages. A short text passage is provided for review and candidates are then asked questions relating to its content. The candidate is typically presented with a series of statements that make certain inferences that the candidate is required to deduce. A set of “true”, “false” or “Cannot Say” options are presented to the candidate to choose the response from. 

Diagrammatic Reasoning

Diagrammatic tests involve the analysis of sequences of shapes and patterns that test pure logical reasoning. Candidates will have to identify the rule that connects the shapes and patterns to identify the next element from a provided selection or to correctly apply the rule to a new scenario. 

Abstract reasoning

These tests measure the ability to deduce the relationships between shapes and within patterns. They do not involve numerical or verbal analysis, they rather test logical and lateral thinking capabilities, along with your accuracy and speed. 

Spatial reasoning

The spatial reasoning or awareness test is used to evaluate the ability to identify patterns, visualize movements, and mentally manipulate 2D or 3D objects. Common questions in spatial reasoning include identifying which image is a rotation of a given shape, and which corresponds to a certain 3D image. 

Situational judgment awareness

Situational judgment tests are used to assess the approach towards different situations that arise in the workplace. Your response to a series of hypothetical scenarios at work helps employers judge whether your behavior and attitude align with the company’s expectations and ethos. 

How Accurate are Psychometric Tests?

The answer to this question in short is – it is subjective. Psychometric assessment tests can be pretty accurate when qualified professionals design and administer the tests. The best psychometric test for any role is the one that is aligned with the skill and capability requirements of the role. It is important to use proper tests for the role and provide applicants with enough context. This way you increase the chances of getting honest answers and ensuring a positive candidate experience. 

Psychometric tests are not 100% accurate and they aren’t meant to be that way. Psychometric assessment tests are not intended to be 100% accurate, they are rather an indicator of the alignment of the candidate for the role for which they are being considered. They are not a means to predict future job performance as they are related to overarching qualities and abilities, rather than to specific skills and domains of expertise. These tests must be considered as a comprehensive approach to hiring, together with structured interviews and other skill assessments. 

Psychometric tests must inform the decision-making process, not replace it! For example, if someone is highly conscientious, extraverted, and creative, this does not necessarily mean that they’re a good fit for the role of a marketing director. While the psychometric tests provide additional data and help hiring teams better grasp the candidate’s strengths, they are only as good as the information you feed them with, by way of answers provided by candidates. 

Another point to be considered is that candidates could influence the results in their favor. For instance, candidates could provide answers in line with what they believe you’d expect to see. This is especially true for personality tests. For highly competitive tests, candidates will probably come prepared and try to paint a more favorable picture of themselves, especially for personality tests. 

The results of cognitive tests however are relatively difficult to influence, but with the right training and practice, applicants could still perform better than they would otherwise. This is not a bad thing, but someone who is highly motivated and driven to succeed would demonstrate the same level of determination to do well in the job. This is the case with candidate resumes as well, 85% of the recruiters agree that candidates exaggerate their skills and competencies on their resume.

Psychometric Assessment Methods

The assessment methods in psychometric tests can be categorized into 3 categories – Observational methods, projective techniques, and personality inventories. 

Observation method This type of assessment leans towards watching what people do. This is a research method carried out in psychology. There are different types of observational methods, which include controlled observations, naturalistic observations, and participant observations. In controlled observations, the researcher decides where the observation will take place, at what time, and in what circumstances. The observation is carried out via standardized procedures. 

Naturalistic observation involves observing the spontaneous behavior of participants in their natural surroundings. The researcher simply records what they see in the way they can. Participant observation is a variant of the natural observation method where the researcher joins in and becomes a part of the group they are studying to get deeper insight into their lives. 

Projective Technique

This includes personality assessments that offer responses to ambiguous scenes, words, or images. The most commonly followed projective assessment is the Rorschach inkblot test, which involves using inkblots to analyze a person’s personality and emotional functioning. This test was originally developed as a tool to help diagnose schizophrenia. 

Personality inventories

These are self-assessment tools that career counselors and hiring managers can use to reveal the personality types of participants. These tests provide information about social traits, motivations, strengths, weaknesses, and attitudes. Several career experts believe that these factors play an important role in job and career success and satisfaction. 

Popular types of personality tests include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, The Caliper Profile, The Predictive Index, and The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire. 

Advantages of Psychometric Tests

Psychometric tests have several advantages that make them excellent hiring tools. Let us take a look at the main advantages of including a psychometric assessment in the hiring process. 

1- Enables informed hiring decisions –

A hiring process that is based on data-driven hiring decisions is a solid one that ensures that the hired candidate is a perfect fit in terms of skills, competencies, and aptitude. Psychometric tests can help you complete the picture you have of each candidate with holistic data, 

2- Accelerates the hiring process –

Psychometric tests weed out candidates that do not fit the role quickly and efficiently. Administering the proper tests help hiring teams instantly see whether someone has the right set of cognitive abilities and personality traits for the role. These tests let you optimize resources by focusing only on your best candidates and shortening the time-to-hire. 

3- Provides a clear overview of each candidate’s capabilities –

The results of psychometric tests provide in-depth information on each applicant’s performance potential, cognitive abilities, and personality. Psychometric tests help you analyze each applicant’s profile to see how someone would fit in a role.

4- Allows hiring teams to measure things that couldn’t be detected otherwise-

Conventional evaluations are not capable of detecting the cognitive ability and personality traits of candidates. When the right set of psychometric tests are used as part of the hiring strategy, the understanding of each applicant’s capabilities can be drastically improved. 

5- Lets you compare multiple candidates at a glance –

Psychometric tests let you analyze multiple candidate profiles at once and compare them. These tests allow you to gather large volumes of data and see how everyone scores for various traits and cognitive skills for detecting the best candidates and disqualifying the others. 

6- Promotes diversity and inclusivity –

Using psychometric tests helps reduce the extent to which your instincts influence the hiring decision. These tests allow you to objectively assess candidates and hire a diverse workforce from all paths of life.

Emerging Trends in Psychometric Testing

Before signing off, let us look at futuristic trends of psychometric tests and their potential impact on the hiring process, employee engagement, and other aspects of hiring. 

Increased integration with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning – One of the groundbreaking new developments in the field of psychometric assessments is the increased integration of AI and Machine learning.

Improved customization and personalization – Psychometric tests are expected to witness a significant surge in the trend towards customization and personalization. 

Better accessibility and user-friendliness – Psychometric assessments are known for being complex and hard to utilize. Advancements in technology can help create more user-friendly and accessible tools. 

Key Takeaways

The psychometric assessment market has witnessed substantial growth in recent years, owing to an increasing number of hiring managers looking to eliminate the bias from the hiring process. A survey by the Times of India reveals that psychometric assessment tests have enabled recruiters and managers to evaluate the capacity of a candidate and determine if the candidate is perfectly suited for the role.

A pre-employment assessment tool like Skillrobo provides psychometric tests for various roles across industries. This AI-powered candidate assessment platform simplifies psychometric assessments greatly. Make the right decision when it comes to choosing the psychometric assessment test. Choose Skillrobo for a seamless hiring experience.