Psychometric assessments: The truth behind the myths

Psychometric testing is a proven and effective tool used by recruiters to assess an applicant’s suitability for a job. These tests measure a person’s mental and emotional abilities and behavioural style. By providing insight into an applicant’s personality traits and emotional stability, psychometric tests are psychological tools that help assess whether the applicant is suitable for the job.

Psychometric assessments are not limited to the hiring process – there are multiple benefits of psychometric testing. You can use them for various purposes, including talent search, succession planning, learning and development, team building, performance management, and more.

However, despite their widespread use and success, there are still many myths about psychometric testing. In this article, we clear up the biggest misconceptions.

They say: Psychometric tests are too expensive

We say: You can’t afford not to use them

Although conducting these tests requires an initial investment, it is more than offset by the benefits they provide. The price of a bad hire is 30% of the employee’s annual income in the first year.

Psychometric assessments help ensure that suitable candidates are selected for the job and that they are adequately integrated into the organisation. The cost of hiring the wrong candidate is far greater than the cost of conducting psychometric assessments, making this a wise investment for any company.

They say: They are just fancy personality tests

We say: Choose your assessment based on science

Personality tests are often seen as fun gimmicks that have no value beyond entertaining those who participate. However, there is a big difference between a personality test and a psychometric assessment. Psychometric assessments, notably the Pearson and Hogan assessments, are based on extensive scientific research and have been proven effective by empirical data. This distinguishes them from personality tests, which have no solid scientific basis.

They say: Psychometric tests are unreliable

We say: Only work with experts

There are many different psychometric tests, all of which are scientifically based. These tests are designed to eliminate bias and provide a more accurate picture of a person’s personality. They are not just simple questions but complex psychological instruments developed by experts in the field. A psychometric test can be a valuable tool for hiring or development decisions, provided it is administered and interpreted by experts.

They say: We don’t have time to conduct psychometric tests

We say: Psychometric testing can save a lot of time in the hiring process

Psychometric assessments can be beneficial in narrowing down the pool of applicants and making quick hiring decisions. Often, these tests can be completed in a matter of minutes or hours, depending on the applicant’s skills. With online psychometrics, the process is even faster, allowing results to be evaluated and decisions to be made very quickly.

They say: You can cheat a psychometric test

We say: There are checks and balances in place

Indeed, applicants may sometimes try to manipulate the system by adjusting their answers to make them perfect for the job. However, psychometric tests are designed to see through inflated responses and identify the best applicants. Plagiarism tools ensure there is no cheating, and randomising the questions makes it difficult for candidates to tailor their answers.

They say: Psychometric tests are discriminatory

We say: The tests eliminate unconscious bias

Personality tests are not biassed toward race, colour, or gender. They are also unrelated to a person’s educational or socioeconomic background. Well-designed psychometric assessments are more objective than traditional job interviews, often influenced by the interviewer’s personal biases and worldview.

Assessments provide a level playing field for comparing and selecting applicants while minimising subjectivity and unconscious bias. The best assessments are professionally reviewed, highly scientific, statistically validated, and follow the highest psychometric standards.

They say: Psychometric tests are only suitable for corporate jobs

We say: All professions and companies can benefit from testing

Psychometric testing can help companies identify the best candidates for positions in various disciplines, levels, and industries. The tests provide assessable data on candidates’ competencies and cultural fit that can inform hiring, selection, and development processes.

Psychometric assessments are typically used for entry and mid-level positions but can also be helpful for senior and executive positions. The tests may be used for recruitment, training, promotion, or leadership development purposes in these cases.

They say: Applicants will be discouraged from jobs by tests

We say: They will perceive the hiring process to be fairer

One way to increase perceptions of fairness during the hiring process is to provide applicants with an assessment report. This report can show the extent to which the applicant’s profile matches (or does not match) the job and provide insight into their strengths and weaknesses. Using this information, they can take steps to improve their skills and increase their chances of success in the job – something they will value.

You can help prepare an applicant for the psychometric test too. Candidates must receive a clear and concise explanation of the assessment process to understand what is involved and how the results will be used. This will help them approach the task with confidence.

It is also important to explain that an assessment is not just a simple pass or fail test but a complex process that examines their work style, leadership skills, preferences, and motivation. Their problem-solving skills are also assessed. The bulk of the assessment report describes what the applicant already knows about themselves.

Searching for a high-quality psychometric test for your company?

Are you looking to hire or develop exceptional employees? Look no further than TalentSelect. Our occupational testing division offers assessments that can help you identify and develop top talent. If you’re looking to find the perfect candidate for a role, or assess the performance of your current employees, our team can give you invaluable insights.