Psychometric Assessments for Selection Purposes


We all like to think that we are a great judge of character, and when we make the first poor hiring decision because people ‘on the job' aren't what they seemed at the interview, this can dampen our confidence in our ability to identify who would be right for our business. Sometimes we just wish we knew a little more about our new employee.

This is where psychometric assessment becomes your best ally. Yes, if you ask your shortlisted candidates to undertake testing, often it will simply confirm your hunches, but it may also raise issues relating to how the candidate will perform in the role, how they will interact with others or even how they like to be managed. All of this invaluable information will help you make a good selection choice.

Psychometric assessments will...

  • Enhance the objectivity of the selection process
  • Standardise the selection process, therefore, putting candidates on an equal footing
  • Provide unbiased, reliable and relevant information concerning the likelihood of job success and job satisfaction
  • Improve the chances of appointing productive, high performing staff
  • Reduce selection errors, reduce staff turnover, reduce training costs, lost opportunities and stress to individuals
  • Give structured and measurable insights into an individual's likely behaviours and ability levels, probable strengths and areas where further training or initial job support can be offered. This means training can be deployed more effectively.

Extensive research has demonstrated that psychometric assessments are among the best predictors of job performance. By incorporating psychometric assessments into a selection procedure, businesses can enhance the likelihood of employing high performing staff and reduce selection errors.

Personality assessments can highlight a candidate's preferred interpersonal style, thinking style and coping style. They can accentuate a candidate's preference in terms of how they like to manage or be managed. We can also determine how individuals are likely to operate in a team situation.

Ability tests, on the other hand, consider a candidate's general reasoning capability (numerical, verbal or abstract) or their ability to critically analyse a situation (numerical, verbal), which are major factors influencing a candidate's ability to perform their role.

Different tests or assessments are used depending on the level and function of the role that the candidate is being considered for. For example, a Sales Representative may undertake an assessment focused on their sales style and what motivates them; a Factory Processor could be assessed on their ability to follow instructions; a General Manager may be assessed on their ability to critically analyse written or financial reports, manage a business strategically and to form relationships.

Every business has different positions, a distinctive culture and different requirements of their employees. Ideally, every role in the business should be assessed and an appropriate psychometric assessment should be selected.

Sharn Rayner


Sharn Rayner is the Director of human resources and organisational development consultancy - Pod Consulting.

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