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Why use Psychometric Testing in Recruitment?

Posted in Employers on Sep 25, 2016 by Rejuvenate Productions

Recruitment can often be a timely and costly process, so once a new recruit has entered your company, improved staff retention is always a high priority.


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There are many elements involved in the recruitment process and then the hiring decision. If you are not already making use of psychometric tests as part of your recruitment strategy, they could be worth thinking about.



What are Psychometric Tests?

Psychometric tests are a standard and scientific method used to measure mental capabilities and behavioural style.

Depending on the nature of your company and the role you are recruiting for, you might put more emphasis on one area of psychometric testing over another but generally, psychometric tests measure:

  • Ability / Aptitude
  • Personality / Behaviours

Within these tests, you will get an idea of your candidate’s abilities, of how they work in given situations, what their strengths and weaknesses are and how they relate to other team members. Rather than just relying on the candidate’s appearance, exam results or previous experience, you can get a picture of whether a person will thrive within your company.

We are not saying that hiring decisions should not solely be based on the results of psychometric tests but for many companies who have included them as part of their recruitment process, find they get a more objective picture of their candidates rather than relying on their own personal views.


Psychometric tests are not just for large corporations

It can often be thought that psychometric testing is expensive and only large companies can afford to use them as part of the recruitment process. Today there are lots of types of psychometric testing companies and they are easily accessible for the smallest of companies. Whilst it is important to make sure candidates are being tested for the right traits, SME’s may find them useful to give a more general idea of candidates’ abilities and personality.


Psychometric tests provide an objective view

Asking the right interview questions are crucial to any company’s recruitment strategy but if you are in charge of recruitment, you’ll know that interviews don’t always go according to plan. Some candidates could be absolutely perfect for your job but they just don’t interview well.

On the other side of the coin, some candidates could have lots of confidence or be well versed in the art of interviews and will offer a whole range of well rehearsed answers to your questions. Does this necessarily mean that person is the best fit for your vacancies?

Recruitment is all about filling your vacancies with the right people for the job and, on their own, interviews do not measure capability. Psychometric testing gives you a benchmark where you can compare results against other candidates who have applied and also previous candidates who might be thriving within your company.


Psychometric testing can be used at any stage

A further advantage to psychometric testing for employers is that they can be slotted in at any time during the application process. Depending on the size and nature of your company, they can be used right at the beginning or they can be used at assessment centres.

For smaller companies, you may decide to include them between first stage and second stage interviews. This can then help you to create further probing questions to ask your shortlisted candidates at the final stage of interviews.

One of the major benefits of psychometric testing is once the person is hired into the company. You will have prior knowledge of what motivates your new employee and how to best manage them. It can also help you to identify any training and development needs right from the beginning.


Psychometric tests can protect and develop your team culture

Recruitment is not just about recruiting people who have demonstrated they can do the job. Whilst this is obviously a key requirement, you also need to know how well the candidate will fit in with the rest of the team already working for you and how they will operate within your company’s culture. Someone who prefers to work alone in a quiet atmosphere, for example, is not going to feel fulfilled or work to their full potential if your company thrives in a fast moving environment which relies heavily on teamwork.

Psychometric testing becomes an advantage for employers because, in theory, the test results will guide you in employing the right person for the job – someone who is going to feel challenged and fulfilled whilst also thriving in your company’s culture, whatever type of culture that may be.


Psychometric testing is not a faultless system

Although psychometric testing is a scientific process, it is not a faultless system so here are some points to bear in mind.

As a recruiter or employer, you need to be able to utilise psychometric properly and be fully aware of what particular tests are showing you. The tests must be suitable for your company, otherwise the results you get will be interpreted incorrectly and you will end up with the wrong people in the wrong jobs.

Where possible, allow for nerves from your candidates. Depending on the type of company you are, your job might be the dream job for some of your applicants and their nerves could be getting in the way of them completing tests quickly and efficiently. Psychometric testing is indeed scientific and standardised – but human beings are human beings.


The key to getting the most out of psychometric testing and making sure that there are advantages for you as an employer is to make sure you don’t rely solely on that one method. Psychometric testing can be a very valuable part of your recruitment strategy when utilised to complement more traditional methods of recruitment.


At Key Appointments we have experience of using a variety of psychometric assessments. If you are interested in finding out more and would like advice on what type of tests may be suitable for your company, please contact us on 0844 5044666 or email info@key-appointments.co.uk.


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