Simply put, psychometric tests combine the science of personality assessment and cognition testing to find the best-fit candidates for the job in an organization.
While personality assessment enables recruiters and hiring managers to identify the candidate's strengths and weaknesses, cognitive testing predicts their judgment, reasoning, and critical thinking abilities. For some recruiters, different types of psychometric tests play a vital role in the initial assessment of potential candidates.
Such tests are quick to implement and, with proper planning, can help filter ideal candidates from a large pool of applicants, making it much easier to arrange for further pre-employment assessments and structured interviews.
How different types of psychometric tests are beneficial in hiring
Picture this. You have just hired a candidate who seems ideal for the job. They possess the requisite experience and qualifications, aced the skill assessment tests you conducted during the recruitment process, and wowed everyone during the interview.
But within a week of them starting, you hear complaints from their team members. Your company is known for an easygoing, informal communication style, but the new candidate uses an overtly formal tone and constantly follows up on every little thing.
Clearly, personal attributes and behavioral styles are as important for job success as hard skills, which is why more and more companies are including psychometric tests in the hiring process. That is where psychometric tests come in handy.
They help streamline recruitment, get quality candidates on board, and reduce attrition by ensuring every employee hired possesses the right on-the-job skills and has the right personality and behavior to be a part of the company.
Moving away from "gut feelings" while hiring
Even though experienced recruiters can get a good understanding of applicants through "gut feeling" during interviews, unconscious bias can creep in and make both telephonic and face-to-face interviews subjective.
Psychometric testing is based on psychological research and offers an objective, data-driven approach for measuring skills, behaviors, and aptitudes. Psychometric tests add value to the hiring process and improve the time spent interviewing candidates unsuitable for the job.
If you are interested in introducing psychometric testing in recruitment, read on to learn more about the different types of psychometric tests and how to choose the right one for you:
Types of psychometric testing: The ultimate classification
Psychometric tests generally measure competence aspects beyond degrees, direct job experience, or hard skills such as coding or designing. There are two main ways to classify psychometric tests.
The first is by aptitude, behavior, emotional intelligence, or personality. Let us take a closer look:
1. Aptitude test
This type of test measures an individual's cognitive abilities, typically by testing whether or not they can reach a specific minimum score. Examples of examples of psychometrics include:
- Numerical, testing how quickly the candidate can process numbers
- Inductive, using graphic sequences to test how methodically the candidate thinks
- Verbal, testing verbal and comprehension skills based on a given written text
- Logic, testing logical reasoning through patterns, numbers, or other types of input
- Diagrammatic, testing the candidate's ability to solve problems based on diagram representations
- Error checking, testing how quickly and efficiently the candidate can spot errors in a given piece of information
2. Behavior test
Psychometric behavior tests predict how a candidate might react in various workplace scenarios, such as handling team conflict or receiving feedback, thus gauging their potential for development within the team and whether they are a good cultural fit.
3. Emotional intelligence test
Candidates with high emotional intelligence are able to recognize and control the outcome of their own emotions while also responding better to the emotions of their coworkers. High EQ is also a good indicator of managerial and leadership abilities, making it an essential metric for recruiters.
4. Personality test
This type of test analyzes a person's attributes and traits and how those might affect their work performance and attitudes. Similar to the behavior test, psychometric personality tests give the recruiter an idea of how well a candidate will fit into the organization while illustrating the candidate's strengths and weaknesses more specifically.
Another way to classify psychometric tests would be by aptitude, attitude, and achievement.
Aptitude tests measure a candidate's capacity to gather knowledge and apply it. Psychometric aptitude tests could cover general aptitude, numerical, verbal, and logical reasoning.
Attitude refers to how a person thinks and how well they can understand and relate to others. Ideally, an organization would want employees who share work-related perspectives and are able to see other points of view without getting too confrontational. Psychometric tests focusing on attitude will help attract people who can get along together.
Psychometric tests generally do not focus on parameters such as degrees. Still, specific tests might help to understand someone's depth of knowledge based on the formal education and training they have had.
Such tests generally measure a candidate's knowledge against the industry standard for that designation or job type. The three main types of psychometric achievement tests are:
- Single survey which focuses on a single area of expertise.
- Diagnostic comprehensively assesses the candidate's achievements from beginner-level knowledge to deep expertise.
- Survey battery, which focuses on determining beginner-level knowledge, is ideal for recruiting those in junior roles.
Top examples of psychometric tests
There are hundreds of tests to choose from, each with its unique features and target test group. Some, however, are relied on universally because of how consistently accurate they are. Some consequential psychometric test types include:
1. Myers-Briggs personality test
Ever seen people describe themselves as INTP (The Visionary) or ENTJ (The Thinker)? Those are just two of the sixteen personality types described by the famous Myers-Briggs tests, designed by the mother-daughter duo Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers and based on Carl Jung's personality research.
The MBTI test diagnoses how an individual perceives what is around them based on four dichotomies - sensing vs. intuition, thinking vs. feeling, introversion vs. extroversion, and judging vs. perceiving.
2. Caliper test
The Caliper Profile is another test used by hundreds of major companies worldwide. It analyses 25+ personality traits through a two-hour test that includes 150 questions, thus giving employers a truly in-depth look at their potential employees' personalities.
3. Sixteen Personality factor questionnaire
This is a test developed by Raymond B Cattell to classify individuals into one of 16 normal ranged personalities. It consists of 170 situational questions and is commonly used by companies to judge how individuals will make their decisions on the job.
4. Employee Personality Profile (EPP)
This is used to gauge an individual's suitability for a role based on how they interact with various elements in the work environment and their work style. It takes 15 minutes to complete and consists of 140 questions that assess twelve personality traits.
5. Occupational tests
Such psychometric personality tests measure a candidate's suitability for a role by exploring values, interests, and behaviors.
For example, there are many self-report questionnaires where candidates are asked to indicate their agreement levels on a 1-7 Likert scale (where 1 stands for "disagree completely" and 7 stands for "agree completely") across a set number of questions.
These tests involve a series of statements that candidates may choose from to rate their responses to evaluate questions.
DiSC is a personal assessment tool that stands for (D)ominance, (i)nfluence, (S)teadiness, and (C)onscientiousness. This test is based on a theory originally propounded by William Moulton Marston and developed into an assessment by Walter Clarke.
DiSC assesses individuals based on four key traits, namely dominance, inducement, submission, and compliance, and thus gives recruiters an idea of the person's temperament and what their interpersonal relations at work will look like.
Meet the Adaface Psychometry Profiling System
If, as a recruiter or hiring manager, you are unclear about why and which psychometric tools would be most suitable for use in your industry, then please be assured it is completely normal.
You see - psychometric testing can be a tedious process, especially if you think about having candidates physically attend your office to give the test using a pen and paper. But it does not have to be like that.
Leveraging adaptive technology, psychometric testing can happen online. The Adaface Psychometry Profiling System makes use of the Big Five Model (BFM) that describes a person based on their position on the five broad personality factors - extraversion, openness, neuroticism, conscientiousness, and agreeableness.
Adaface augmented BFM with cognitive skill indicators to create a holistic view that enables you to identify critical job-relevant outcomes in the candidates, such as reasoning ability, decision-making processes, and management skills.
Adaface also gives you access to detailed reports to better understand where the candidate lies between the extremes for each personality trait and explain the behavioral, motivational, and inclination patterns.
Over to you
In short, recruiters in any industry have a variety of tests to pick from when it comes to hiring the right personality type. And if you thought that they were some sort of fad, psychometric tests have been around since the early twentieth century, so you can rely on them to give you meaningful results.
It goes without saying: psychometric tests are just one element in the candidate assessment, and you should pick the person who stands out on all fronts. Happy hiring!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What are psychometric tests?
Psychometric tests are basically online assessments conducted after the resume screening process to help find the best-fit candidates for the job in an organization by evaluating their performance in terms of abilities, personality traits, attitudes, and knowledge.
2. Why should one use psychometric tests for hiring?
Psychometric tests combine personality assessments and aptitude tests, amplifying the accuracy of your applicant screening. Plus, psychometric tests are 51% more effective as a selection process compared to other conventional/traditional personality tests.