What is Psychometric Testing ?

Talent Assesment Dec 21, 2022

Psychometric assessment is a branch of applied psychology that seeks to identify individual behaviour, personality characteristics, aptitude, and intelligence. Unlike traditional methods of identifying talent, psychometric testing does not rely solely on individuals’ achievements, experience and expertise. It aims to objectively assess elements like competencies, prowess, and character traits that are relevant in the workplace.

A test must be standardised, reliable, and valid to be referred to as a "psychometric test." This guarantees the test's accuracy and measurement of the intended outcomes by excluding the influence of any bias in the assessment.

There are 2 types of psychometric assessments -

Aptitude Tests

Cognitive or aptitude tests measure an individual’s cognitive abilities. Aptitude tests are designed to ascertain an individual's level of competence in a specific skill or subject of knowledge. They evaluate one’s capability to complete tasks and assess their situation-specific responses in the workplace.

The idea that underpins the use of cognitive measures is that mental aptitude can be universally applied across a wide range of occupations, so if a person is capable of solving one type of problem, they are probably also adept at solving other kinds of problems.

Aptitude tests generally include -

  • Numerical Reasoning Tests,
  • Verbal Reasoning Tests,
  • Logical and Abstract Reasoning Tests,
  • Inductive and Deductive Reasoning Tests,
  • Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests, and
  • Situational Judgment Tests

A candidate's aptitude for problem-solving, logical thinking, and the capacity to interpret and analyze a variety of data are all indicated by psychometric testing, which offers a comprehensive picture of the applicant.

Personality Assessments

Ever wondered why certain people seem to be the ‘right’ people for a certain  job?

An individual’s traits often influence their performance at work, productivity, and suitability for certain job positions - and these personality traits can be measured.

Personality assessments delve into your interests, motivations, behaviors, and value systems. Unlike aptitude tests, personality assessments do not have a right or wrong answer. The responses of a candidate provide organizations with a better understanding of their personality traits and aid in determining how well they align with the job requirements, organizational values, and culture.

As Forbes states, when our work aligns with how we naturally behave and think, we usually do better - and assessments that can identify the said alignment can be extremely useful in the hiring process.

Personality assessments differ based on the characteristics and traits they claim to measure. A good personality assessment is one which has good psychometric properties of reliability and validity.

Some examples of psychometric personality profilers widely used in organizations are -

  • Big Five Personality Test
  • DISC Assessment
  • Situational Judgement Tests
  • Caliper Profile
  • HEXACO Personality Test

Today, a number of organizations create their own, scientifically sound personality tests based on a thorough examination of their job demands and requirements.

Are Psychometric Tests Restricted to Initial Hiring Process?

Absolutely not!

Psychometric assessments aid organizations in a number of functional areas. A study conducted by Willis Towers Watson in 2016 on the State of Psychometric Assessments in India identified 4 areas psychometric tests can be put to use -

Recruitment and Selection

As we saw, psychometric tests aid in selecting the right talent for your job roles. Aptitude and personality tests ensure that the quality of hire is top-notch, and would fit a certain job role perfectly.

Talent Assessment and Development

Psychometrics help organizations understand and identify desired behavioral traits and individual development gaps. When assessing existing employees' performance and competencies, well-validated and reliable psychometric tools are useful and assist managers in identifying any areas that still require improvement.

High Potential Assessment and Development

Organizations are becoming more aware of the need to not just to recognize high-potential employees, but also to support them through targeted development initiatives. Psychometric assessments identify key issues that must be addressed in order to maximize employee potential, keep them engaged, and support their advancement within the company.

Succession Planning

Succession planning is defined by SHRM as “the process of identifying long-range organizational human capital needs and cultivating a supply of internal talent to meet those future needs.” Psychometrics play a significant role in assessing leadership potential by taking a holistic and comprehensive competency-based approach. They  help by measuring leadership traits, cognition, behavioral styles, personality traits, and emotional quotient of potential successors.

The importance of psychometric tests in selecting the best talent for your organization cannot be overstated. Organizations should take extra care to adopt psychometric tools that are both relevant to job requirements and scientifically valid and reliable.

Take action right away if you are still struggling to catch up in the psychometric race. Perspect AI can help you enhance your recruitment and selection process by implementing advanced psychometric tools and processes - Book a demo right now!


Sharanya Mosalakanti

Sharanya is a People Science Associate at PerspectAI. HR Tech and the future of AI intrigue her, and she loves reading up! On other days, you can find her enjoying music gigs or concerts.

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