If you are familiar with in-house recruitment and hiring the best candidates, you'll be familiar with psychometric testing and aptitude testing. Psychometric testing is used by over 75% of the Times Top 100 companies in the UK and over 80% of Fortune 500 companies in the USA – but what is it and why is it important?
What is psychometric and aptitude testing?
A psychometric test is a useful tool HR teams and recruiters use to help to identify a potential employee's skills, knowledge and personality, to check they are the right person for the job. They're often used during screening stages, or as part of an assessment centre.
There are two main types of psychometric testing: personality tests and aptitude tests. Personality tests explore your traits and if you will be a good cultural fit with the role and organisation, providing insights into your personal emotions, behaviours and relationships.
Aptitude tests assess your reasoning or cognitive ability, determining whether you've got the right skillset for a role.
Why are psychometric tests important?
There are a number of reasons why psychometric tests are used as a pre-hiring assessment tool. Below, we list five of the key ones:
1. They are scientifically proven to help hire the best candidates
Psychometric tests can predict how successful a prospective candidate will be in their new role. Thousands of studies have concluded that psychometric and aptitude testing are very effective pre-cursory performance indicators, and hugely reduce the risk of hiring processes when used in conjunction with face-to-face interviews.
2. They massively reduce time wasting when recruiting
Many jobs garner upwards of 100 job applications per vacancy, with bigger corporations receiving as much as 250 CVs per open role. There is very rarely the time or manpower to read and evaluate each application with the detail it deserves. In this example psychometric testing can quickly identify the top percentile of candidates that should be interviewed.
This means that a lot of the filtering process can be automated, leaving more time for telephone and in-person interviews. Psychometric tests produce results where strengths and weaknesses can be assessed in advance of the interview, and as such provide a good stimulus to steer the direction of discussion at interview.
3. They are cost-effective
Psychometric tests are strong performance indicators and can help to predict whether someone would be a good fit for your job; therefore, their value for money is excellent.
Anyone in a hiring position knows that the cost of recruitment can be high, especially when the wrong hiring decision is made. Since they can help to avoid this, aptitude tests should be identified as a real money saving tool.
4. They are unbiased and help diversify a selection process
Psychometric tests are wholly unaffected by any factor other than raw intelligence and candidate potential. They are a consistent and standardised measure of ability, and do not take academic qualifications, personal history or previous work experience into account.
Candidates answer pre-determined questions that generate unambiguous results, which can be easily compared to other candidates' scores. Employers get a fuller and better-rounded impression of a candidate, including test results that disregard any influence of human bias.
5. They are easy to use
There are a large number of online providers and test writers whose job it is to make sending these tests as easy and functional as possible. Reliable, thoroughly tested and affordable tests are now available at the click of a button.
When these tests are applied correctly and used in conjunction with typical recruitment processes, they can be an invaluable tool in a successful selection or hiring process.
Are psychometric tests reliable?
Psychometric and aptitude tests are used widely in job applications and by career professionals. But can we really rely on the predictions?
Short answer: yes. Long answer: it depends how you use them. Ultimately they will help capture more data around a candidate. This will change your hiring process from becoming less weighted on experience and more on skills and cultural fit (depending on the test type).
Confidence in these tools has risen with the development of pre-employment technology software that uses AI and automation to help with decision making.
One interesting study showed that of the companies that used psychometric testing, 81% said that they expected to make more reliable and less risky decisions, compared to only 67% who said the same thing in 2010.