Five common misconceptions about psychometric tests

The most important thing about a business is the people within it. No organisation, service or product can run, sell, market and improve itself, but securing the best people to do this can be a significant cost. As psychometric testing is an additional investment, it’s understandable for there to be questions about its usefulness. While not always cost effective or viable for certain roles there are many misconceptions surrounding this subject.

Analysing these Misconceptions

They come with high costs

Let’s begin at the most obvious point, the financials. It cannot be doubted that running psychometric testing requires additional investment, but it’s the return on this outlay that should be the chief consideration.

If psychometric testing can be used to reduce 100 seemingly qualified applications to 10 verified ones by highlighting the people that fit an ideal personality or aptitude level, the savings to time could be immeasurable. By refining the interview process like this, your interviewing staff member can be back attending to their usual tasks much quicker. Also, if staff retention increases as a result of an improved culture match when recruiting, fewer hires will be required to replace leaving staff.

The cost of psychometric testing should always be compared against the potential returns.

They take a lot of time

The importance of speed has already been touched on, and it would be incorrect to say it takes no time at all to host, complete and review psychometric assessments. Similar to monetary cost though, the additional time spent can reduce the overall amount put in.

They take a lot of time

In reality, many tests can be completed within 10 minutes, potentially saving you more time further down the line.

By sending out online psychometric tests before holding interviews, prospective candidates can be filtered without holding mass interviews. Computerised tests can also be completed at a time and location that suits the user and requires no presence from the assessment centre, so long as deadlines are adhered to. Many tests can be completed within 10 minutes and garner simple results, but more in-depth and multi-staged ones are available to businesses with more thorough requirements.

Psychometric testing can be tailored to provide whatever speed and information is required.

How much time & money you invest is your decision

They are not reliable

After concerns about the required investment in terms of time and finance, the validity and practicality of psychometric instruments are often questioned. While some believe that you can tell all you need to know about a person in an interview and even have an admirable track record to back this up, well-targeted tests can provide invaluable, unbiased information.

Achieving insights into an individual’s mindset, whether building a team or evaluating an existing one, can make recruitment a more scientific process. As for their validity, the British Psychological Society verify that every certified psychometric test running in the UK is an accurate tool. If a test wasn’t effective, the BPS would not permit it.

Most of the companies that use psychometric assessments see a measurable uplift in employee retention.

Simon Kerevan, Iceberg Consulting

They overrule the traditional hiring process

They don’t. It’s easy to see why a hiring manager could feel threatened by bringing in an assessment, but psychometric tests are there to enhance decision making, not bypass it. They are designed to work in tandem with interviewers and their gut instinct, not against them.

The effective use of psychometric testing can provide extra information and an unwavering constant throughout recruitment processes. On top of this, tests can be anonymised to ensure employers look at candidates objectively, rather than looking out for the people whose CV they liked. Assessments should add more information and confidence to the recruitment process without taking away any authority or control.

Some believe that psychometric tests take away the decision making person.

Patrick Bell, Genesis Associates

They are easy to cheat or con

Suspicious minds often raise the best points. It’s a valid question: can a person genuinely answer personality questions when they know they’re being tested? If they care about their happiness and career, they should think twice before lying, as they will likely end up in an unfulfilling position and soon be found out.

In terms of actual cheating, online tests combat plagiarism and can easily randomise the questions – reducing the similarity between tests in case of a candidate having carried out a previous examination. Meanwhile, offline tests should be held in examination conditions, the reliability of which falls on the business holding the assessment. Whether it’s an aptitude or personality test, cheating is not in the interest of candidates – but it’s not simple either.

Even if there is a pass boundary, there’s no sure fire method to passing psychometric tests.

Psychometric tests don’t simply make things up or require a qualified psychologist to decipher. They can help businesses make better, enduring decisions about people at a faster speed.

Want to make your recruitment a scientific process?

Contact our team below

  • Send