Psychometric testing is commonly used by recruiters and employers as a very broad-brush approach to measuring a candidate’s relevant strengths and weaknesses. The results are then used to assess the candidate’s employment suitability and company-candidate fit. These tests are widely used but can we rely on these predictions when making hiring decisions?

Psychometric testing: part of a multi-layered recruitment approach

What if the candidate is a perfect fit for the job because the test says they have the right level of skill and personality to suit the demands of the position but in reality, the candidate’s true interests and values don’t align? This is when we have people who are perfect on paper, they have the skills to do the job, but it’s not what they would really do best. To get the most out of an employee they need to be working in a job that they love, where they are inspired, challenged and feel valued. Unfortunately, most people make career decisions based on which company they should work in, rather than what career path inspires them to follow.

Psychometric testing can be a very useful tool in the recruitment process, but their results alone shouldn’t be taken as gospel. Human beings are complicated. Our interests change, our priorities change and what we look for in a job changes – constantly.  Psychometric testing can help a recruiter determine if the candidate has the right level of skill and they can also give job seekers a general sense of career direction. Where they fall down is that they give job seekers little information about their own skills and career needs and they don’t give recruiters a full picture of the candidate.

The best assessments available are the Myers Briggs Indicator and Kolbe Instinct Test which consider behaviours, attitudes, preferences, motives and values. Surely tapping into this information would give recruiters and employers a better indication on how a person would perform on the job, rather than relying on just the evidence that they’re armed with the skills to do the job? Anyone can have the skills to lead a team, but do they enjoy doing it and does it come naturally to them?

As employers, we want to get a behavioural profile of candidates which will provide us with the key information so that we can hire the right person. It is recommended to always use performance-based interviewing techniques with psychometric testing used in situations when understanding personality profiles are useful, such as testing a team to compare learning styles and different personas.

Key take-away

Many businesses don’t have huge budgets for assessments or the time required to filter and comprehend the results from multiple psychometric tests. A business typically needs to know if the person they want to hire is going to be a risk. As such, a  good performance-based interview process that compares candidates equally and measures examples of their past performance has been shown to be of greater validity to small businesses than spending a lot of money on complex candidate testing.

Need Help?

Employment Innovations outsourced HR services can provide your business with support throughout the recruitment process. From advice to hiring managers on how to structure performance-based interview questions through to an HR business partner running an end-to-end recruitment process on your behalf, our HR services can help assure that you make the right hiring decisions with confidence.  For additional resources please visit our HR knowledge base or contact us today to speak with one of our HR advisors.