There are many traits that make up the perfect candidate for an executive position in your company. Experience and expert knowledge are crucial, but there are other, less overt, traits which are a little more difficult to measure during the hiring process.
Aspects of a person’s skill set like personality, intelligence and attitude can be understood in a number of ways – by direct observation, via interview questions or from indirect, anecdotal reports from others. But these are all susceptible to elements of personal bias and may not give you an accurate reflection of the person you are assessing. Objectivity is crucial if you are to really understand someone and how they will perform in a role and fit into your business.
This is where psychometric tests and profiling come in – they are an effective and fair way to assess candidates for a high level position, which provide a completely different and equally useful picture to what an interview or task-related assessment can offer. One can complement the other and using both results in a much more rounded set of data.
What are psychometric tests?
Psychometric tests are an increasingly popular aspect of the recruitment process which can take a number of different forms, including but not limited to verbal and numerical reasoning tests, personality assessments and motivational questionnaires.
The term ‘psychometric’ refers to the study of educational and psychological measurements, which aim to provide reliable and accurate measures of things such as personality and aptitude.
An effective psychometric test will not be influenced by outside factors – for example, the results should not be different if the candidate taking the test is feeling particularly stressed or relaxed – as well as showing clear validity in what it actually measures.
In addition, it should be completely standardised and performed in exactly the same way every time, with as little variation as possible in order to ensure consistently reliable results.
What do psychometric tests measure?
There are three main areas that a psychometric test can measure – interest, personality and attitude.
- Interest tests are designed to measure how people’s levels of motivation differ, as well as how their interests may shape their values and opinions
- Aptitude tests are designed to measure how people have different abilities to perform different tasks depending on their unique skill set
- Personality tests are designed to measure how people’s style of behaviour, interactions with those around them and relationship to their surroundings can differ
The benefits of using psychometric tests
Not only do psychometric tests provide an independent and unbiased measure of a number of different traits, giving a fuller profile of how they will fit practically and culturally into your organisation – they are also an efficient tool that can be scaled easily.
Psychometric tests are not difficult to set and can be scored quickly and easily, meaning accurate and reliable results when you need them. In addition, they are inexpensive to run and can in many cases be performed remotely.
How to use psychometric tests for recruitment and career development
Psychometric testing is useful for both external talent acquisition and internal career development – providing a reliable indicator of whether someone might be suitable for a promotion by assessing if their capabilities can extend further than where they are currently being stretched to.
It can also be used as a key component of corporate talent acquisition, whether you want to test all the candidates shortlisted for a position or only the candidate you are considering offering the role to.
Common types of psychometric tests you may choose to use as part of this process include:
- Occupational Personality Questionnaire
- Motivational Questionnaire
- Myers Briggs Type Indicator
- Hogan Development Survey
- Saville’s Wave
- Cognitive Process Profile Assessment
- Thomas Kilman Conflict Instrument
- Watson and Glazer Critical Thinking Appraisal