Psychometric testing, testing in short-term casual roles. Is it worth it?

Psychometric testing in recruitment looks at identifying behavioural and personality traits that are not usually revealed in a typical interview process. Psychometric testing will usually run in alongside other recruitment strategies to finalise hiring decisions.

Psychometric testing will usually take on two different tests. One test will focus on the ability, cognitive and aptitude and the other with will focus on personality and behaviour.

Aptitude tests may vary depending on the position that an applicant is applying for. Variances may include and are not limited to spatial reasoning, mechanical reasoning or communicative reasoning.

Personality tests are the second type of testing and can assist in determining how a candidate would feel and behave in particular situations. Some personality testing will explore a candidates way of working and their response to situations in certain work environments.

There is a lot of buzz around psychometric testing, however, it is important to understand its workings to truly be able to maximize its results. HR and recruitment professionals who champion the process of psychometric testing will tell you that it can minimise the risk of hiring a candidate that may not have a company culture fit.

Some pros of psychometric testing include:

Personality vetting - Companies will screen a candidate's personality with the belief that skills can be taught and trained. There are some companies that focus on having a diverse group of individuals to make up their core team. This allows for greater innovation and problem-solving.

Team communication - Psychometric testing can lead to significant improvements in team communication, collaboration and cooperation. By profiling a candidate they are able to recognise how they communicate and action how they can better communicate with others at work. The idea is that there is no right or wrong way of communication as opposed to communication methods that are complementary to each other.

Attrition Reduction - Customised psychometric testing for particular roles can result in the reduction of attrition and increased staff productivity and satisfaction. In similar circumstances, improved engagement can be seen from both management and staff as the hiring manager can better understand new employees and tailor any training needs required.

Some pros of psychometric testing include:

Misinterpreted results - Psychometric testing can easily be over evaluated. Lack of knowledge about the test and what is being assessed is common amongst hiring staff. Consultation with experts in the field is necessary for the reports to be beneficial.

Not just psychometric testing - Psychometric testing should never be used alone, rather, it should be used in conjunction with other interview techniques. The questions can be vague and more personal. This may deter employees who are detail oriented and results driven. Again this needs to be tailored alongside other interview techniques.

Costs - Psychometric testing is not 100% conclusive and should be delivered and interpreted by professionals. Web-based psychometric assessments can be expensive and a lot of the time inconclusive. Reports produced from this software can be difficult to interpret as they have been tailored generally to a broad range of candidates.

Psychometric testing can be beneficial to a company. It should be utilised by an experienced professional and in conjunction with other interview techniques. Remember not to over evaluate the reports and to carefully consider the role which the candidate is applying for, making sure that the whole process is cost effective.