How to Use Psychometric Testing In Recruitment

The use of psychometric testing in the recruitment process is becoming common among HR managers in their candidate selection process. Over 75% of Times top 100 companies now use psychometric testing in their candidate selection whereas more than 38% of all companies use psychometric testing in hiring candidates, according to HBR. The figure is even on a steady rise yearly at the rate of at least 10%, according to the Association for Test Publishers and organizational psychologists.

The importance of using psychometric testing in the pre-employment process is usually underrated. This is because the cost of hiring bad candidates is over 3 times their annual salary. However, knowing how to use psychometric testing in recruitment is as important as any effort in using it.

Psychometric Testing

The efficacy is determined by how the HR manager had deployed it. And part of the necessary approach is to ascertain the specific psychometric assessment valid for the position being evaluated.

Below are key factors on how to use psychometric testing in recruitment in order to maximize the tests’ accuracy while minimizing potential risks.

Understand the law

The HR, organizations, and hiring managers must consider legal compliance in their pursuit to include psychometric tests to their pre-employment screening system. All candidate assessment tools, mostly tests need to be properly validated due to anti-discrimination laws. Tests must not in any way become a medium to diagnose candidates. It must respect candidates’ privacy considering that some Americans are with Disabilities Act.

Understand the business needs

It would be useless to acquire psychometric tests results that are not designed to answer business questions and/or if there’s no established standard to evaluate them with respect to the business challenge. Most companies focus more on “independent variables” and not the dependent variable – what is being predicted. Companies will lack the basis to evaluate how psychometric tests correlate with potential performance if they lack qualitative measures of employees’ on-job performance.

Finding a test that would evaluate required characteristics can only be effective if you understand the business needs.

Reduce the risk of cheating

The idea that psychometric tests can be taken remotely by the candidates and at their convenience is not completely healthy. What if the candidates hire mercenaries for the tests? You would end up hiring candidates not evaluated. You can either have the candidates take the segments in your office or under surveillance through video conference if they are remote to reduce the risk of cheating.

However, some candidates may “game” or guess the results and come out lucky. This form of cheating could be addressed by comparing it with other results to establish their consistency. The use of different types of psychometric tests will help to cut down this challenge.

While a well-developed appraisal system is important to qualitatively predict candidates’ performance relative to the psychometric test taken, it is normal to develop a test without such a result. You should stop using any psychometric test or evaluation method that over time fail to predict the candidates’ performance.

Priyansha Mistry
Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry

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