Why Psychometric Assessments?
Do you use psychometric assessments when recruiting? Yes? Well, have you ever stopped to think WHY you use psychometric assessments? Although the recruitment process has always relied to a great extent on CV and job interviews, aptitude and personality assessments have remained just as ever-present among recruiters. When actually you are looking to hire a suitable candidate, recruiters will use psychometric assessments as a technique to distinguish the mental traits of a candidate – pertaining to both cognitive ability and personality. In doing this, a company hope to recruit staff who not only have the right skills for the role but will also be the right fit for the company culture.
Today, there are a wide variety of psychometric assessments that are widely used, all designed with the similar goal of looking beyond employment history and academic achievements. Some of these tests focus on measuring a specific skill or aptitude, while others look to create a profile on a subject’s particular traits. Here is an overview of some of the most widely-used psychometric tests:
Components Of a Psychometric Assessments
Psychometric tests are designed to measure a full range of mental attributes. Although this may be tailored with a job role in mind, the two main areas that will be assessed are:
1. Aptitude or ability tests
Ability and aptitude tests are designed to measure an individual’s performance/intelligence and can be used to assess current as well as potential performance levels, depending on the nature of the job. These are closely related to IQ tests and usually involve candidates answering a series of multiple choice questions relating to logic and reasoning. The two most commonly used aptitude tests are verbal and numerical reasoning tests, others include diagrammatic, clerical, spatial and mechanical. It aims to measure a candidate’s competence and intellectual capabilities as well as your logical and analytical reasoning abilities in a very specific area. They aim to assess your abilities to use specific job-related skills and to predict subsequent job performance.
When setting aptitude tests, recruiters are looking to evaluate two types of intelligence that are: fluid and crystallized.
- Fluid intelligence is often thought of as ‘street smarts’ and relates to abstract problem solving and strategic thinking. Put simply, how good are you at thinking outside of the box and/or thinking on your feet?
- Crystallized intelligence, on the other hand, denotes your ability to apply knowledge and experience to complete tasks. Are you good at retrieving relevant information from your memory? Can you work out problems by using learned skills?
2. Personality and occupational questionnaires
Personality profiles attempt to describe individuals by identifying personality traits or type. Exactly as it says on the tin, a personality test assesses your, well, personality! By asking questions related to feelings and self-analysis, a personality test will aim to grasp an insight into how an individual behaves in different situations. They are based around an underlying theory (model) of the characteristics that make up personality, for example, see MBTI / Myers Briggs Type Indicator. Personality profiles do not have right or wrong answers but provide useful insight often used to identify areas to improve with development and coaching. Personality tests tend to take the form of questionnaires, with multiple choice answers ranging in the strength of opinion. Like how do they have leadership qualities that will stand up well to pressure? Or are how they more likely to fade into the background when the going gets tough? As well as discovering how a candidate will react in varying work scenarios, personality testing can also find what makes them tick. They can, however, provide a useful starting point for people who are unsure about the type of work they might want to do.
- Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)- The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator(MBTI) is based on Carl Jung’s theory of psychological type. A psychometric testing tool designed to assess an individual’s personality type, including how they make decisions and perceive external events. It indicates your personal preferences in four dimensions: (1)Where you focus your attention. (2)The way you take in information. (3)How you make decisions. (4)How you deal with the world.
- Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)- The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is a standardized psychometric assessment or psychological test that assesses personality traits and psychopathology. It is primarily intended to test people who are suspected of having mental health or other clinical issues.
- Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ)- The Occupational Personality Questionnaire(OPQ) assessment was basically designed to give organizations an understanding of how aspects of an individual’s behavioural style will affect his or her performance at work. The OPQ helps organizations to:(1)Identify the best-fit applicants for a given role (2)Improve interview hit rates (3)Identify future leaders (4)Evaluate the talent pool following a merger /acquisition/ restructure (5)Manage the transformation of a technical specialist to an effective people manager.
- SHL Managerial and Graduate Item Bank (MGIB)– A test battery that measures the subject’s business-related verbal and numerical reasoning aptitude. The MGIB is normally given to graduates, experienced managers, and professional staff; it can be used for candidate selection, employee development, or to assist with promotion decisions. This test has a wide range of psychometric assessments packages tailored for specific positions and levels, and they come in a large variety of test batteries.
- Raven’s Progressive Matrices- Raven’s Progressive Matrices is a Psychometric testing(often referred to simply as Raven’s Matrices) are multiple choice intelligence tests of abstract reasoning, originally developed by Dr John C. Raven in 1936. In each test item, the subject is asked to identify the missing item that completes a pattern.