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The importance of psychometric testing

The importance of psychometric testingImage Credit: Supplied

Psychometric testing is the process of measuring a candidate's cognitive abilities and personality/behavioural style. Some companies use it in recruitment to help gain a better understanding of a candidate and secure the best fit for the role. It may also be used as a development tool. It should be used in conjunction with other methods to give an objective overview of a subject's personality and ability.

Cognitive tests aim to measure candidates' ability for certain positions and may measure a variety of skills depending on the position. These may include verbal reasoning, mathematical reasoning, diagrammatic, mechanical reasoning and spatial reasoning. Personality/behavioural tests give information on personal motives, preferences, needs and talents, working style, strengths and blind spots.

Psychometric testing benefits your organisation in some ways:

• Self-awareness and psychometric testing – Psychometric testing and feedback facilitate self-awareness. Individuals who understand their own strengths and weaknesses are likely to progress quickly in a work context. Self-awareness is being mindful of what you are good at while acknowledging where you have to develop and learn.

• Company culture and psychometric testing – It assists in gauging candidate ''fit'' in terms of both company and role. It gives an indication of the aspects of the culture, job and environment that are likely to enhance or inhibit an individual's success. Research indicates that individual's motives and talents interact in significant ways with culture, job and environment characteristics to help determine his competency.

• Teamwork and psychometric testing – Understanding employees' personalities can lead to high functioning teams. Understanding and highlighting the importance of individual team member's specific contributions is motivating for the team and leads to strong performance.

Handy Hints:

• Psychometric testing can be used as a development tool

• Utilise psychometric testing during employee recruitment

• Use a psychologist, HR professional, coach to assist in testing

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Source: Nicola Turner, Special to Jobs & Careers

The writer is Organisational Psychologist, HRI&C