Psychometric tests are used in the many fields of psychology to measure psychological constructs like intelligence, personality and interests. In business settings psychometric tests are used when hiring employees and for identifying their development needs. Based on my many years of experience in the field of human resources and occupational psychology here the reasons why I think every organisation can benefit immensely from psychometric testing.
- No other methods can test for Cognitive ability, personality and integrity of a potential candidate. These three are the biggest predictor of job performance. I have shared before ample scientific evidence to show that this is consistently the case. Cognitive ability is the biggest predictor among these psychological constructs. In an article called Finding The Most Exceptional Talent—The 1% Of The 1% Kumar Mehta says “But through years of research, we now have enough data to know what goes into becoming exceptional. Whether you are recruiting an athlete, or you are hiring a CEO or evaluating a startup founder, the qualities that lead to extreme success are the same. Natural aptitude - The genes you are born with are responsible for 50% of your outcomes. You have to determine whether the individual you are considering has a natural aptitude for the role. Some traits you cannot develop; you are either born with them or not. Examples include power, speed, IQ, logical-mathematical ability, linguistic ability, and others. You can refine and improve these qualities, but you cannot create something out of nothing.”
- The factors that drive individual performance can not be trained. As indicated above cognitive ability is the major driver of individual performance across all professions. It is largely hereditary and partly childhood experience. If you hire an individual without the right cognitive ability you will just be wasting your time. No amount of training will change the fact that they do not have the capacity for the role. The same applies to personality. You can not hire an individual with the wrong personality and hope to change them especially if they are an adult. The best way, as a first step is to ensure that after shortlisting the candidates they all go for psychometric testing so that you remain with individuals who have the capacity for the role. It is a waste of resources to interview people who have no capacity for a role no matter how much you like them.
- The popular and most preferred method for selecting employees is not reliable and has low predictive validity. Adam Grant, one of the topmost global Psychologist says “Interviews are terrible predictors of job performance. Consider a rigorous, comprehensive analysis of hundreds of studies of more than 32,000 job applicants over 85 years by Frank Schmidt and Jack Hunter. They covered more than 500 different jobs—including salespeople, managers, engineers, teachers, lawyers, accountants, mechanics, reporters, farmers, pharmacists, electricians and musicians—and compared information gathered about applicants to the objective performance that they achieved in the job. After obtaining basic information about candidates’ abilities, standard interviews only accounted for 8% of the differences in performance and productivity. Think about it this way: imagine that you interviewed 100 candidates, ranked them in order from best to worst, and then measured their actual performance in the job. You’d be lucky if you put more than eight in the right spot.”
- Psychometric tests bring meritocracy into the recruitment process. When used properly and at the right place in the recruitment and selection process psychometric tests ensures that the organisation only gets the best candidates available. A notable trend in this country is that those organisations that are hesitant to use psychometric testing have a corrupt recruitment and selection process. Leaders in those organisations are averse to psychometric tests because they may not even pass them. As a result, they prefer a selection process which they can manipulate.
- It is not possible to cheat on psychometric tests if administered by Registered Psychologists in terms of the current Zimbabwean laws. This is the practice across the globe. Psychometric tests plug in the holes they would allow incompetent people to join your organisation.
Memory Nguwi is an Occupational Psychologist, Data Scientist, Speaker, & Managing Consultant- Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm. https://www.linkedin.com/in/memorynguwi/ Phone +263 4 481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966 or cell number +263 77 2356 361 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com