Making a poor hire is an expensive and time-consuming process – a cost estimated to be up to three times the salary of the individual. A poor hiring decision can have a detrimental effect on morale in the organisation as well as creating a negative impression of the business in the wider community. These are good reasons to consider some form of additional assessment, such as psychometric testing, as part of a selection process.
What are Psychometric Tests?
Essentially a psychometric test for recruitment is a standard questioning system based on measurable norms to quantify a candidate’s mental capabilities and behavioural style. Psychometric tests are based on both scientific and psychological research, studies and results. The aim is to provide a reasonable guide to how a candidate will handle specific responsibilities and situations in the work environment.
In order to objectively measure candidates’ cognitive abilities, attitudes, personality, and knowledge, employers use psychometric tests. They are becoming increasingly popular in the recruitment process and are now used in industries ranging from procurement to banking and finance. Psychometric tests are a reliable method of assessing employability skills in the sense that they provide a source of meaningful and consistent insights over time.
Why Psychometric tests?
When used properly and tailored to the specific role, psychometric assessment can introduce more rigor and objectivity into the recruitment process and supports more accurate identification of the personal and occupational characteristics that the organisation needs.
Many service companies rely on skilled, personable employees to satisfy customers, but finding them can be costly. Weak labour markets and click-to-apply online applications increase the burden on companies, which may get hundreds of applicants for a single opening. Using Psychometric tests as the first screening step efficiently weeds out the least suitable applicants, leaving the employer with a smaller pool of better-qualified candidates.
Psychometric tests, when used correctly to supplement and enhance a hiring decision, clearly have many benefits for an organisation. They can help to reduce recruitment costs, eliminate or reduce errors in hiring leading to improved organisational performance. Crucially good recruitment practices will enhance the employer brand, helping an organisation to win the war on talent by attracting, engaging, and retaining the best on the market.
Munodiwa Zvemhara is a consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm.