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How to Use Psychometric Testing in Recruitment?

3rd February 2020

Psychometric testing is becoming more and more prevalent in recruitment, and for good reason. Psychometric testing removes a lot of the guesswork from the recruitment process, enabling the recruiters to be objective and improving the chances that the perfect candidate will be hired. This is as a result of information about a candidate’s personality and attributes, that otherwise would have been unknown, being available.

When Should You Use Psychometric Tests?

Psychometric tests can be used at any stage of the recruitment process; they can even be used after recruitment too with great benefit. Companies might opt to include psychometric testing at the initial application stage of recruitment, as this can provide a lot of great information straight off the bat. Others might opt to use psychometric testing once shortlisting has taken place. Both options are valid and will provide valuable information to the recruitment team. No matter what point psychometric tests are used, they will provide information that enable the team to make objective, valid decisions.

You might even choose to use multiple psychometric tests at different stages of the recruitment process. This is especially useful if you wish to test different skills and attributes.

What Type of Psychometric Testing Should I Use?

Many users of personality assessments are unaware that assessments (or tests) are constructed for different purposes. These design differences mean that they are not all alike and cannot all be used for the same applications. The inappropriate use of tests can lead to wrong people decisions, diminished performance and productivity, misdirected careers and open up any organisation to potential legal issues. So, it is critical that users understand the design intent and limitations and the suitability for purpose of whatever tests they are using or are considering using.
Some tests are ipsative and some are normative and there is a fundamental design difference between them and this design affects their suitability for purpose.

At a glance: Most ipsative personality assessments (like Predictive Index, Myers-Briggs, Thomas, DiSC, McQuaig, etc.) are only suitable for applications where there is no need to compare the test results of different people, for example in coaching or team building.

However, only normative tests (like 16PF, NEO, PeopleClues, Prevue, etc.) should be used in selection circumstances that require comparative analysis of traits, job-fit behaviours, and the prediction of job performance.


Psychometric testing works best when you have adapted the testing to suit your company. These adaptations can take the form of what measures are used in the tests, when the tests are carried out and how many tests are used. However you choose to utilize psychometric testing, they can be a considerable asset to your recruitment process.

Filed in: Selection • Tags:

About the Author:

Nikky van Bommel is the Marketing Director for Big 5 Assessments and has worked in the Psychometric Testing industry for over 10 years. Nikky is responsible for all marketing and social media for the organisation.

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