Friday, 01 April 2022 14:31

Psychometric Tests

With UK vacancies still hovering above the 1.2million mark, recruitment remains one of the big issues of the moment for employers. The scarcity of available talent may influence recruiters to get whatever they can when trying to fill jobs, but statistics remind us that the cost of hiring the wrong person can often be very financially painful.

Psychometric testing for recruitment purposes has been around for a while now to help avoid the problems of selecting the wrong candidate. Historically, the complex and expensive selection device was generally only used for more senior appointments. These days, technology has made the use of psychometric testing available for all and an inexpensive way of filtering out those under qualified or incompatible candidates, paying for itself many times over.

Psychometric tests broadly fall into three categories; Ability, Personality and Situational Judgement:

Ability Tests

Ability tests identify the level of expertise an individual has in a specific tasks or area. Different levels of test exist depending upon the role that you’re recruiting for. A straightforward copy typing and data entry ability tests that measures speed and accuracy may be suitable for an office assistant perhaps.

Alternatively, a suite of ability tests might be more appropriate which for example covers a range of workplace administration skills that measure the ability to organise workspace, maintain data and perform tasks on a computer. Obviously there is a right way and a wrong way to complete any tasks, so these tests are a clear measure of ability.

Personality Questionnaires

These can be used for all positions and enable you to obtain an objective view of a range of traits that an individual has, depending on which test is undertaken, including:

  • Leadership style
  • Team role preference
  • Learning styles
  • Emotional intelligence

As there is no right or wrong personality, then these tests should be seen more as an assessment as to whether an individual has a personality that will fit with your current team or suit the job that they are applying for. Results may show that a person is very detailed in their approach to work which might make them good for accountancy jobs but not so apt for positions that require quick decisions to be made from limited information.

Situational Judgement Tests (SJT’s)

Somewhere between ability tests and personality questionnaires, these tests put forward a realistic work scenario and request that the person rank the order of their responses. The tests measure different aspects of performance and/or personality and measure them against a scale of 1 to 10 where 5 and 6 are seen as the norm and 1 and 10 are the extremes.

By design they require previous results to be measure against, but over time an organisation could develop their own scale to understand what the “norm” is for them.

Modern psychometric tests generally return a printed report that is easy to read and understand. The level of detail can be very surprising for a test that asks candidates to simply rank a couple of dozen words. Remember though that different situations can affect answers and results so users should aspire to administer tests in similar situations to give more consistent results across delegates.

Stressful situations might also affect how test are completed, thereby skewing the results, so administering the test away from the stress of an interview scenario might also be a good idea.

Psychometric testing will be one of the subjects of our Employment Law Update breakfast clubs in May, so book your place now to hear Owen’s detailed presentation. We will also be rolling out our own suite of Psychometric tests to support clients with their recruitment and team development so keep an eye out for more details.

In the meantime you can call or e-mail to discover more on 01452 331331 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Read 992 times Last modified on Friday, 01 April 2022 14:53


HR Champions provide first class HR and Employment Law support and advice to UK businesses; operationally and strategically. If you're an employer you'll potentially need some, if not all, of the services we offer.

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