Psychometric tests are not a new concept; they have been widely used in the 20th century for educational purposes. It all started when the first intelligence test was introduced by Sir Alfred Binet. Since then psychometric tests have become an integral component of the recruitment process, particularly with large organizations. These companies use the test to assess the skill set of the candidates and not just their educational competencies. Apart from intelligence, these tests are also used to assess the personality type and the skills of the recruit. The tests are structured to evaluate the capacity of the recruit accurately and there are a large number of psychometric tests available online to serve the purpose.
Applications of psychometric tests:
Psychometric tests are predominantly being used in the recruitment processes of high competency organizations for their important job roles. Recruiters use these tests to assess the skills and potentialities of their recruits. These tests are objective and are impersonal and thus help to choose candidates consciously. These tests make the recruitment process very efficient and decrease HR costs substantially. The test is proven to be a reliable indicator of the excellent job performance of the recruits.
The test is conducted at any of the following three stages of the recruitment process, after submitting the application form, as an add on test measure to the interview and immediately after the actual interview.
The scope of psychometric tests:
The term psychometric is derived from the Greek language and means mental measurement. There are many advantages of psychometric tests and the scope of these tests lies in three main cognitive areas. They are capabilities of the recruit, their aptitude, and their personality. With the help of these tests, the recruiters are able to assess if the candidate would fit the job role and match the vision of the organization. Apart from measuring one’s aptitude, intelligence and personality the tests also measure how well the person is able to handle pressure and their working style.
The major components of psychometric tests are personality tests and cognitive tests. Certain firms are known to have a combination of different tests to customize their recruitment strategies.
Different types of Psychometric tests:
- Personality tests:
The specific set of questions is prepared to measure the personality of the candidates. These personality tests gather all the information about the individual so as to make inferences about their personal characteristics such as feelings, behavior, and thoughts. The test is designed in such a way to measure different aspects of personality in lieu of successful work performance, maintaining successful workplace relationships, assessing the thinking style of the individual, monitoring their feelings and motivation levels, etc.
- Cognitive tests:
Questions that define cognition aim to measure the intellectual capabilities and competence of the recruit. It also helps to understand the analytical and logical reasoning abilities of the recruit in specific areas. They render an accurate assessment of one’s abilities and skills to perform specific job roles and predicts their job performance in the future as well.
- Skill tests specific to the domain:
This is the widely practiced testing entity and plays an important role in testing the technical knowledge of the person and draw a baseline for acquiring a job. It includes questions that are domain specific and covers technical aspects of the job.
Situational judgment tests:
Apart from assessing the personality, it is also equally important to assess the behavior of the candidate, especially how it responds to a particular environment and situation. This is where SJTs or the situational judgment tests come into play. This is one of the best advantages of psychometric tests as it judges how a particular personality behaves at a particular situation. There are three stages in the development of these situation judgment tests.
- Job Analysis:
To analysis, the demands of the particular job critical incidents of work situations are collected from industry experts. The test developers aim to collect all the information that pertains to the domains that construct the job. It believes that behavior upon situations varies from one job to another.
- Framing the test:
The tests are framed in accordance to subject matter experts. The tests are prepared in such a way that the respondents are asked to generate more than one response for a situation. Competent employees answer these questions with a good range of effectiveness.
- Scoring key:
The questions are rationally scored. The test results are judged by experts with respect to the responses and their effectiveness.
SJTs are totally different assessment protocols where people are into real-time situations, with an observational understanding of the subject. These tests render an excellent platform to tests a large number of candidates simultaneously and on a digital platform. The quality of the tests is determined through validity, reliability and their impacts.
Fidelity and generalizations of psychometric tests:
Fidelity and generalizations are also important factors of situational judgment tests. They measure discernible behavior that gets triggered in some situations. The fidelity of the task refers to the extent to which the test identified with a situation and how effectively it gets encountered in the workplace. But fidelity does not operate on its own and often balances with generalization. The latter term refers to the extent to which the test scores can get generalized in varying contexts.
The motivation of the employees is critical in the workplace; many studies have revealed that on an average only 13% of the employees engage at their work. Without a motivated workplace, companies trigger a risky position. On the other hand, motivated employees enhance productivity and efficient throughput.
The success of psychometric tests depends on how well these tests are instituted and administered. It helps in assessing the intelligence and the behavior of the candidates simultaneously. Such a test is absolutely important for critical job roles and in organizations that deal with sensitive job variants. The results of the tests are absolutely reliable and as these tests are available online, they can be instituted instantly from anywhere within minutes.