While gathering data for the 2017 people2people post, the recruitment consultants surveyed line managers regarding their various hiring techniques. During this survey, people2people discovered that when hiring sales’ candidates, 31% of our hiring managers used psychometric testing. According to the Institute of Psychometric Testing “Psychometric testing is a standard and scientific method used to measure a person’s mental capabilities and behaviour style.” This finding was not surprising to me, as I have found that an increasing number of hiring managers utilise psychometric testing as part of the recruitment process. Psychometric testing can be a helpful tool in providing confidence to a hiring manager that a candidate not only interviews well, but performs well day to day and gives them an insight into the best way to manage them.
To my surprise, I have found a number of roles where the testing results completely ruled out a number of candidates’ applications altogether. A colleague of mine recently worked on a role where the candidate had two successful interviews where both the hiring managers believed her background was appropriate. The company then requested testing and the candidate was rejected for the role on the basis of this test. Not only was this a waste of the candidate’s time but the hiring managers were very frustrated as well.
While psychometric testing is a good way of gauging a candidate’s suitability for a role, it is best used as a source of supplemental information, and not as a definitive decision making tool. There are too many variables, such as someone being nervous about the test or answering in a way they think you want to hear instead of what they truly believe. This could then affect the results of the testing which may result in a suitable applicant being passed over. If you are looking to incorporate psychometric testing into your recruitment process, my recommendation would be to include it at the beginning of the recruitment process.