14 March 2022 

Written by Thea Ngele - Milpark Business School - Senior Lecturer: Public Administration

You think you have found the right candidate for a job because their CV ticks all the boxes, and their educational background and experience is impressive, but are these factors enough? How do you determine whether a candidate will perform well in the role they have applied for? You may hire them and then realise that their personality is not suitable for the company’s ethos or culture. This is where psychometric testing can be a gamechanger, especially when it comes to hiring remote employees.

Psychometric tests are valuable because they measure a potential candidate’s ability or skill, as well as their behavioral attributes. The tests can identify how a candidate processes information from a cognitive perspective and what their personality characteristics are, which would give an indication of how the individual would interact with their colleagues and working environment.

Ideally, the suitability of a candidate should be established beyond whether they are simply qualified and experienced enough for the role. This will ensure that the prospective new employee is a good fit for the team and company, so you can mitigate attrition in the work context.

There are various aspects to consider when conducting psychometric tests, these include:

  • Validity. Candidates may not answer the questions truthfully but rather in accordance with what they believe you require for the role.
  • Reliability. Psychometric tests can create anxiety, which may result in a false negative. Language barriers and different interpretations of what is being asked may also distort results.

Psychometric tests are a powerful tool, and they are used by many organisations’; however, they should never be used in isolation in the recruitment process. It is critical to screen potential candidates carefully, through reference checks, interview processes, and even skills tests.