How to Use Psychometrics in the Workplace the Right Way


Recruiting the right person for the right role is challenging today more than ever.

With the help of the science of psychometrics, companies can still make informed hiring decisions that are efficient and effective.

Psychometrics in the workplace is usually performed by administering employment tests aimed at predicting future job success. This can be an ordeal for recruiters given the many variables that contribute to a person’s work potential.

The iceberg model shows that reviewing a candidate’s resume and conducting unstructured interviews can only draw at the very least, the knowledge, skills, and experience of a candidate.

Using assessments help you get different insights from a candidate. These insights include:

  • Cognitive ability or IQ
  • Work style and behavior
  • Organizational culture and values fit
  • Motivation and interest
  • Performance and development needs and
  • Specific work-related skills (e.g accounting, healthcare, engineering, marketing, etc)


Learn the Technical Design of the Assessment

As with all scientific practice, psychometric testing should be used with caution. The common mistake organizations make is letting untrained test administrators and assessors interpret the results of assessments. Psychometric tests are best treated like tools – they become better when ‘right hands’ use them. Learning how to use psychometrics in the workplace starts with knowing how to choose the right assessments:

Validity is the degree to which the assessment measures what it intends to measure. For example, a candidate applying for an accountant role should only be subjected to accounting skills tests and not engineering tests.

Reliability is the degree to which an assessment produces a stable result over time. This also implies consistency; thus, it is expected that when a candidate scored 45 percentile on a numerical reasoning test, he/she will obtain roughly the same result when he/she takes the assessment on the consecutive tries.

The scoring method is the next technical standard to follow in psychometric assessments.

Most assessments are norm-referenced so it is essential to take into account that candidate scores should be compared to the appropriate group or level relevant to the population. For example, the scores of candidates applying for a managerial role should be compared to a managerial norm. Using norms in assessments brings valid statistical insights on the level of performance expected from candidates.

Test administration practices should also be standardized. Having a uniform test procedure helps ensure the objectivity of your testing conditions. Some of the common factors to standardize are:

  • Testing environment
  • Equipment
  • Materials and
  • Scoring rules


Select the Right Competencies to Measure

The amount of available tools in the market is massive.

It is therefore critical to determine the necessary competencies for the job before creating or looking for a job-specific test.

Gone are the days that intelligence alone is the only reliable component. Having a holistic job performance prediction comprises competencies coming from ability, attitude, knowledge, and skills.


Complement Assessment with Other Screening Methodologies

It is also important to remember that assessment is not the answer to everything – it’s just a single piece of the puzzle. It does not aim to eliminate the conduct of competency-based interviews and background checking, but rather it purposes to verify and complement them.

The intent is to rule people into and not out of appropriate channels that would allow for an accurate assessment of a candidate’s quality. Not only does this benefit the talent acquisition team, but it also influences the whole business perspective in general.

The Business Impact of Assessments Report, recently published by TalentView, cited that 63% of Talegent assessment users saw significant to outstanding improvement in the quality of their hires, while 60% of Talegent users saw significant to outstanding improvement in the ease of making hiring decisions.

A strategic talent acquisition also wears the hat of a business partner. Innovating and expanding the use of psychometrics has become an exciting challenge thanks to data analytics, technology, and employer branding.

About the Author

KIA HERNANDEZ, Assessment Consultant

Kia Hernandez is a Talent Assessment Consultant for TalentView Asia. She is greatly focused in the digitization of competency-based occupational assessments and has partnered with various strategic talent acquisition professionals in achieving an overall innovative and scientific HR process. In line with her talent measurement advocacies, she conducts learning sessions on competency-based assessments and interviews, as well as assessment/development center engagements. Kia earned her degree in Industrial Psychology from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines and is a practicing registered psychometrician.



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