A fair assessment?

More and more organisations are increasingly relying on psychometric tests as they keep human errors out of the hiring process

January 19, 2018 12:16 pm | Updated 12:16 pm IST

Have you gone for an interview to be asked to take a psychometric test? You are not alone. Such assessment tools have gained considerable “hiring ground” in recent times. Effective in mapping the right talent, these tools, which include Psyft Personality Assessment (PPA), Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Thomas Personal Profile Analysis (TPPA), have become game-changers in the corporate world.

Informed decisions

Scientific tools like Psyft Personality Assessment, the DISC profile or the MBTI help hiring managers make more informed decisions by feeding them with relevant information about a potential candidate — how much of a team player he is, how well can he cope with pressure, how effective will he be managing stakeholders and how creative will he be in finding solutions to problems.

Fool-proof tests

Psychometric tests have become more sophisticated. The design of the psychometric tests ensures that the test-taker sees no apparent pattern. Any effort to rig the assessment is quickly spotted. This has been made possible with ipsative test design, which makes it difficult for applicants to ‘fake/game’ the results.

Hunches ruled out

Interviews, especially unstructured ones, are among the least valid of all screening methods. An interviewer’s hunches about candidates are only as reliable as the roll of the dice. The effectiveness of hiring decisions depends on how the managers grew into their role — some are trained to manage people, some are promoted into the position and others are thrust into the role as a small company grows and expands.

Checking biases

Verifying hard facts of professional qualifications is relatively easy. However, to analyse softer elements like personality, motivation and leadership skills is a different ball game. When someone is asked to assess these qualities, personal biases can creep in. While hiring, you tend to like candidates who are a lot like you. Psychometric tests address this bias. Attributes like their gender, race, sexual orientation, height and weight are kept aside in these psychometrics tests. A hiring manager can focus efforts on the candidates matching the job requirement and not on someone who seems like a potential new best friend. Many a time, companies also use these tests as a tie-breaker between two otherwise equally qualified candidates.

Effective filter

Most large organisations receive hundreds of applications every week. Psychometric tests act as an effective filter in such cases.

Gauging interest

Conducting a psychometric test helps gauge the interest and seriousness levels of applicants. Completing a test is about going a step further than just submitting a resume, it requires time and effort from the applicant. It’s a commitment tactic and helps the hiring managers focus their time and energy on the candidates who are most serious about the opportunity in question.

(Neha Manchanda holds a Phd in Psychology and is Head of Learning & Assessments, GreenThumbs)

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