How Do Psychometric Tests Work?

How Do Psychometric Tests Work?

What are psychometric tests?

They’re a way for employers to learn a bit more about their candidates, on top of the more traditional steps in the hiring process, like CVs or interviews. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and can measure all sorts of different things. But, broadly, you can split them into two groups:

Personality 

Personality assessments measure how people tend to act – their natural behaviour. This can include traits like creativity, sociability, and resilience. It’s particularly handy to understand your candidates’ natural behaviours, as we often fall back on them in times of pressure or stress. 

So, with a good personality assessment, you can paint a picture of how your candidates will act when their back’s against a wall. And, because you’re just getting a read on how your candidates normally behave, there’s no real ‘right or wrong’ involved. It’s just them as they are.

Aptitude

Rather than measuring what people tend to do, aptitude tests capture what people can do. Often, that means looking at aspects of candidates’ intelligence. There’s dozens of different types of aptitude tests, but the most common include:

  • Numerical reasoning
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Inductive reasoning
  • Error checking
  • Logical reasoning

How do psychometric tests work?

Naturally, this depends on the test (and who provides it!). But, for most psychometric tests, there are five steps you’ll go through:

  1. Onboarding phase

Before you get started with an assessment, you’ll need to decide what exactly you want to look for in your candidates. What does “good” look like in a given role, or your unique culture? To get there, you’ll often go through an onboarding process.

(Unless you use our UNA platform, that is, where you can tell our assessment what to look for yourself – no onboarding needed.)

Typically, though, onboarding processes involve workshops, interviews with high performers, desk research and job analysis (often by trained business psychologists). Honestly, this can take a little while (depending on the level of detail, and your patience).

  1. Profile creation

The good thing about a long, bespoke onboarding process is that the output is always bespoke to you. When we say “output”, we generally mean a profile or framework, which details the traits that emerged from your onboarding as being vital for your role or culture. This is the profile that you’ll assess all candidates against.

  1. Candidate invitation

But, before you can assess them, you need to invite them! If you’ve integrated your assessment provider with your ATS, then you can generally do this in just a few clicks.

  1. Candidate completion

Pretty self-explanatory. Whether you’re using a more traditional questionnaire-style test, or something more engaging (like our behaviour-based assessment), your candidates need to complete it so you can see all that insight on the other side.

  1. The reporting

Once your candidates have completed their assessment, you’ll receive some reporting on how they stack up to that initial profile of what ‘good’ looks like for you. 

What do the reports show?

We can’t speak for other assessment providers. But, once a candidate completes our behaviour-based assessment, we automatically send out two reports – one to you (the manager report), one to the candidate (the feedback report): 

Manager report

This shows, trait-by-trait, how your candidates measured up to your profile. This helps you: 

  • understand their strengths and development areas
  • Make smarter screening decisions
  • prepare for an interview (we actually make this even easier, by giving you bespoke interview guides, too).

Candidate feedback report

With your permission, we automatically send every candidate a feedback report, to recognise the time and effort they’ve put into completing our assessment. We’ve found this helps create a rewarding experience, even if they’re eventually unsuccessful. 

In their feedback reports, candidates see more of an overview of the traits they displayed in our assessment, without so much granular detail as the manager report. This gives candidates an opportunity to learn a bit more about themselves, without overwhelming them with unnecessary detail.

Getting to grips with psychometrics

Feeling curious? Well, if you’re hungry to learn more about our assessment, we’d love to chat you through the science behind it all. Just arrange a call with our friendly team here.

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