Psychometric Assessment - FAQs

Below is a list of some of the most Frequently Asked Questions we encounter from hiring managers, employers, and HR practitioners about psychometric assessment.  If you have a question that isn’t included or would like more information, feel free to contact us anytime.

What is psychometric assessment?

Psychometric assessment refers to the process of measuring an individual’s aptitudes, behavioural style, motivation, temperament, and preferences using standardised, reliable, and objective assessment instruments.

How is psychometric assessment used for recruitment and selection?

In a recruitment and selection context, psychometric assessment is typically used to gather additional information about a candidate’s likely suitability for a role based on a specific set of pre-determined role requirements, primarily those relating to behavioural style / personality and cognitive capacity or aptitude.  It often provides information that isn’t easily obtained through other recruitment practices (e.g. resume reviews, interviews, reference checks, etc.).

What are the benefits of using assessment in a recruitment context?

Studies have repeatedly shown that well-researched and objective psychometric assessment tools are powerful predictors of a candidate’s likely ability to perform on the job, regardless of the role.

Furthermore, assessment allows you an opportunity to gather deeper and more comprehensive insights about an individual, many of which would not be identified through more traditional recruitment practices (e.g. interviews).  A good analogy to think about is buying a used car – you wouldn’t buy a car without first looking at the mechanics, would you?  Using assessment essentially allows you to get a glimpse of what’s ‘under the hood’ when considering a candidate’s likely ability to successfully perform in a role.  In turn, this allows you to make better informed, more effective selection decisions.

Organisations who regularly use assessment often experience reduced levels of turnover and absenteeism, higher levels of employee engagement and satisfaction, stronger performance and productivity, and lower overall recruitment and hiring costs.

How is psychometric assessment used for development?

In a development context, psychometric assessment is often used to gather the same sort of information, but with the aim of helping individuals to develop a greater level of self-insight into any potential strengths and development opportunities.  In some situations the results are ‘mapped’ against a specific set of criteria as relevant for a specific role, organisational level (e.g. senior leader), or set of ‘success’ criteria.  Typically, there is a great deal of variation in how different organisations use assessment in a development context.

Can assessment be used for both recruitment and development with the same person?

Absolutely.  Indeed, if an individual has completed psychometric assessment as part of the recruitment process, we strongly recommend that the data is also used to effectively ‘on board’ them, helping both the individual and their new employer to identify and address any specific training and development needs.  Insights into likely levels of ‘fit’ within the broader team can also prove useful during this initial stage of employment.

What kind of things do you measure?

In most cases, a psychometric assessment battery will measure those aptitudes or cognitive ability areas relevant to the role, as well as someone’s behavioural style, motives, and preferences.  Common aptitude areas measured include Verbal Analysis, Numerical Analysis, Abstract Reasoning, Mechanical Reasoning, Spatial Reasoning, and Error Checking.

How do I know which tests to use?

We’ll help you to select the right tests – you don’t need to figure this out yourself.  Usually we discuss the role with you over the phone before administering the assessments, at which time we’ll ask a bunch of questions to identify the right mix of assessments.

How do I interpret the results?

The results are interpreted by a registered business psychologist who is accredited in the use of the specific assessment tools being measured.  This information is then fed back to you during a verbal feedback session, or in a written report if you’ve chosen to purchase this option.

All results will be considered in light of the relevant role requirements, as well as the environment and culture of your business.  Typically, we present the results in terms of likely strengths, development opportunities or areas for further exploration, and tips for effective management and on boarding.

As such, you don’t really need to interpret the results yourself – instead, it’s our job to help you to ‘make sense’ of the information you will get.

Do I need to pay for a written report?

No.  If you would prefer to receive only verbal feedback on a candidate’s results, this is fine.  We would recommend that a good amount of time is left for these conversations, however, so that we can make sure all the information we provide is well understood.

At what stage in the process should psychometric assessment be used?

This can depend on a lot of variables, but in general we suggest you only use psychometric assessment with candidates who’ve been shortlisted after some initial interviews.  Many organisations also decide to use assessment when they have several good applicants, and need some additional information to differentiate between them.  The assessment process often provides additional information to throw ‘into the mix’.

What is the process for setting up a psychometric assessment?

The process is pretty simple – typically you would call us, provide a brief regarding the role along with any relevant documentation (e.g. position descriptions), and send through the contact details for the candidate/s.  We will then contact the candidate/s to brief them on what is required and answer any questions they might have.  When the results come through we will contact you again to provide comprehensive feedback, followed by a written report (if requested).

How much does an assessment cost?

The costs of psychometric assessment can vary depending on your specific needs.  Some of the key factors that influence pricing include the format in which feedback is being provided (e.g. verbal feedback only vs. a comprehensive written report), and the level of the role being assessed (e.g. an entry level / administrative role vs. a senior leadership role).  Prices start at around $895 (ex GST) per candidate – a relatively small cost given the significant expense associated with replacing a ‘bad’ hire.

How do you differ from other assessment providers?

We believe that psychometric assessment has become very ‘depersonalised’ in recent years, with many candidates being asked to undertake online assessments without any personal contact at all from the assessment provider.

Our approach to assessment is ‘high touch’, in that we will endeavour to personally speak with each and every candidate prior to administering the tests.  This allows candidates the opportunity to ask questions about the process before completing the tests, thereby setting themselves up to perform most effectively.  In our experience this also results in candidates having a more positive experience of your organisation’s recruitment and selection process, therefore protecting your company’s brand and reputation.

Furthermore, results will always be interpreted by a highly experienced business psychologist with deep expertise in psychometric assessment.

Will the candidates receive feedback?

Yes, if they want to.  We offer complimentary feedback to all candidates who’ve undertaken assessment.  However, it is important to note that this is only offered after you’ve made your final selection decision and employment offer.

If you have any additional questions or want to learn more about using assessment for selection and development purposes, feel free to contact us anytime.