Exploding six common myths about psychometric assessments in recruitment


Psychometric assessments are a waste of time and money. They don’t actually help you recruit the right people. And they’re all doing the same thing under a different name. These are just a few misconceptions about the value and effectiveness of these assessments.

So, I want to explode six of the most common myths about them and give you a realistic understanding of how psychometric results can help you make better-informed decisions during your recruitment process.

Why psychometric assessments are used for recruitment

First things first, let’s clear up an issue with terminology. People often refer to psychometric assessments as “tests”, but that implies you can give right and wrong answers. You can’t.

Psychometric assessments or tests (if you prefer), just measure an individual’s preferences, attitudes and cognitive traits.

They’re a tool used to identify a candidate’s suitability for a role. They look at someone’s personality and potential against a benchmark that you create, to help you measure their fit with the job, manager, team and culture.

Psychometric assessments allow you to gain more information so you can be sure a new recruit has what it takes to hit the ground running.

Of course, assessments should be just one element of the recruitment process. You’ll want to use them alongside other evaluation methods, like interviews, work samples, and reference checks. But, used correctly, they provide valuable insights into a candidate’s potential fit.

Uncovering the facts about psychometric assessments

1. Psychometric assessments are expensive

Actually, depending on which assessments you choose, they can be very affordable.

Psychometrics tend only to be used for candidates in mid-senior level roles because of the perception they’re too expensive to scale. Yet, the development of technology has not only simplified the process of using psychometrics, but also significantly decreased the cost at all levels (if you use the right ones).

And think of it this way: what’s the cost of not using assessments? Poor recruitment decisions, additional employee turnover, extra training costs, wasted management time?

It’s an accepted fact that replacing a poor hire can cost at least 50% of their total costs. So, if you’re not already using psychometric assessments, chances are you’re spending, and probably wasting, that money and more elsewhere.

That’s why it’s important to find the right assessment for you. You need a tool that offers the insights you’re looking for, whilst also adding value to your recruitment process.

Bottom line, you need a way to ensure you hire the right people, first time, every time.

2. All personality tests are the same.

Not so. Different psychometric assessments use different measures. And there’s a huge range of options available, but the key is finding one that fits your needs.

Many people rely on tools like Myers-Briggs (MBTI) or DiSC profiles and these have their place. But they aren’t designed to predict how someone will perform in a particular role. They’re much more suited to personal development and team building.

When you’re investigating recruitment assessments, always ask for evidence they’ve been validated for the purpose for which you want to use them. If the supplier can’t provide validation and reliability reports, it probably means they don’t have them, and you need to search for an alternative tool.

3. Recruitment assessments measure the wrong things.

Many psychometrics assess a pre-determined set of behaviours or attributes, which the provider deems relevant. And that can mean they measure the wrong things. But the issue isn’t necessarily with the standard package, it’s with your inability to change the selection.

Products like Great People Inside assessments allow you to adjust standard templates or create new ones. They’re flexible, so you can customise them to what YOU want to measure. That way, the person who knows your business best (you) gets to determine which attributes are most important to your recruitment process.

4. Psychometric reports are complex and hard to understand.

Unfortunately, this is often the case. Many assessments are full of psychobabble, or are so complex, you need a PhD (or expensive three-day training course) just to understand them. And the reports are equally unclear.

The results of psychometric tests should be widely accessible, user-friendly, and written in language that’s understandable. A line manager, with little or no training in using them, should be able to pick up a report and know what they’re reading. When results are hidden behind a curtain of gobbledegook, the provider has failed. Reports need to be simple.

So, look for that in the product you choose. Ask for examples of the reports produced and keep that need for simplicity in mind as you search for the right tool for your business. And remember, just because something’s simple, doesn’t stop it also being valid and reliable.

5. Using assessments creates clones and prevents recruitment of new ideas.

Nothing will ever measure every aspect of someone’s personality. Rather, a good assessment measures the core behaviours you know will drive success, and still leaves plenty of scope for the individuality that organisations need to develop and grow.

Well-designed assessments also aim to prevent bias and promote fairness, so you can be confident you’re making informed decisions about the candidates who join your company.

6. Psychometrics need pen and paper or a desktop computer.

This last myth is one that annoys lots of people, and it is still true of some assessments. Yet progressive assessments use modern technology so they’re accessible. They can be completed on any device (desktop, laptop, tablet or phone), anytime, anywhere.

This technology also means you aren’t waiting days for the results. Candidate responses are analysed quickly and efficiently. And are converted into comprehensive, easy-to-read reports so, you can move swiftly to the next phase of your recruitment.

Helping you hire great people

Assessments from Great People Inside are designed to make the recruitment process simpler, not create more challenges. They can be adapted to suit your exact needs and, we don’t charge for customisation, so it’s more affordable than you might think. You choose what you want to assess and we help you create a benchmark using results from your best employees.

Our reports are written in plain language, so they don’t need to be interpreted by consultants, psychologists or HR professionals. Instead, they can be used by everyone, even line managers who don’t recruit regularly.

Contact us to learn more about Great People Inside Assessments and how we can help you hire great people.

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