Many organisations use psychometric testing for recruitment and development planning.

Utilising psychometric tests can prove a valuable exercise in providing additional evidence of

candidate knowledge and/or experience, or, to support in identifying skills gaps for individuals.

The key to using tests correctly is to ensure that a qualified practitioner is on hand to advise and administer the tests. They can also offer a feedback service of the results to ensure a full understanding of the report is provided.

Testing for Recruitment

My rule of thumb is, never use tests for anything you can find out from an interview question or application form when supporting a recruitment campaign.

From a candidate’s perspective, taking a psychometric test can be a daunting prospect. It is important to ensure that they understand what the test is being used for, what it is measuring and how to take the test.

Psychometric tests can usually be administered either electronically (online) or face-to-face (online or paper).

Tests can be sent to candidates prior to the interview for completion. However, it’s important to consider what the test is and whether it is appropriate for candidates to complete from home. For example, if it is a test to measure judgement, this could be appropriate to administer online as there are no specific ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers.

However, if the test is measuring knowledge of a subject such as numerical reasoning, this wouldn’t be suitable for administering online (at home) as there is no way of ensuring that candidates aren’t getting additional help to complete them.

The second option is to administer on the day of the interview, on site. If using this method, there are a few ways in which you can schedule this.

Firstly, you can administer the tests prior to the interviews. To save on resource, you could do a group assessment where all candidates take the test at the same time. Then rota candidates to have a tour and/or informal chats while they wait for their interview time.

Conducting the tests in this way means that the results can be provided to the panel prior to each candidate being interviewed. This allows the panel to probe further in relation to the candidate’s knowledge.

Secondly, candidates can be tested individually either prior or after the interview. If the tests are administered after the interviews, this allows the panel to use the test results to ‘back-up’ the decision they make from the interviews. This would be my recommended way of scheduling psychometric tests as they are there to support the recruitment process.

Psychometric test results should not be used in isolation to make recruitment decisions. Test results should be used to confirm or ‘back-up’ the decision of the panel and provide useful evidence of the candidate’s abilities.

Development Planning

Psychometric tests can also be used to support development planning for individuals. It is vital to ensure that testing is an appropriate method for identifying skills gaps, prior to administering the test.

Development planning should always start with the conversation, discussions at performance review meetings, 1-2-1 meetings and by providing individuals with regular feedback.

It is important to ensure that you use a qualified practitioner to administer these tests as they can offer specific advice on the most appropriate test to suit the situation.

When using psychometric testing for development planning, it is important to carefully chose the right test. This should be based on what you are trying to measure/evaluate.

Results from the test should be fed back to the individual as well as their manager by an experienced test facilitator.

If you would like to discuss psychometric testing in more details, please contact us via the online contact form or via email on

#psychometric #testing #recruitment #development #learning #SHL

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