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What Kinds of Psychometric Tests Are There?




Psychometric assessment is widely used by information technology companies, financial institutions, management consultancies, local governments, the civil service, police forces, fire departments, and the armed forces.

There are several reasons for the increased use of tests by organizations:

Increased regulation and legislation – Employers must have a selection process that is legally sound. Psychometric tests are viewed as objective measures of how well a candidate’s skills match the competency profile for the job at hand.

Increased training costs – Organizations with higher training budgets use psychometric testing more than those with lower budgets.

Testing costs have decreased – The increased use of tests is a response to the lower cost of testing in comparison to other methods of selection. This is due to an increase in the number of providers entering the market as well as the increased use of technology, particularly the internet, in administering tests and analyzing results.

More formal HR policies – The rise in employment-related litigation has prompted many organizations to hire more highly qualified human resources professionals, who favour more formalized methods of selection. The Psychometric assessment adds scientific credibility and objectivity to a recruitment process that could otherwise be perceived as highly subjective.

There is strong evidence for a loss of confidence in school-based formal qualifications and/or the standard of degrees. Many managers now accept that psychometric tests, such as quantitative reasoning, will provide more information on skills that will supplement qualification-based evidence. Aptitude tests are also viewed as providing information on a wide range of skills that are not suitable for formal certification.

Screening a large number of candidates – Psychometric tests are a quick and relatively inexpensive way of weeding out a large number of unsuitable candidates early in the recruitment process. In terms of human resources, psychometric testing can significantly reduce workload by replacing initial screening interviews, which were traditionally used to shortlist candidates for a more rigorous second interview.

 The cost of recruitment – The hiring process is both costly and time-consuming. If an organization chooses the wrong candidate, the potential costs are enormous. The overall cost of poor selection is incalculable, but it almost certainly equals twice the annual salary of the job incumbent – and in many cases, it will be much higher.

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Psychometric tests are classified into two types:

Personality questionnaires that assess various aspects of your personality

Aptitude tests that assess your cognitive and reasoning abilities

Personality Evaluations

Personality is important in determining whether you have the enthusiasm and motivation that the employer is looking for, as well as whether you will fit into the organization in terms of your personality, attitude, and general work style. The idea behind personality tests is that by asking you about your feelings, thoughts, and behaviour, you can quantify your intrinsic personality traits.

Aptitude Exams

Aptitude and ability tests are used to evaluate your cognitive abilities. At least 5,000 aptitude and ability tests are available on the market. Some contain only one type of question (for example, verbal ability, numerical reasoning ability, and so on), while others contain a variety of questions. They are always presented in a multiple-choice format, with correct and incorrect answers. They are strictly timed, and in order to succeed, you must complete them as quickly and accurately as possible.

An article published recently in the Journal of Applied Psychology is set to cause quite a stir in the world of talent assessment and employee selection. This article examined common meta-analytic practices and concluded that the strength of the relationship between assessment scores and job performance is frequently exaggerated.

SHL has published a report called Guidance for the Interpretation of Validity Coefficients to assist employees, practitioners, and customers in deciphering the findings. In this blog, I discuss SHL’s approach to evaluating talent assessment validity and why commonly accepted research findings require a fresh perspective. But first, let’s define some terms used in the talent assessment field.

Terminology used in talent evaluation and employee selection

The term validity refers to the accuracy of interpretations drawn from assessment scores in the world of talent assessment for employee selection (e.g., that assessment scores predict job performance). The process of establishing evidence that supports these interpretations is known as validation.

The strongest form of validation evidence in talent assessment is generally thought to come from criterion-related validation, which demonstrates that scores on an assessment (i.e., the predictor) are related to scores on a criterion measure of interest (most often job performance). Criterion-related validity evidence is typically presented as a validity coefficient, or correlation (r), which ranges from 0 to 1 and represents the magnitude of the relationship between assessment and criterion scores.

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Predictive validation studies gather predictor data (e.g., assessment scores) from job applicants prior to selection and criterion data (e.g., manager ratings) from those hired after some time on the job. Concurrent validation studies collect data on both predictor and criterion variables from job incumbents who are close in time.

Meta-analysis is a method of combining results from multiple validation studies to reduce the impact of sampling error and obtain a more accurate estimate of the true correlation between variables than a single study can provide. Meta-analyses of the validity of selection procedures are widely used in academic literature and among assessment vendors to determine the expected mean level of validity for various types of assessments.

Mercer Mettl has traditionally taken a conservative approach to validate coefficients. Corrections for range restriction have typically not been performed, owing to the fact that most criterion-related validation studies are concurrent, making realistic estimates of correction formula variables difficult. As a result, the conclusions reached by the recent article mentioned at the beginning of this blog are unlikely to have an impact on the results of our own validation studies or meta-analyses. Our technical manuals include all of the information required to evaluate validity calculations as well as any statistical corrections. This may not be the case for other talent assessment vendors’ validity claims.

Recognize the significance of aptitude testing and choose a career that both interests you and has a high likelihood of success. Mercer Mettl’s personality traits are straightforward and require little preparation. An aptitude test can be administered before an interview or online in the privacy of your own home. An aptitude test will ensure that you continue to develop and grow in the appropriate career path.

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