Role of Psychology in Talent Acquisition


Today, TA has become a bit more complex, because it goes beyond experience and qualification in itself. What HRs of today are on lookout for, has got lot to do with the personality, aptitude, honesty, anger management and many more such characteristic traits of an individual. This is where psychometric testing has a pivotal role to play.

There is a distinction between a psychometric test and a psychometric assessment. The main difference is that a test measures your maximum performance using tasks that have right or wrong answers. An assessment will typically use a questionnaire-format, asking you to rate your agreement levels with certain statements, or perhaps indicate how frequently you feel a certain way.

The word psychometric basically refers to the measurement of the mind. Psychometric testing allows the company to gather a comprehensive understanding of an individual’s personality and abilities. Employers who choose to use psychometric testing during the recruitment process gain a better overall evaluation of the candidate and hopefully in the process secure the best fit for the role.

Countries like India too are slowly but hesitantly adopting the use of psychometric tools. Recent survey estimated that 18 per cent of companies use psychometric testing in their hiring process, a percentage that is growing at the rate of 10-15 per cent annually. While some are using psychometric analysis to gauge the P-E fit, many are using it to identify candidates with leadership potentials at the time of promotions. Psychometric tests can measure a number of attributes including intelligence, critical reasoning, motivation and personality profile.

As an indicator of your personality, preferences and abilities, psychometric tests can help prospective employers find the best match of individual to occupation and working environment.

The personality tests are often done using questionnaires while ability is measured with the Following tests.

  • Logical reasoning
  • Numerical reasoning
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Mechanical reasoning
  • Abstract reasoning and others.

If used the above tests accurately, can prove useful in providing the management guidance on career progression for existing employees. There are different types of tests, but generally they’ll be used to measure how people differ in their motivation, values, priorities and opinions with regard to different tasks and Situations. In terms of personality, the tests can give an indication of the working style favored by a candidate and how they interact with both their environment and fellow workers. The tests are helpful at analyzing the more ‘hidden’ traits of an individual.

Formal education and past experience will not always provide a clear, up-to-date assessment of these personal skills.

Aptitude tests, for example, could help to provide a better, more realistic and current view of a candidate’s abilities than a formal certificate of education.

Below are some of the Assessment tools which are most commonly used by employers.

Psychometric Assessment

Psychometric tests help measure candidates’ suitability for a role based on the personality characteristics and cognitive abilities required to perform the role.

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) MBTI is the most widely used personality test in the world, with over 3.5 million tests assessed every year. About 80% of Fortune 500 companies have been using the MBTI to assess candidates’ preferences, their perception and decision-making skills. It aims to indicate a pattern in human behavior and categorizes candidates into four different personality types. The result of this test indicates the type of personality category that Candidates fall in, helping the company determine if candidates are a good fit for the Position/role.

  • Caliper Caliper has been used to assess the personality of potential candidates for over 50 years and has been adopted by companies such as Motorola, Orange County Luxury Hotels, and more. This test measures if applicants’ traits and attributes are in alignment with the job profile or not. It focuses on Candidates natural strengths, potential in the required job areas, and motivations. This method can also give Candidate a chance to judge if the nature of the job aligns with his/her interests or not.

  • Likert Scale It is often used to form the questions and options for a psychometric test for job applicants. It is a bipolar method of testing Candidates positive and negative responses to a particular statement. A leading online testing platform uses Likert Scale as one of its assessment tools to measure certain personality traits of candidates.

Skills Assessment

These assessments help employers accurately gauge the skill level of the candidates to successfully perform a certain job.

  • Predictive Index (PI) The index is a 12 minute timed test that is often used as a pre-employment assessment tool for hiring and as a post-employment assessment tool for talent development. The PI has been in use for over 60 years by companies across the globe. This is a scientific tool that assesses Candidates cognitive and behavioral aspects of their personality to test if they are a good fit to a job role, thereby helping employers mitigate turnover.

  • Interview Mocha Interview Mocha is Indian online assessment software that helps recruiters and hiring managers to shortlist candidates in four simple steps. It is used by the employers to check Candidates aptitude and job readiness, skills, with the help of custom tests and advanced simulations. This tool provides a quantifiable result for making a selection decision.

Behavioral Assessment

These tests evaluate applicants’ behavioral traits to help predict their future performance and identify candidates who are most likely to succeed.

  • Wonderlic A major test used to select athletes, especially quarterbacks in the National Football League (NFL), is now used by companies to assess their candidates. The tool can be used to test the candidates’ decision making skills,grasping power, and other behavioral skills.

  • IBM Kenexa Employee assessment wing of IBM uses behavioral science techniques to measure traits, skills, and culture fit of potential candidates and employees. IBM Kenexa provides job evaluation tools, skill assessment tests, functional behavior assessments and more.

High performing organizations constantly evaluate and improve their candidate evaluation systems by paying attention to predictor variables, outcome variables, and the correlations between the two. Psychometric tests should be subject to the same rigorous testing and validation as the candidates they are being utilized to assess. When hiring managers and HR utilize the right methodology to select and retain the right psychometric tests, they can significantly raise the probability of selecting and retaining the right talent, too.



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