The four most important tips when choosing and using psychometric assessments for graduate recruitment

The four most important tips when choosing and using psychometric assessments for graduate recruitment

What are psychometric assessments?

The term 'psychometric' literally translates as 'measurement of the mind'. Within organisations, traditional recruitment interviews and internal employee development programs are being complemented with personality and ability tests. These tests come under the banner of Psychometric Assessments and are a standard, scientific and objective method of measuring a person’s abilities, behavioural style, and motivation.


Why are companies using psychometric assessments for graduate recruitment?

  1. Predicting on-the-job performance. Research shows that well-constructed psychometric tests are the single most effective predictor of job performance. Psychometric tests give objective information about a candidate and have been shown to lead to better and fairer employment decisions.


  2. A fairer, more objective assessment of candidates. By measuring results against a common normative group, candidate results may be used to challenge stereotyped judgements made by interviewers.


  3. Lower hiring costs. Applicants can be guided through an online pre-assessment which sifts out unsuitable candidates and reduces the risk of missing high-potential candidates.


Who uses psychometric assessments for graduate recruitment?

Busy recruitment teams within large corporate or government organisations benefit the most from these types of solutions when they’re looking to reduce the time and cost of finding and interviewing great candidates.
High-stakes recruitment such as the armed forces, airlines, police, banks, law, accounting and management consultancy firms who can’t afford to take the chance with a bad hire.


How are they assessing?

Large organisations are using online assessments to help measure candidates’ ability and personality at appropriate stages in the recruitment process.

  • Ability – Critical thinking or Cognitive ability
  • Personality – Assess if someone is likely to display good on-the-job behaviours
  • Emotional Intelligence – Measure emotional and social functioning of an individual for any role
  • Development tools – Individual, Leadership & Team Development or Critical thinking development


When are they assessing?

This varies from company to company. Some companies use a sifting tool at the very first stage of the graduate recruitment process i.e. as soon as they receive an application for the role. Others conduct assessments after the first round of sifting, say following a telephone interview. And some test in between the first and second interview stages, using the assessment results to guide the interview in the second meeting.


The four most important tips when choosing psychometric assessments for graduate recruitment

  1. Fit for purpose – It is important to choose the right assessment for your purposes. Identify the skills and attributes important to success in a role, and then find an assessment which assesses those exact qualities.
  2. Reliability and validity - The purpose of any assessment is to contribute to the decision making process, therefore it must be reliable and valid. The test items must be stable, effective and fair. It is not worth spending one cent on an assessment which is not reliable or valid as the candidate results will be meaningless.
  3. Platform stability – Online assessments are delivered via testing platforms which vary in functionality and stability. It is important to specifically ask questions around the platforms ability to handle bulk testing. What functionality does the platform have which will make your life easier as the administrator of a large volume of tests.
  4. Support and Service from Test Publisher – Bulk testing can be stressful as it often needs to be completed within a short period of time and you may be sending out communications to thousands of applicants at one time. What support can the supplier provide during the testing period? For example, email templates, bulk uploading candidate details and collating raw results.


Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal - This test measures critical thinking ability. It assesses the ability to look at a situation, understand it from multiple perspectives and effectively separate facts from opinions. This challenging assessment identifies high-potential university graduates and early-career managers by looking at their comprehension, analysis and evaluation skills.

SOSIE - This tool measures personal values, interpersonal values and personality traits. It can be used to create an even broader picture of a candidate when combined with ability tests within the recruitment process. This test offers an insight into the personality and motivations of the candidate, as well as their fit with a role or organisation and, ultimately, their performance.

Ravens Advanced Progressive Matrices – The Raven’s is widely used within recruitment for graduates, as well as for IT and engineering. It measures inductive (abstract) reasoning, and identifies advanced observation and clear thinking skills.


Pearson TalentLens is a global test publisher. For more information on the full range of tools available for graduate recruitment and development browse our graduate recruitment solutions