How can psychometric testing be useful to us in industry?
There are many organisations that are realising the benefits of psychometric testing in the selection process. If these psychometrics assessments are used properly and in a professional and informed manner, psychometric testing can make a significant value in increasing an organisations efficiency and effectiveness. Psychometric assessment can play a key role in placing the right type of individual in the right kind of career and to ensure that they receive the correct training to enhance their own skills by using scientifically reliable methods.
Organisations are also realising the need to assess future employee’s ethical stance and their intrinsic qualities. Due to an increase in theft, fraud, drug use, alcohol problems and violence; psychometric testing is becoming an increasingly important predictor of potential future behaviour to rule out future high-risk employees.
Even with the continuous growth in psychometric assessment there are still a few criticisms relating to psychometric instruments with the main criticism being that of reliability and validity, and the over reliance of psychometric assessment to predict future performance in industry especially relating to complex positions like management. Another criticism relating to psychometric testing is to the extent to which tests might discriminate against a particular person or a group of people.
Psychometric testing tries to attempt some type of objectivity in selection decision making. The numerous tests used in selection fall in various categories including: personality, ability, aptitude, knowledge and integrity tests.
- Personality tests
This psychometric test includes the quantification of traits that are of important to the job and would be much more difficult to measure by any other means. There are numerous tests that can be taken to measure personality but the most frequently used is that of written tests. The measure that is most often referred to as the basic dimension for personality tests is the ‘The Big Five Test’. The Big Five is a test that measures the five components of personality including extraversion, agreeableness, conscientious, emotional stability and openness to experience.
- Ability tests
This psychometric test is concerned with an individual’s skills and abilities that the individual already has. These tests measure if when an individual is given the opportunity to perform that person has the ability to perform the tasks. There are three main categories that fall into measurable abilities that can show potential and these are: psychomotor (perceptual speed and accuracy); physical (manual dexterity and physical strength); and cognitive (verbal and quantitative).