Why psychometric tests are used in the recruitment process?

By Charlotte Miller


This article explores the advantages of incorporating psychometric tests into the recruitment process, highlighting their utilisation and specific attributes. Psychometric tests are instrumental in assessing a candidate’s suitability for a particular position or within an organisation, encompassing areas such as verbal reasoning, logical reasoning, situational judgement, and numerical reasoning. These tests also gauge a candidate’s abilities, intelligence levels, and problem-solving prowess. Psychometric aptitude tests specifically evaluate numerical, verbal, and logical skills, while personality, behavior, and emotional intelligence assessments aim to gauge communication capabilities and leadership potential.

Despite qualifications and industry experience appearing fitting for a role, aspects like personality traits, work approach, and communication proficiency play a pivotal role in predicting compatibility. Psychometric tests offer valuable insights into a candidate’s personality traits, logical reasoning, problem-solving abilities, and their capacity to interpret and analyze datasets. Thomas, a provider of psychometric tools, offers a comprehensive array of these assessments, enhancing the efficiency and reliability of the recruitment process.

Why do employers incorporate psychometric tests into the recruitment process?

Typically, candidates undergo assessment through the review of their CV or resume, various interview rounds, and potentially being assigned tasks or projects.

Psychometric tools utilized in recruitment provide a more thorough and valuable assessment of individuals compared to traditional methods. These tools aid in evaluating an individual’s aptitude, personality type, communication style, emotional intelligence, and workplace-relevant behaviors.

These insights furnish employers with significant information about a candidate’s ability to collaborate in a team, their preferred management style, and their inclination towards rule adherence or risk-taking. Such factors are crucial indicators of a candidate’s suitability for a role within a specific company.

Another noteworthy aspect of psychometric assessment is its provision of a personality evaluation, enabling interviewers to gauge a candidate’s suitability for diverse positions. For instance, it facilitates assessing whether a candidate is well-suited for a role involving client interaction or if they would integrate effectively into an existing team. These examples underscore the advantages of integrating psychometric testing.

Why psychometric tests are used in the recruitment process

Furthermore, psychometric tests offer an advantage in scenarios where candidates might not perform at their best during interviews due to a challenging day or anxiety. In such instances, a psychometric test can alleviate the reliance on interviews. By posing questions based on specific scenarios, interviewers can gain a more comprehensive understanding of a candidate’s skills through their responses, enhancing the psychometric evaluation.

Despite the advantages, cautionary advice from experts in the recruitment industry highlights the risks of overrelying on psychometric tests. Emphasis is placed on the potential deterrent effect of frequent aptitude tests on prospective applicants, and unnecessary personality assessments could pose risks to the emotional well-being of certain candidates.

The insights garnered from a thoughtful analysis of psychometric testing extend beyond the initial recruitment phase. These insights not only validate a candidate’s caliber but also furnish hiring managers with valuable information to facilitate future discussions on growth, ensuring heightened levels of job satisfaction and engagement.

What are recruiters looking for when it comes to psychometric testing?

Recruiters’ criteria for psychometric testing vary based on the specific role being considered. When conducting skills assessment tests for employment, hiring managers seek different qualities. For instance, for a demanding Head of Marketing role, they may look for someone who excels in high-pressure environments, is adept at effective communication with stakeholders across levels, and possesses inherent leadership abilities.

On the other hand, a technical IT position might require qualities such as systematic and self-disciplined work habits, along with the ability to function effectively without constant supervision. Similarly, a team leader is expected to demonstrate robust emotional intelligence, while an editor should exhibit a notable aptitude for identifying errors in information (there is indeed a psychometric assessment designed to evaluate one’s ability to detect inaccuracies).

Is psychometric testing effective in the recruitment process?

Many argue that psychometric assessments significantly contribute to employers making more informed decisions during hiring. These tests offer additional insights into candidates, shedding light on their strengths, weaknesses, and potential avenues for future growth.

Research suggests that psychometric testing is indeed effective in streamlining the hiring process, reducing both time and costs. Employers report an increased sense of confidence in candidate selection, emphasizing the reliability and precision of these tests. Professionals in the field endorse their use while recommending a combined approach with traditional methods, such as in-person interviews. A study revealed that 75% of the leading organizations mentioned in The Times incorporate psychometric testing into their recruitment strategies, alongside other established methods and tools.

Psychometric test for hiring evaluate candidates in ways that may be challenging to achieve through alternative approaches, like interviews. By objectively scoring candidates against predetermined criteria, it becomes easier to identify exceptional candidates and swiftly create a shortlist of the most promising ones.

Despite these benefits, traditional assessment methods still maintain a role in recruitment. Relying solely on psychometric tests is deemed insufficient for making all hiring decisions. To optimize the recruitment process, companies are encouraged to combine psychometric testing with other traditional methods. This approach ensures effective recruitment, considering the potential negative consequences of making a poor hire. The ramifications of a bad hire extend beyond recruitment costs, training expenses, and decreased productivity, impacting company morale and culture significantly.


In conclusion, psychometric test are now integral to the hiring processes of many companies, offering crucial insights into candidates’ cognitive abilities, personality traits, and skills. Leveraging the objectivity, predictive validity, and efficiency of these assessments enhances employers’ decision-making, leading to more suitable matches between candidates and roles. Nevertheless, organisations need to approach the use of psychometric tests with caution, considering ethical aspects, fostering diversity and inclusion, and recognising their limitations.

 As the professional landscape evolves, so too will the role of psychometric testing in influencing the future of talent acquisition. Mercer Mettl offers a variety of tests designed to assist companies in assessing individuals’ suitabiliaty for specific roles. These tests gauge cognitive abilities, personality traits, decision-making skills in diverse scenarios, and other specific attributes. This ensures that companies can confidently select candidates who align well with the requirements of the job they are looking to fill.