The Use of Psychometrics in Recruitment - Vitae Consulting
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The Use of Psychometrics in Recruitment

The Use of Psychometrics in Recruitment

Psychometrics in recruitment is becoming more and more widespread, especially with the impact of the pandemic and the use of virtual tools for recruitment.

Firstly, what are Psychometrics? Psychometrics are assessments used to measure an individual’s mental capabilities and processes. These can range from assessments on emotional intelligence and personality to ability and aptitude. Psychometrics allow for the quantitative and standardised assessment of psychological processes. One of the benefits of using these assessments is that the individual result is compared to a standard rather than to the other candidates being recruited, therefore making the process much fairer and more accurate.

The purpose of recruitment is to find the employee that is best suited to the role on a qualification level but also on a psychological level. CV’s and qualifications can give a baseline understanding of the individual but to elevate this to a deeper understanding with some form of psychometric assessment can be hugely beneficial.

The typical method of hiring starts with reviewing CVs, then moving to screening processes such as phone interviews, then to the interview phase with the most promising employees, and finally drawing on psychometric testing. The labour market is highly competitive making recruitment a difficult task with a high volume of candidates applying. Experienced recruiters may already get a feel from the person they are recruiting that they are a fit for the role but having the objective measure makes the process much fairer and more reliable. Additionally, predicting how an individual may perform and behave in the workplace can save on hiring someone who will not work well with the team, culture or organisation.

However, there is another point of view from Bateson, Wirtz, Burke and Vaughan (2013) to suggest that this is a backwards approach to hiring. In fact, by going with an assessment-first approach this can screen out many individuals who are unsuitable for the role. This paper mentions a large supermarket chain that use a situational-judgement assessment to screen out the bottom 25% of applicants before the CV stage. Therefore, those they called for interview were more qualified, and this saved the company on approx. 73,000 hours of managerial time.

Not hiring effectively can create significant costs for organisations relating to hiring itself, retention, and pay. The US Department of Labour puts the cost of a bad hire at up to 30% of the employee’s wages for the first year. 34% of CFOs said that not only do bad hires cost them productivity, but managers also must spend 17% of their time supervising poorly performing employees (Robert Half International, 2014). Therefore, it can be costly and time consuming to hire badly or not hire effectively. Additionally, hiring effectively can boost productivity as there is a ripple effect from the new hire’s energy.

To summarize, the reason Psychometrics can be hugely beneficial is because not all candidates are successful even if they may look so on paper. When workplace realities set into place, the way that this is navigated is significant. Other factors that come into play here are communication skills, personality traits, conflict management, and overall approach to work and life. These factors are just as important as the hard skills that are necessary for the role, if not more important in some roles.

Especially now, following a year of remote working, and moving into a hybrid style working environment, recruitment strategies must become more agile and flexible to avoid missing out on great talent. Therefore, getting that deeper understanding of an individual without meeting them in person is key.

Psychometrics in Vitae Consulting:

We provide Psychometric assessments to organisations for their recruitment processes. We conduct full reports and analysis on these assessments allowing the organisation to use the results to ask more meaningful questions to candidates. If you or your organisation are interested in this service or are looking to better your recruitment strategies, don’t hesitate to have a look on our website or to contact us on


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