Explain the advantages of psychometric assessment
• Tests set in realistic work contexts give applicants a useful foretaste of the job and indicate their motivation for the role, thereby reducing selection errors.
• Results can be validated in statistical terms against candidate's performance and behavior once in post, and can be used to predict the potential of future candidates.
• Psychometric assessment enables individuals to be compared in an objective and fair way.
• Most selection tests are of a pencil-and-paper variety, and therefore candidates can be tested in groups.
• Training needs are identified which have a positive impact on morale and staff turnover.
• Psychometric tests are inexpensive to use and many materials are reusable.
Clarify the restrictions involved in psychometric assessment
• As is the case for many selection techniques, psychometric tests should not be used in isolation as they cannot measure the entire candidate.
• Special training is required to administer and interpret psychometric tests.
• Equal opportunities, sex and disability legislation apply to the use of psychometric tests.
Carry out job analysis
In order to select appropriate psychometric tests, you need to identify the skills you are looking for in a particular role, and you do this by carrying out job analysis. There are a number of techniques for job analysis:
1. Self-description, diaries or logs
2. Critical Incident Technique
3. Hierarchical Task Analysis
4. Position Analysis Questionnaire
5. Repertory Grid Analysis
Know when to use psychometric assessment
Once you have identified from the job analysis process that it is appropriate to use one or more tests, you need to think about how these will fit into the overall procedure. Psychometric tests can be used in the initial screening, first interview and final interview stages, depending on your requirements.
At whatever stage you decide to use tests, you will need to bear in mind the practical considerations such as the time involved in administering, scoring and interpreting the tests, the cost of materials, and the provision of feedback to candidates.