The Pros and Cons of Psychometric Testing for Vocational Purposes

Psychometric testing is no longer an anomaly for job seekers because they are becoming increasingly common during the recruitment process. Existing employees are also getting used to doing some form of psychometric testing during their employment at a particular company. The aim of these tests is to determine personality traits and characteristics that provide insights about the person’s suitability for a particular position or company.

While these are being employed with great success, there can also be some drawbacks. Here we take a look at the pros and cons of psychometric testing.

The Pros

  • Accurate and objective: Modern tests can measure personality traits more accurately than before. Interviewers can often be biased and their reaction to the person could be influenced by their chemistry and observations about the candidate. Because psychometric testing is not done by people, but rather on a computer, there are no personal factors that influence the outcomes. This means that the test is objective and, as a result, more accurate.
  • Easy to calculate: The psychometric tests of today are easy to apply and score via computer. No longer do people have to sit and mark tests as they did in the past, and often these tests are so well designed that they not only provide the scoring, but also reporting on what the scoring means. Results can also be obtained almost immediately, which saves a lot of time and effort.
  • Cost-effective: Inefficient employees can cost a company a lot of money due to their incompetence, lack of interest, or their failure to do their job properly. This can lead to high staff turnover. However, with the help of psychometric testing, a company can bring down costs by eliminating unsuitable candidates during the recruitment process.
  • Identifies training opportunities: Psychometric testing can be used for existing staff members as a means to analyse their training needs and overall suitability for a position. Sometimes a person is appointed for a particular position, but during their employment at the company, they may be moved to a different position. Good psychometric evaluation will help to determine whether they are better suited for another position in the company or if there are opportunities for the development of the employee in order to perform better. It also provides a better understanding of the employee and how they should be managed or motivated.

The Cons

  • Cultural and language barriers: This is particularly prevalent in South African where we have so many different cultures and languages. Most psychometric testing is done in English, yet only a proportion of the country speaks English fluently. This may lead to misunderstanding of the questions, or not fully comprehending what is being asked. The best way to get around this is to have tests translated into native languages.
  • Underperformance due to external or internal circumstances: The results of psychometric testing can be influenced by the state of mind or body of the person taking the test. For instance, someone may be exhausted after a long journey, they may be going through a family crisis, they may even just be hungry, very nervous or sleepy, all of which can reduce concentration and affect the answers and outcomes of the test.

If you are looking for a professional outfit that can provide you with highly relevant and accurate results, contact our team of psychometrists at FWA Organisational Development. We have ample experience in the application of psychometric testing to help you build a more successful company with more productive employees.

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