Blog Series - Ultimate Guide to Assessments

Blog 3: Psychometric Assessment for Talent Acquisition Leaders

Samiksha Bhardwaj-20 November, 2019 -Talent Assessment

In the previous part Blog 2: Psychometric Assessments for HR Leaders, we took deeper insights as to the importance of psychometric assessments for HR leaders and how they can use these assessments across the lifecycle of employees and not just for hiring.

In this blog, we would take deeper insights as to the importance of psychometric assessments for talent acquisition leaders and how they can use these assessments to improve the hiring ratios, cost while improving the candidate experience and employer branding.

As per a study by SHRM, the cost of a bad hire can be 5 times his/her annual salary in the organization and hence organizations should focus on hiring the right talent for organizational success. Another study by Forbes suggested that poor fit with culture was the most important reason for their first-year attrition and new hire failure.

Another report from Robert Half also supports these findings as they suggest that 95% of IT hiring decision- makers admit to making hiring mistakes. The same study also revealed that adequate technical skills (39%) are the most difficult thing to evaluate during a job interview, followed by corporate culture (37%), and soft skills (23%).

That's why it's imperative for talent acquisition leaders to be very accurate about hiring decisions. They don't have the option of making a bad choice as the direct and indirect implications on the business are of high magnitude. In these situations, Psychometric assessments have proven to be the best companion for talent acquisition leaders to make an accurate and reliable prediction in terms of the fitment of a candidate with the organization and hire success profiles.

But before we go any further, let's have a look at what creates a success profile for an organization and what tools are available to identify the success profile. In the most fundamental terms, a success profile is a mix of role fitment and organizational fitment.

Role fitment means the candidate has the domain knowledge, behavioural competencies, and cognitive skills required for a particular job type. The cognitive skills can be trained if not present in an individual. Various cognitive and aptitude tests are effective in measuring these competencies and they measure the ability of a candidate to do a job.

On the other hand, organizational fitment implies the fitment of a candidate to organizational culture, core values or DNA of the organization. The personality is what we are born with and it's difficult for someone to change their personality. This is often measured by Personality assessments and assessments based on the Big 5 Personality Model have found acceptance across the globe.

The ideal scenario for hiring the right candidate is to have both role as well as organizational fitment but even if the current role fitment is not there but organizational fitment is there, the decision should be to hire as the domain knowledge can be trained but you can't significantly change someone's personality. The focus should be to look at those assessments which offer a deep insight into the personality of a candidate.

While hiring the right candidate remains the top area where the talent acquisition leaders have used psychometric assessments, there are few more areas where the TA leaders can use these assessments:

  1. 1. Career Guidance
  2. One cannot underestimate the cost associated with a wrong hire. HR leaders have used psychometric assessments to predict job performance more accurately. They help predict performance through insights on fitness, strengths, weaknesses, and working style of the candidate.
  3. 2. Candidate Engagement
  4. When an employee's journey begins, assessments are typically one of the first few interactions they have with the organization. Create an experience that engages them to demonstrate their true best which they enjoy rather than being stressed about it.
  5. 3. Employer Branding
  6. A well-designed selection process is critical for sustainable and scalable talent identification. It allows recruiters to leave a lasting positive impression on applicants (who are not only prospective employees but also potential or existing customers). The assessments should be created to leave a lasting impression on the candidates.

Biggest Challenge to Psychometric Assessments

The biggest challenge that TA leaders face today while using the psychometric assessments are:

  1. The candidates can fake their responses and often rate themselves on average or nearest to the social desirability index.
  2. There are hundreds of online resources available with tips to crack a particular assessment for any leading organization. Candidates using these resources would not provide a true measure of their ability or personality.
  3. Due to the tedious nature of traditional assessments, they have high dropout ratios and often candidates who even complete the assessments do it half-heartedly after a couple of questions. This often leads to misaligned assessments and scores.
  4. Assessments focusing on cognition do a good job of assessing the ability of a candidate to do a particular job but they cannot predict the personality or the future potential of a candidate.
  5. A list of competencies are created based on a canned list without giving a serious thought on the competencies that define success for that particular organization.
  6. TA and recruitment teams are already too stretched for their time that they cannot afford to spend any more time in managing administrative and technical aspects of administering a psychometric assessment.

What to Look for in Your Next Psychometric Assessment Solution?

While the challenges to the adoption are many, there are potential solutions around game-based assessments that offer the combination of best-in-class reliability and validity coupled with gaming elements for an immersive experience. Here are some of the salient pointers:

  1. Chose the assessment which uses multiple rating scales to measure the personality as they make it difficult to fake their responses and manipulate the scores.
  2. While the traditional assessments create a feeling of stress with the candidates and often results in over 30% drop-out ratios, game-based assessments are finding favors with both the candidates as well as talent acquisition leaders. Candidates are generally more likely to enjoy the experience and complete a series of more engaging and immersive assessment than a lengthy test.
  3. Measure the competencies based on the personality of the candidate rather than just their ability as the true measure of the fitment. Personality traits generally last for a lifetime.
  4. Spend time and resources and even take external help if you have not defined the competencies required to be successful in your organization for a job role.
  5. Look for a vendor who can do an end-to-end job from consulting, implementation, roll-out, and handholding of candidates during the process.

If you do these well, you will be able to confidently assess the right candidates for the job and organization and meet their KPIs of hiring ratios and cost while still improving the employer brand.

Watch out for our next blog in the Series " Psychometric Assessments for Talent OD and L&D Leaders". If you liked what you read, do like and share the blog in your network and follow our page at