Measuring the Effectiveness of Psychometric Assessment in Recruitment

  • The interview as the sole means of selection has relatively poor predictive validity.
  •  Psychometrics can significantly reduce the risk of failure in recruitment.
  • The cost of an unsuccessful appointment can be incalculable. 
  •  Companies can be overly  tolerant, post appointment, in the face of poor performance.  
  • Contrast the added value to an organisation of a top performer with a poor performer.
  • The cost of ‘best practice’ psychometrics is insignificant against the inherent cost of risk exposed recruitment practice.
Psychometric Assessment

Psychometric Assessment is now a well proven and established technology within the recruitment processes and almost all large organisations use a variety of psychometric instruments for both selection and in-house assessment. There are 2 critical aspects to using psychometric assessment tools, the first of which is the proven validity coefficients relating to the instruments in question, that they are able to reasonably accurately measure the behaviours/competencies they are seeking to measure.  The second critical factor in their use is the training of the administrators and users of the tests.  Any reputable publisher of psychometrics will make their research available and will insist on the proper training of administrators and interpreters of the tests in question.

There are two main families of tests used in psychometric assessment – the Personality Assessments of which there are many available in the market place and the Cognitive Reasoning or Ability Tests used to measure critical reasoning ability such as Maths and Verbal Reasoning.  These are generally very important in the work-place and an individual’s results can be compared against normative data giving a measure of scores from the 1stPercentile up to the 99thPercentile.  It can be extremely useful to know and individual’s capability in these areas before a hiring decision is made.

The cost of hiring a middle senior Manager can range from between £8K to £28K, while the cost of poor performance is incalculable!! Compared to these costs a few hundred pounds spent on reputable psychometric assessment tools can seem a very wise investment, which is why almost every large company uniformly utilise psychometric assessment tools across the work-place!  Also Job Performance Ratings in companies that use these assessment methodologies are generally very high, but this can also depend on the organisational culture – which is another story!

NB Currently there is further extensive research being undertaken by the many of the leading global companies on the contribution made by high performers to an organisation’s success and their degree of engagement to the employers’ values and mission and integrity.  This has resulted in the new scientific application of predictive analytics relating to human behaviour in the work-place but more of this in my next Blog!!


John Mason has been certified by the British Psychological Society to Full Level B by examination. This is the highest level of qualification available below that of Chartered Psychologist.  

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