The 4 Psychometric Talent Assessment Methods

The inaccuracies of today’s current recruitment process are becoming impossible to overlooked- we’re humans, we make mistakes, we all know and acknowledge this!

We can accept the fact that we make mistakes and that others make mistakes..

However, these mistakes can be detrimental in the recruitment process.

A mistake could cost a candidate a job opportunity … or a business their perfect employee.

This is where talent assessment comes in!

What Is Talent Assessment?

The purpose of talent assessment is to uncover someone’s capabilities, skills, behaviour, attitudes and personality!

These factors are essential in shaping the type of employee your candidate will be and what they will offer your company.

SO in order to determine whether the employee is a suitable fit for the role their talents must be assessed!

Under the ‘umbrella’ of talent assessment is psychometric assessments…

I know that sounds scary! But it’s not. Contrary to belief, there are ZERO NEGATIVE outcomes from a psychometric assessment.

There is no right or wrong answer when being psychometrically assessed; there are only YOUR answers.

The strength and necessity of psychometric assessments can be supported through their use throughout human history…

When Was It Introduced?

We’re going to dive into a brief history lesson.. (NO note-passing please)

Talent assessment, based on psychological behavioural science, have been prevalent in every day activities since Imperial China! In fact, Imperial China introduced talent assessments to determine which individuals made up the top 3% of the population.

Back in their day, talent assessments were … a little bit different.

Instead of assessing their current skills, their talent assessments were implemented to determine ones capabilities, to see how far they could push themselves and which individuals were the most elite amongst the crowds.

The top 3% were then rewarded with the highest positions in politics and in the community.

Don’t worry, you won’t find HR conducting such talent assessments nowadays!

Psychometric assessment was also utilized by the Military in World War I and II.

Although psychometric assessment development was minimal at this date, the military recognized their benefits and implemented Robert Woodworth’s Personal Data Sheet (1917) to screen the war recruits for psychoneurosis.

This was the only psychometric assessment rubric at the time, and was highly regarded by the Military.

The Military also utilised psychometric assessments to determine their men’s psychological state before, during, and after war related activities.

If history has taught us anything, it has taught us to; learn, develop and adapt.

It has shown us the significant impact of human error, and human biases.

We are human, and we make mistakes! We all do, and that’s okay.

However, as stated, issues arise when our human error may impact a candidate’s likeability of being employed.

Therefore, like the Military and like China, we need to implement strategies to ensure our decisions are based on scientific evidence and not assumptions.

What Are The Methods? 

Although, yes, psychometric assessment offers reliable results of the breakdown of the candidates personality, capabilities, behaviors, skills and soft skills, the psychometric assessments currently utilized are conducted by humans!

Can we avoid human error, if humans are conducting the assessments?

Keep this thought in your mind; we’ll come back to it!

Before I confuse you too much, lets discuss the three traditional methodologies.

  1. Questionnaire

This is the most utilized method of psychometric assessment as it can be completed online. If a recruiter choses to utilize questionnaires as their form of psychometric assessment, they will send a link to the candidate for them to complete in their own time… and it will take roughly 45 minutes.

The questionnaire has an array of questions and prompts you to tick the box most suited to your answer. These options include ‘Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, Strongly Agree’.

The advantages? Well, it can be completed online, and it doesn’t require any extra time for recruiters. Most online questionnaires are also free, thus in order to receive the psychometric assessment recruiters would simply send a link to candidates for them to fill out.

However, alongside their advantages there are multiple disadvantages.

Firstly, questionnaires have been criticized for their random and systematic error. Random error refers to mistakes made by the individual filling in the information, and systematic error refers to mistakes made with the scaling choice and guideline of the questionnaire. For example; the questionnaire may have chosen a scale that is inaccurate or biased, or may have included irrelevant questions.

Secondly, the questionnaire is restricted in regards to the extent of information it provides recruiters. It doesn’t offer in-depth insights and thus the report it created isn’t an accurate representation of the candidate.

Finally, a candidate might believe their best fit is between two options, thus the option they choose isn’t an accurate representation of them.

The error related to questionnaires result in the psychometric assessment report being inaccurate, and unreliable.

  1. Written Test

The written test is an examination undertaken by the candidates in their own time. The test poses a question, and provides a space for the users to write their answers.

The advantages? Written tests allow candidates to provide in-depth insights and answer the question the way they see best appropriate. They can describe themselves using their personal lingo, which also offers insight into their communication skills.

Again, with each advantage there is a disadvantage.

The open-ended questions may result in questions being interpreted differently by each candidate, which makes it extremely difficult to scale the answers. How can you scale long answer responses that have a large variety of information? The rubric would be difficult to implement, and unreliable.

Additionally, you as the reader cannot determine whether or not the candidate truly understood the question- their answer may have been manipulated to suit what they think you wanted to hear.

Lastly, the structure of the assessment doesn’t hold the candidate accountable for the truth of their answers- there are no verbal or non-verbal cues. This makes it difficult to determine whether the answer is honest.

The disadvantages associated with each test imply the psychometric assessment can be unreliable and inaccurate, meaning big decisions can’t purely be based on their findings. 

  1. Reactors Judgment

This method is the most plausible, reliable method. A trained expert, such as a psychologist, sits face to face with the candidate and asks him a series of questions and their psychical and verbal response is recorded.

In most cases, the company will hire a panel of reactors (approx. 3) in order to eliminate biases. What one person interprets from stimuli can vary from another, even though the stimuli were identical. Thus, in order to combat human error a panel is required.

This method has many advantages, but the main advantage is its reliability. This form of psychometric assessment is conducted by a panel of trained experts, which means their findings can be trusted as they have experience in psychometric analysis. This method also allows the assessment to be based on visual responses, rather than written responses.

This method, again, is the most plausible out of the three traditional methods; however, there are still disadvantages. Firstly, the scale of each reactor is based on previous experiences and stimuli, and as each reactor has different experiences each scale will be different.

As well as this, humans interpret stimuli differently, which means what one reactor thought the candidate said or meant might be different from another. This results in human error in results, even if all reactors use the same scale (which they don’t).

All current methods have various degrees of inaccuracy, unreliability and uncertainty. These methods are also time consuming, and costly, and require the candidate to dedicate extra time to be assessed. This results in bad candidate experience, as good candidates that have experience and know their worth will feel as though they are being mistreated and unfairly judged. Let’s be real, would you want to sit in front of a panel and answer questions about your behaviour and personality? It’s inhumane and uncomfortable.

These methods are traditional and most occurring, and as any study or method relating to psychology, has its limitations.

So why do companies conduct and support psychometric assessment if the methods can be time consuming, costly and inaccurate?

Problem: Human Error!

Okay lets reflect together.

We talent assessment is to discover a candidates capabilities, and in order to discover their personality, skills, attitudes and behaviours, recruiters and HR can utilize psychometric assessments!

Their use in history acknowledges their strength and the traditional methodologies include a questionnaire, test, and reactors judgment have their advantages and disadvantages. Although there are disadvantages to all methodologies, they’re still utilized by organizations due to their overwhelming benefits! Their scalability and scientific credibility make them an essential tool for all recruiters.

Seems like you know everything you need to know? Not quite…

There is still the issue of human error that we must address! (Remember the thought I told you to keep in mind?)

Reactor’s judgment is the most popular method due to its substantially higher rate of reliability in comparison to the other two methods; however, the issue of human error is still present.

In the current workforce, the significance of human error that impacts employment is heightened due to the strict regulations on businesses to not display any sort of biases in regards to their employees.

This is so highly regulated that any candidate or employee can take legal actions against a company that they feel has wrongly dismissed them, or discriminated against them.

Reactors judgment does not eliminate biases, and pre-developed prejudices. So, what do we do?

AI PSYCHOMETRIC ASSESSMENT.

My Recruitment Plus has developed a feature that solves this ongoing issue!

My Recruitment+ offers video interviews, which are a compilation of candidates recording their answers to questions asked on their application forms.

These video interviews, once submitted, are automatically run through the AI algorithm, which generates a report in 15 minutes!

The algorithm was developed and worked on by; psychology experts, previous psychometric assessments results, HR, recruiters, and was based on research regarding behavioural science.

The AI video-based psychometric assessment analyses the visual and non-visual cues that are displayed by their candidate in their video interview, and then generates a report outline the candidate’s personality, critical thinking, behaviours, skills and capabilities.

This is method number four, and is a MODERN METHOD that combines the power of psychometric assessment and technology!

This method is unbiased, unprejudiced and is scientifically credible.

AI completely eliminates human error; therefore the results are 100% accurate and reliable.

Big business decisions can be made completely dependently from the generated report, and can be upheld against external regulations and legalities.

As if this MODERN method wasn’t enough, it’s also extremely affordable!

My Recruitment+ acknowledges the difficult positions the global pandemic has put many businesses in, and with our consumer’s best interest at heart, have developed multiple plans in order to best suit everyone!

You’ll find them here.

If you’re still unconvinced, or wish to view the power of the algorithm in action, test it for free here!

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