5 January 2020 posted by Recovery Partners

Recruiting new employees can be a costly and time-consuming process for organisations that can still result in the wrong candidate being chosen. You will not only be paying a salary to someone who may not be performing to expectations, but you might also incur additional training costs, employee morale and reputation costs. A bad hire drains energy and time and can have a negative impact on workplace culture. While you are busy managing personality conflicts, your business needs and culture are likely to suffer.

Many organisations in Australia continue to rely solely on academic achievement and reported work experience when selecting new employees. Whilst both can provide valuable information, they do not always provide an accurate picture. As many psychologists who have studied this topic know, job tenure does not predict job performance. Furthermore, the way a candidate presents during an interview could be very different from how they act on-the-job.

This is where psychometric assessments come in to play. The tests provide measurable, objective data and provide additional information regarding candidate capability to perform specific tasks. Today, there is a rapid shift towards incorporating psychometric testing in their hiring process and based on such tests’ ability to increase the predictive validity of a candidate’s potential for success, it is no wonder more and more are adopting this into their recruitment strategy.

What is psychometric testing?

Psychometric testing is a standardised and scientific method designed to objectively assess a candidate’s suitability for a particular role based on their cognitive capability and personality—traits, which can be difficult to assess during a standard interview.

The tests are structured to accurately evaluate a candidate’s capacity to process information, work with others, and cope with the stressors of a job. By leveraging psychometric testing, you can determine if a candidates’ capabilities match those needed to perform specific tasks associated with the role you are recruiting for.

How does it work?

Psychometric tests are usually conducted on location, under supervision, and using a computer. Computer-based assessments have made it easy for candidates to take the tests over the internet, from their home, helping create a fast and efficient process.  

The assessments can measure a range of attributes, including; motivation, intelligence and overall personality profile. Psychologists interpret the results based on their knowledge of links between these traits and job performance. The tests are tailored to specific tasks and industries to ensure all required skills are effectively screened.  

The assessment process can be scaled from basic initial screenings to high-level assessments for high risk and more demanding roles. When necessary, candidates can be asked to take more than one test or participate in an interview with an experienced psychologist.  

Some examples of what is measured include:

  • Personality and how it aligns with the role/ organisation
  • Leadership skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Orientation to teamwork
  • Ability to follow instructions and work independently
  • Ability to manage stress, pressure, and work demands
  • Safety behaviours
  • Ethical behaviours

Rather than just relying on a candidate’s appearance, education and reported previous experience, psychometric tests allow you to obtain a complete picture making it easy to determine whether a person will thrive within your organisation’s culture. They could be what you need to get your hiring right.

However, before you rush and incorporate the assessments into your hiring process, you should consider several factors to ensure that you use the right tests and in the right way.  

Factors to consider
1. Know the law

Keep compliance in mind when adding psychometric tests into your pre-employment screening strategy. You must ensure that you are not inadvertently discriminating against certain groups of individuals. You should also ensure that the person administering the assessments meets all the standards of competence set by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) for test use.

2. Know your business needs

If you do not have well-defined job roles and performance measures, psychometric testing will be less effective and accurate in predicting the best candidate. Preparing with a solid understanding of the role’s demands, the team environment, and the organisation’s vision, values and goals will help get the desired results.

3. Reliability and validity

When implementing psychometric assessment in your organisation, you should ensure that the tests you choose are reliable and have been scientifically validated. In other words, each test should measure what it’s intended to measure and produce similar results every time.

In addition, you should obtain the informed consent of your candidates before providing them with tests. Ensure they understand how the data they provide will be used and who will be provided with access to their results.

Leveraging psychometric testing

Psychometric tests implemented in the right conditions can be genuine and reliable indicators of future job performance, resilience, cultural fit, and engagement. When used correctly, they can significantly increase the chances that new employees will succeed in the role and within your organisation.


At Recovery Partners, we provide psychometric testing for a range of industries. Our team of qualified psychologists is always on hand. We can help you review your job roles and recommend the most suitable and sound psychometric assessments ensuring that you hire the candidate most suited to your company culture.

Find out more about Psychological Pre-Employment Assessments

Our services are available in multiple locations nationwide. For more information, you can make enquiries here.

Our consultants love to have a chat, so go ahead and give us a call on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789) or email enquiries@rrp.com.au

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Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/