Psychometric tests – why and when?

As Executive Search Consultants we are specialists when it comes to recruiting, and we spend almost every hour of every working day interviewing and assessing potential candidates. As such, we find that a reliable test provider is of great help in recruiting the best possible candidates in a more efficient, consistent and reliable way.

We use comprehensive psychometric tests in all recruitment processes as a part of our quality assurance routine. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, psychometric tests are assessment tools used to measure an individual’s personality traits, aptitude, intelligence, abilities and behavioral style in an objective manner.

Here are a few of the benefits we see of psychometric tests

  • Objectivity & Fairness. You will add a layer of objectivity in your process. The tests do not take education and previous experiences into account, but rather focus on the person’s abilities and behaviors right now. 
  • Clearer picture. You will get a clearer picture of your applicant(s). With this piece added to the other parts of your process, your picture of the candidate cannot get much clearer.
  • Confirm or flag behaviors. The tests will either confirm your own assessment or raise a red flag on one or several areas. If the result raises a flag, you will get a chance to dig deeper and find out if there is something to take into account in the process or not. If the results confirm your own assessment, you can proceed with confidence that you are making a good decision.

Why? When? How? Important questions to ask before implementing tests in your organization.

Before committing to include any form of test in your recruitment process, ask yourself and your colleagues “Why?”. Once you have the reason(s) mapped out and agreed upon it will make the rest of the process of choosing and implementing tests much easier.

Is the reason to:

– find the best person to fit in with your company culture and values?

– save time and money in the recruitment process?

– find new employees that match the skill level of your top performers?

– find potential red flags before signing a contract?

– be prepared with a developmental plan from the get go?

These are just a few examples of the various reason that can stand behind the decision to implement testing, and as you can see, the purpose varies widely and so will the implementation and type of test.


Once you know what the purpose of your test is, you will know what type of test is best suited for your organization. You will also know when the right time to conduct them is.

Is it going to be the first step in the recruitment process, before you even look at an applicant’s resume? If so, what aspects needs to be tested?

Will it be the final step in the process, when you need to choose between three great candidates? Again, what aspects will be most important to test in this situation?

Is it going to be a part of your continuous internal improvement work by assessing employees’ motivators and produce developmental plans?

Do you want to assess behavior in order to place the right people on the right teams going forward on a specific project?


Always make sure that you use your tests in a professional manner from start, when choosing supplier, to finish, when using the results. To use tests in a professional manner includes:

– Clear communication: Make sure to communicate the use of tests and its purpose clearly to your candidates and/or employees so that they are aware of you process and the reason for it.

– Reliable test supplier. Do your research and always take references before committing to a certain test provider. We would definitely suggest to do a few tests on yourself and your colleagues to completely understand the user experience as well as getting a complete understanding of the results and how to interpret them.

– Systematically. Commit to the process and use tests in the same manner systematically, this way you will learn more about your applicants and /or employeesthe longer you use the system. There can be many valuable insights gained here. By systematically using them, you will also make sure that tests are conducted and interpreted in the same way in all processes.

– Don’t give the test too much power. It is important to acknowledge that tests are just one part of a larger picture. These are meant to complement the resume, the personal interview and other parts of your recruitment process such as references– not overshadow them.  

Hopefully, by answering the Why, When and How above you will now have a clearer idea of whether tests are anything that would benefit you and your organization, and if so you will have a good idea of how to proceed.

Best of luck in your recruitments and organizational work.

The CIP team 

Stockhom, 2021-08-24

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