Matching candidates and jobs based on psychometric tests
More and more, organisations are using psychometric tests to aid the employee selection process, to help them get the ‘right’ person. The use of psychometric testing gives large and small organisations a competitive edge. Organisations want to know more about job seekers these days, wanting to discover their core competencies through the selection process. Being aware of these desirable core competencies is a good place for you to start, so that you can then better prepare for and practice psychometric tests such as aptitude tests and personality tests.
Certain interesting trends in organisation design highlight that the compatibility between employers and an organisation has become, and is becoming, more and more important. Employers want you to share similar characteristics as their organisation and they use psychometric tests to assess how you fit with the organisation, the ability to which the employer and employee will be able to meet each others needs. Organisations assess aspects such as general intelligence and personality traits through psychometric testing to provide an indication of person and organisation ‘fit’. It is advisable for you to develop job knowledge, and to practice psychometric tests to positively present your self as the ‘right’ person for the job. Practicing psychometric tests, among other things, increases your self-awareness, your understanding of your personality and values and can decreases your performance anxiety during psychometric testing.
Because psychometric testing is often conducted by external organisations, hiring organisations are developing very specific descriptions of their desired employees, through defining the key competencies that are important to them. Desirable competencies assessed by psychometric tests include an ability to adapt quickly and deal with change, as well as networking, political skills and individual strategic capability. The notion of emotional intelligence, which is how well a person understands their emotions and is aware of emotional states of others, has become increasingly important. Highly-developed interpersonal communication skills, related to teamwork, are also a key deciding factor.
Another interesting trend that affects the selection process is that more people are comfortable using a computer and the internet. This trend encouraged psychometric test developers to administer psychometric tests online rather than asking candidates to come into an office to complete paper-based tests. This change imposed a significant challenge for test-takers, as it significantly reduced the effectiveness of traditional practice books. Test-takers who are practising questions out of books lose the capability to use practice psychometric tests under real conditions (i.e. time constraints and having test questions displayed on a computer screen). This is especially important when solving aptitude tests – abstract reasoning tests, verbal reasoning tests and numerical reasoning tests.