psychometric testing

Breaking The Psych Testing Myth

When I am at social events and asked what I do for a living, the topic of psychometric testing inevitably comes up. More often than not, I am asked about tricks to pass and the best way to approach them so that the person in question can attain their desired future job.

I am commonly told stories about gruelling tests the individual sat a few years ago, how the hiring manager made the wrong decision, and how they would have been perfect for the role if only they had brushed up on their maths skills before sitting the test or answered the behavioural questions a bit differently.

In professional contexts, I encounter many managers and business owners who view them as a tick box of sorts that ensures candidates can do the job to standard. Others are discouraged from previous experiences using them – they may have used the wrong tool for the requirement (e.g. using development-oriented tools for recruitment) or did not have the proper training to interpret the results correctly.

To me, the prevalence of these comments represents a fundamental misunderstanding and misapplication of what can be very beneficial tools, for employees, for organisations, and for individuals who are looking for career development options.

Rather than being a simple pass/fail test, their objective and thorough measurement of individuals’ cognitive abilities, behaviours, and motivations can promote greater fairness, engagement, clarity, and coaching for both the test taker and the organisation administering it.

Consider the following questions:

  • + How often have you come across people who are excited when they are successful in attaining a job, only to hate it 6 months later?
  • + How often do you encounter people who are disengaged in their job, putting in the bare minimum or relying on playing politics as a means of gaining income?
    • – Research has found over a quarter of employees in Australia are not engaged at work[1]
  • + How often do you hear people complain about their managers, and claim they are not receiving the guidance they would like?
    • – Research has found companies fail to select the right candidate for management positions 82% of the time, yet managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement[2]

Based on my personal experience, the majority of individuals who make comments similar to the above work for an organisation that either doesn’t implement psychometric testing or doesn’t apply the results correctly to maximise recruitment and coaching outcomes.

The reality is that psychometric assessments such as the Profiles International and JobFit Assessment suites have the potential and capability to address these issues because they can provide more objective and unbiased insight into whether candidates will be top performers and will enjoy the job, the type of coaching and management guidance they will need if they are successful in attaining the position, and suitability for leadership roles and career development further down the track.

They do this through the use of high-performance role benchmarking, which enables the assessment to provide a predictive estimate of the candidate’s performance in the role.

This not only benefits the organisation but also the candidate and employee, as they will be placed into roles they will enjoy, be motivated in, and receive the appropriate support.

These claims are well supported by scientific research which has demonstrated psychometric assessments to be some of the most cost-effective and validated methods of improving the recruitment process[3].

Implementing the right assessment in the right way and using it to guide your people management processes will result in better outcomes and will reduce the likelihood of your employees coming to individuals such as myself asking how they can try and work their way around it or complaining the process was not fair enough.

If you would like to learn more about how you can use these tools to boost your people performance, or even if you are an existing client who is interested in getting more out of their assessment usage, please feel free to reach out to




Written by Michael Mancinone

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