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The Pros and Cons of Psychometric Testing

Updated: 6 days ago

Have you ever used or completed a psychometric? Ever increasing in popularity, a survey almost 10 years ago found that approximately 75% of The Times Top 100 Companies are using psychometrics as part of their recruitment process. And they’ve kept increasing at a steady rate ever since! 

The reason for this popularity is because they are scientifically robust as a rule in terms of helping organisations to hire successful candidates.  

Advantages of personality assessments in the workplace

Take personality assessments, for example. They can add a 10%-20% enhancement over chance (50%) in predicting a candidate who will achieve higher job performance. Employees who have previously been hired can benefit from psychometric testing, too. Those who participate in personality assessments will often increase their own self-awareness, building a deeper understanding of their own natural strengths and weaknesses while allowing them to envisage a clear path in which to develop themselves.

It’s also helpful with workplace conflict where two employees don’t see eye-to-eye; personality testing can often help to highlight where the problems lie and how to resolve them!

psychometric testing represented by test tubes

Employee Psychometric Testing for Team Engagement

One of the most impactful things they can do, though, is trigger a conversation within teams with questions such as:

“I didn’t know you were so introverted?!”

“Are you really that uncomfortable when there’s little to no structure?”

This can also help leaders and managers to understand their teams better, building rapport and helping them reach their full potential

It gets people talking. And it encourages people to truly get to know not only themselves, but one another.

As a result, teams build deeper mutual respect, trust, harmony, and their collaborative potential excels as a result. As an organisational development consultancy, we actively see higher performance, better output, and bigger profits when these are used correctly.

Explore More on Team Development

Hidden Dangers of Psychometric Testing

We mustn’t think however that these tests are any sort of silver bullet. They do have their drawbacks.

Psychometric Testing and Misinterpretation

The biggest one is user error. The people who develop these tools are rarely the people using them in a real-life setting.

The perfect psychometric instrument could be crafted by world experts, refined and polished with all the resources in the world over 100 years, resulting in an absolutely flawless end product.

But there’s little control these psychometric developers can have over the erratic, unpredictable & complex bits on the other side. In other words, who’s filling it in and making decisions based on the outcomes (that’s us: human beings).

Humans are prone to errors like misinterpretation or misreading, or faking responses if we want to present ourselves in what we might consider to be a more favourable light, with the rise of psychometric test practice.

So we’ve distorted the quality of the output of this flawless instrument.

picture to represent psychometric testing missing the full picture

Psychometric Testing misses the full picture

Likewise, these psychometrics can’t possibly capture absolutely everything about the people they measure.

Our personality can determine how we often behave on a baseline level, but the environment also has a huge impact over the way we present ourselves.

We behave differently depending on the circumstances we’re in: perhaps we’re more sociable at networking events or gatherings, more curious and open-minded at art galleries and museums, and more strong-headed and stubborn in heated debates with our siblings. And this also changes depending on the organisation and team in which we work.

How to get the most out of Psychometric Testing

So, if you want to get the most out of psychometrics and personality assessments, it’s important to be aware of some key factors:

Choose your psychometric testing tool wisely

The market is inundated with psychometrics. Some are scientifically robust and of high quality, others are based on flawed research or merely hocus pocus. Unfortunately, these will be difficult to distinguish at first glance – and cost is not a reliable marker of a high quality psychometric. Make sure to do your research before settling on one!

Understand the bias of psychometric testing

Remember, psychometrics can’t tell you everything about a person. In recruitment, people are often eliminated from the selection process purely based on their psychometric results; this isn’t the right way to do it. People develop their behaviours over time, and may present differently to their results. This should be considered and explored with the candidate.

Discuss psychometric assessment results

If completing a psychometric as a team, make the most out of it and have a conversation. Doing the assessment is often just the starting point. Engaging in meaningful conversation afterwards, problem-solving, building harmonies and identifying risks is where real value can be extracted.

Create Tangible Action points

Explore how you can use psychometric testing to help new starters and existing teams to work more closely together. It’s important to use what you’ve learnt as a learning and development tool rather than merely using it as a tick-box exercise.

top of the mountain to represent getting the most out of psychometric testing

Getting maximum value from the experts

If you’re considering using a psychometric, and want to get maximum value from your investment, consider bringing in an external professional well-versed in psychometrics to support you. Not only will you benefit from invaluable expertise, but you’ll also have someone who can remain objective and impartial to help you and your team – whether it’s part of your recruitment processes or a team building exercise – get the best results you can.

D4S Cognitive Styles Psychometric

At D4S, we reckon we know psychometrics quite well. So well, in fact, that we built our own based on our own robust psychological research carried out with participants across Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, and South America – The D4S Cognitive Styles Psychometric.

Contact us to get the most out of Psychometric testing

Cognitive Styles Psychometric Demo Participant Example

Explore our research page to access a free download demonstrating a 19 page Cognitive Styles Psychometric.



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