Psychometric testing: how to choose the right test

by Sarah Megginson07 Apr 2014
Behavioural assessment is a critical and defining element of any senior recruitment process – provided that you use the right one, according Chandler Macleod.
“A consistent and defining theme in any senior assessment relates to accurately predicting how a person will interact with others, how they will respond under pressure and how well – and in what way – they will lead and motivate those around them,” said Michael Evans, GM Consulting Products and Services, Chandler Macleod.
“All of these characteristics are based wholly in a person’s behavioural attributes and they can be measured to predict actual performance.”
However, there are various methodologies available, and some are more effective and thorough than others, Evans warned.
For example, Belbin Team Theories and Myers-Briggs personality testing are examples of TYPE based psychometric tests, which Evans said is like “measuring and describing a person’s personality through a two-dimensional (2D) lense”.
“This is great from a quick ‘snapshot’ perspective where we can use archetypal descriptions to simply and quickly categorise a person’s style,” he said.
“Often this analysis is very simplistic – such as, ‘They are Extraverted’ or ‘They are Introverted’ – so these descriptions are good for quick reference, team building activities and for the purpose of raising personal self insight and awareness.”
For the level of decision making required in recruitment and talent promotion, however, TYPE-based measures are not thorough enough. Instead, TRAIT based behavioural measures – “more akin to a three dimensional view of person’s personality” ­– are recommended.
“The difference here is the level of depth and richness of insight that is able to be drawn out from a TRAIT based measure, which a TYPE based measure cannot replicate. A TRAIT-based measure will allow us to accurately predict a person’s behaviour in complex and diverse situations – including being able to predict how a person will lead in a crisis, how they will respond to pressure and stress, and how well they will adapt and respond to different personalities and workplace cultures,” Evans said.
Example TRAIT measures include Occupational Personality Questionairre (OPQ), NEO Personality Inventory, California Psychological Inventory (CPI), Hogan Personality Inventory, and many others.


  • by Anisa Zulfiqar 7/04/2014 11:53:49 AM

    Good article on the differences between Type based personality tools and trait based personality tools.
    However, Type Tools should not to be used in recruitment scenarios. They are more of a developmental tool.
    A trait based tool not mentioned in the closing paragraph of the article could include the Sosie Personality & Values tool. It is a Trait based personality tool, and assesses interpersonal and personal values on top of that.

  • by Lea Petersen 7/04/2014 3:07:34 PM

    I have used Hogan assessment tools extensively when recruiting jobs at avariety of levels and found them really valuable. For senior roles they have great tools to assess values and motives as well as how a candidate will respond under pressure.

Most Read