Getting Testy Over Psychometric Testing
Terry Braverman and Company

Getting Testy Over Psychometric Testing

There are many HR professionals who put much credence into psychometric tests, believing it helps to get a fuller picture in making an informed hiring decision. Research groups with vested interest in marketing these assessment tools trumpet their data like the gospel truth.


I remain skeptical of such value, and any honest researcher will acknowledge that results from a “laboratory” test can vary widely from the same test outside the laboratory. This is especially true with human behavior. Per a recent discussion about this matter, one comment echoes my sentiments:


“We have many who use these tools and they want to believe they are making choices based on scientific data. There are the metrics makers and their marketers as well. And there are the consultants who also use these tools. Though these tools are widely debunked, they use them because we all want to see through lead walls; we want to know the future.


If we have significantly increased retention with new employees hired after psychometric testing, is it the result of prescient selection? Or have we primed the manager to expect great things? How about a double blind test? Has anyone tried testing psychometric tests this way? One group would submit to psychometric testing and another to a combination of competence testing and fake psychometric testing. If HR doesn't even know there's a double-blind test underway, would the results differ between groups? I doubt we'll ever know (you can bet no psychometrics provider performed this test).


Employee engagement? I'm convinced the primary causal factor to engagement is employment environment. The environment for your star employee is bound to be better. We are all more engaged in an environment where we are held in high esteem. The more committed an employer is to the employee, the better the performance evaluations will be. You won't believe this, but the evidence is right there in your company. Compare the incidence of flat rejection of temporary workers versus rejection of "full-time" workers.” – TG

I have your back, TG.






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