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Why psychometric testing shouldn’t solely be relied on when assessing your talent

If you’re a person responsible for managing talent and succession planning, then you may have considered, or even used, psychometric testing as part of your approach. While this can be a valuable tool for assessing your potential talent, its only part of the picture.

My ALIGNED® talent methodology ensures a blended approach to discovering and assessing your potential talent without solely relying on an 'off-the-shelf' solution.

Read on to find out how and when you should be using psychometric testing in your talent strategy.

When to use psychometric testing

Psychometric testing in talent management refers to the use of standardised tests and assessments to measure various psychological attributes, abilities, personality traits, and skills of individuals in the context of discovering high potential talent and viable successors.

What are psychometric tests?

  • Assessments such as aptitude tests can measure a candidate's reasoning abilities, problem-solving skills, numerical and verbal reasoning, and critical thinking.

  • Assessments of emotional intelligence measure an individual's ability to perceive, understand, manage and use emotions effectively in various situations. This can be crucial for roles that require high levels of interpersonal interaction and leadership.

  • Specific tests may be used to assess technical skills, language proficiency, leadership potential, or other job-related competencies relevant to the position.

Some pitfalls associated with psychometric testing

While psychometric testing can be a valuable tool in talent management, it's not without its challenges and potential drawbacks. Here are some of the common problems associated with psychometric testing in talent management:

  • Reliability issues can cause problems in the consistency of test scores over time and across different situations. Poorly designed or administered tests may produce inconsistent results, leading to unreliable assessments of candidates' capabilities.

  • Psychometric tests may inadvertently discriminate against certain groups of people based on factors such as race, gender or socio-economic background. Test items that are culturally biased or language-dependent can disadvantage candidates from diverse backgrounds.

  • Off-the-shelf psychometric tests may not always align perfectly with the unique requirements and culture of your specific organisation or job role, requiring customisation or supplementary assessments.

Here are some considerations when implementing psychometric testing in talent management to ensure their effective and ethical use:

  • Define your goals and objectives clearly. Determine what specific traits, abilities or skills you want to assess and how the test results will inform talent-related decisions.

  • Select tests that are free from bias and discrimination and are appropriate for candidates from diverse backgrounds. Consider cultural differences, language proficiency, and accessibility requirements to ensure fairness and inclusivity in testing.

  • Provide full training and certification for your people who will administer and interpret psychometric tests. Ensure they understand the purpose of the tests, proper administration procedures, ethical guidelines, and how to effectively communicate test results to candidates and stakeholders.

Overall you need to integrate with other assessments

Use psychometrics as part of a holistic assessment approach that includes interviews, work-based scenario assessments, and other relevant evaluation methods. Combining multiple sources of data can provide a more comprehensive understanding of candidates' capabilities and potential fit within your organisation.

Contact me now to find out more about my ALIGNED® talent methodology, at so we can continue the conversation.


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