Recruitment and selection are the core activities of the HR department in any organization as it is directly linked to the employees of the organization. These processes are not only important but also the most difficult as it involves a lot of cost on the part of the company. Unlike the recruitment process the selection process also involves a lot of cost in terms of interviews and tests in conducting the selection of the employees.. Many of us already know that the psychometric tests are commonly used in almost every organization not only in the selection process but also in the process of performance management of the employees. The reason for carrying out the test in the same in the two situations it is to measure the ability and the performance of the employees. In this paper I will discuss what is a psychometric test? How the companies use it and also the advantages and disadvantages of introducing a psychometric test in the selection process.
Psychometric tests are used to measure the ability of the mind to perform certain types of jobs. As explained by Toplis et al (1991), a psychometric test such as one on mental ability has correct answers so that the higher the score, the better the performance. It is just an addition to the interviews. It is like supporting evidence in addition to the oral interviews to prove if you have the required skills to do the required job. This test and a number of other tests are performed in the selection process so as to have the right person at the right place in the right time. Some of the tests that are being used by organizations are as follows: 1.
Cognitive ability (intelligence, reasoning).
Motivation and interest and many more.
(Smith and Smith, 2005: Testing people at work).
There is a myth among some people that psychological tests and psychometric tests are one and the same. But this is not the truth. All psychometric tests are not psychological tests. Psychological tests use systematic and standardized procedures to measure differences in individual characteristics such as intelligence and personality. Psychological tests are measuring instruments, which is why they are often referred to as psychometric tests (Armstrong, 2009). The British Psychological Society (BPS) has the following definition for Psychometric and Psychological test, ‘Instruments designed to produce a quantitative assessment of some psychological attribute or attributes’ and ‘ a psychological test is any procedure on the basis of which inferences are made concerning a person’s capacity, propensity or liability to act, react, experience, or to structure or order thought or behaviour in particular ways’ (Amos, 2004). The psychometric tests may be called by other names such as occupational, psychological or personality tests. Psychometric tests are objective in nature. They are only an addition to the selection process of any organization. But these days many large organizations take these tests seriously and can even reject a candidate on the basis of failing the test. This test can be categorized in two ways for better understanding.
CURRENT APPROACH TO SELECTION PROCESS
The current approach towards the selection process is very complex due to the competitive market. The organizations have to be very clear in what they want out of the selection process. Therefore the employers mostly rely on different types of tests that make the employer’s job easy in deciding the right person for the right position. This process of selection involves making a judgment about the fit between the person and the job, which is difficult because there are many subjective factors involved (Carrell et al, 1996). The organizations are now developing new tools and methods of carrying out the selection process with the advancement in technology. Unlike the traditional approach, the employers now prepare a job description and the job specification...
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