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Psychometric tests in a corporate or business environment are used to target specific characteristics such as personality traits, aptitude and/or preferences that may pertain to a particular job opening or position within a company. A psychometric test provides many advantages in determining a person‘s personality type, aptitude or motivation, especially when it comes to a specific job or vocation. How a person does on a psychometric test may indicate how well he or she would do in a particular job and allow the company to hire the right person the first time, rather than finding out after hiring that the person isn't suited to the work.
Psychology is known as a soft science because of its subjective nature, as opposed to more factual, "harder" sciences such as mathematics and biology. It is for this reason that psychometric tests should be used in conjunction with other instruments in determining the psychological profile or job compatibility of a person and should not be viewed as an ultimate solution for job placement. Despite impressive results, people are individuals and defy strict conformity. Subtle differences often exist between similar personalities and those differences can be a determining factor in one’s success or failure over another. For example, a person who is a "healer" would make an excellent counselor or teacher but would probably need assistance in maintaining charts or paperwork; someone who tested well as a "counselor" may do well maintaining charts but could be lacking somewhat in therapeutic skills.
A degreed or licensed professional should be employed to interpret the results of a psychometric test. In most instances where a test is used in a business setting, psychometric tests are outsourced and the results are interpreted by the provider. In these cases, the company's human resources department may simply administer the test and read back the results to the participant as spelled out by the provider.
Despite the subjective nature of psychometric tests, the results can be useful in a corporate or business setting. As a general rule, these tests provide a self-reported inventory of personality traits, aptitudes and personal preferences on topics such as music, the need to be outdoors, and social interaction. A psychometric test can often help streamline the hiring process by pinpointing specific areas that are essential components of a specific job. It can also be a useful tool in increasing the productivity and overall satisfaction of specific employees or work groups.
When selecting a psychometric test to implement, a corporation should consider the application of the test and the objective for its use. If a company is seeking to fill jobs that require a specific skill, then an aptitude test should suffice. If a job requires a certain type of personality, then a personality inventory would be required. If a business is looking to fill several different types of openings, then a general vocational test would be applicable.
Consultation with a degreed professional or reputable consulting firm should help a company decide on the best type of test to suit its needs. Psychometric testing may not be a cure-all for hiring difficulties, and it should not be used as the sole indicator of a person's suitability for a job. It does, however, have the potential to save companies thousands of dollars in hiring and personnel costs when implemented properly.
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