Written by Heidi Wadsworth | 24th June 2022

Psychometric testing is nothing new, but more than 75% of The Times Best Companies to Work For are using it and seeing positive changes in their teams.

Get it right, and the use of psychometrics can bring benefits to your business, from better communication to more positive company culture and an improved recruitment process.

What is psychometric testing?

To put it simply, psychometric testing is a way to measure the potential behaviours of individuals.

You might carry out these assessments with your employees to gain a better understanding of how they work and communicate, but also to see things from other perspectives and appreciate people’s differences, which can help teamwork to flourish. The two main types of psychometric tests are:

  • Personality tests or profiles
  • Aptitude or ability tests (such as verbal or numerical reasoning)

Psychometric testing in recruitment

If you’re finding that traditional recruitment methods just aren’t getting you suitable candidates, it might be time to add some psychometric tests into the mix.

Psychometric testing, or personality profiling, can be useful in recruitment, as part of a robust selection process, to understand whether candidates would be suitable for a job role and how they might fit in with your team. However, Psychometrics must be used with caution. You should ensure you use a tool that is designed to support a robust process, and never base any hiring decisions on personality profiles alone.

Use a reputable test, administered by a licensed practitioner and then combine the results with interviews, on-site tests, references and other tools. The bottom line is that they work best when they are used to help build the bigger picture and not push you to hire or not to hire someone based purely on the test result.

We have consultants here at Reality HR who are fully trained in psychometric testing and can help you design a recruitment process that sources you the best possible candidates and helps you select those who will be the best for your business, using a combination of interviewing, testing and psychometrics.

Find out more on our recruitment support page.

One of our clients told us about their experience of using psychometrics during the recruitment process:

“I found the psychometric testing process very enlightening, including holding up the mirror with my own results! It was very illuminating to understand the dynamics of how personalities work together, and the kind of individual we should be looking for when filling our vacancies, to both fulfil the role and play to the strengths of the team.”

Psychometrics outside of recruitment

Psychometrics are also widely used as a development tool, for both individuals and teams. Any development journey starts with self-awareness, and a tool such as Insights Discovery provides a fantastic foundation for:

  • Increasing personal effectiveness
  • Improving team productivity
  • Building stronger connections to improve collaboration
  • Boosting sales performance

Find out more about our psychometric testing service.

There are a few advantages and disadvantages of psychometric testing that you can consider.

Pros – The benefits of psychometric testing

  • Highlight development opportunities

Every candidate dreads the question, “what are you not so good at?” The most common response might be, “I am too much of a perfectionist!” At this point, the recruiter does an internal eye roll! A psychometric test can highlight areas of concern and give you an opportunity to explore these issues before hiring. As you already have an idea of areas in which they might need development, you can put a development strategy and plan in place.

  • Show good cultural fits

Some psychometric tests will provide you with information on type of environment the candidate prefers to work within, so this will allow you to explore how they would fit in your workplace.

Personality profiles can give you an insight into a candidate’s preference for behaviours too. For example, it might show that they tend to be quiet or they tend to be emotional and spontaneous and with this in mind you can explore at interview how this might fit with your current team and culture.

Hiring someone who looks great on paper but struggles to settle in, or even worse, disrupts the team can be a costly and time-consuming mistake that as an employer you’ll want to avoid.

  • Show suitability for a role

Psychometrics can help you build appropriate competency-based questions to use in interviews to find out whether a candidate is suited to the role, e.g. looking for a logical thinker, a quick decision maker, a confident networker, but remember that personality profiles measure preference and not ability, so cannot be relied upon as a predictor of future performance.

We run fun and engaging workshops that give you practical steps and tools to take away that can have a positive impact on you and your relationships with those around you. You can find out more about personality types on our Insights Discovery page.

Cons – Challenges of psychometric testing

  • Test accuracy

It’s possible that psychometric testing during the interview stages of recruitment may not paint an entirely accurate picture of someone. A candidate could go out of their way to research what an ‘ideal candidate’ for the role would look like and then answer questions dishonestly.

In a different way, testing results might be inaccurate and not representative if the candidate is a bad tester. This doesn’t mean they are not a good fit for the role.

  • The tests may put certain individuals at a disadvantage

If someone has a different cultural background or a language barrier, they might not test as well as others and not necessarily because they are not a good fit for the role.

  • They need to be delivered by trained specialists

Psychometric testing requires licensed practitioners to carry out the tests and interpret them.

Reality HR has trained and experienced consultants who regularly recommend and implement Insights Discovery, Quest and SHL with our clients, for use during recruitment, personal development or coaching, and team building.


Businesses tell us that using Insights Discovery and understanding their insights colours improves communication, decreases conflict, leaves more time to get the job done and creates a happier and more productive workplace – all benefits that promote company success.

Find out more about our psychometric testing tool of choice, Insights Discovery.

If you need advice or want to explore psychometric testing within your business, call our team on 01256 328 428.