Psychometric assessments - how they support the recruitment process

Controversy has arisen over the past few days, creating a furore around the validity and relevance of using psychometric assessments as part of an employment selection process. This has been brought to public attention because of the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department’s (IRD) decision to ask hundreds of staff members to undergo the assessments as part of their Business Transformation project.

Here at EQ Consultants, we work closely with businesses across New Zealand helping to recruit, manage and develop their most important asset – their people. In order to establish the best path for them, their team and their future employees, we provide tailored solutions which are supported by latest HR and recruitment techniques, including psychometric assessments.

Following this week’s news surrounding psychometric assessments / tests, our experts explain what they are, how they are used, and how they benefit a business’s recruitment process.

What are psychometric assessments?

The Institute of Psychometric Testing describes psychometric assessments as a ‘standard and scientific method used to measure individuals’ mental capabilities and behavioural style’. Psychometric testing is now used by more than 80% of the Fortune 500 companies in the USA and by more than 75% of the Times Top 100 companies in the UK, but depending on what the assessment is being used for – recruitment or training and development – these vary from business to business.

Psychometric assessments can include verbal, numerical and logical reasoning, as well as personality tests, and account for one of the many parts of a recruitment process. Many of the businesses we work with use them as a positive reinforcement tool to accompany an interview and develop a better understanding of the candidate, making interviews more personable to them.

How are they used? 

Psychometric testing is used as a supplementary tool to support a business’s recruitment process, or training and development. The test is set out to measure general cognitive ability and identify strengths and weaknesses within an organisation, a team, or role, which can be a beneficial way of determining a course of action - whether training is required or a new role is needed. It also allows a business to utilise the candidate’s strengths wherever possible.

The person interpreting the results of a psychometric assessment must be professionally accredited and results must be objectively analysed for the purpose required to ensure accuracy and legitimacy.

What are the benefits?

When interviewing candidates, a person’s response can be affected by a number of factors; including their surroundings, the type of interview, and questions being asked. Some prefer to complete online assessments, others prefer face-to-face interviews, but ultimately there’s no one method to suit all. By combining a variety of techniques, including psychometric assessments, it creates more opportunities for a person to present themselves and their strengths, subsequently, improving recruitment efficiency and helping a business to find the best match for the skills required.

How do we use psychometric assessments?

With so many types of psychometric assessments available, they are used differently by organisational psychologists and businesses around the world. Here at EQ Consultants we offer the assessments to businesses as a supplementary tool for training and development, helping to identifying strengths and weaknesses. We also offer assessments to accompany the recruitment process, as a positive reinforcement tool alongside interviews. They help to generate a complete understanding of the individual, facilitate performance and help to predict future job performance in a fair and equitable manner.

Does your business need executive recruitment support?

New Zealand business looking for HR and executive recruitment support? Call EQ Consultants today on (03) 366 4034 for a friendly chat about how we can help you. Alternatively, you can email us at or visit for more information.

Viv EQ Consultants News Hub nz1

Viv Patterson from EQ Consultants and Bob from The News Hub before filming for TV3 The Project's special feature on psychometric assessments.

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