Pros and Cons of Using Psychometrics in Executive Evaluation

Last updated Jun 22, 2021


  • Companies are now starting to use psychometric assessment tests to ensure they have the right executives who will bring about a positive change for their business.
  • In an age where every single top-level business decision has to be justified, backed up and supported by data, psychometric testing contributes a huge scientific element in the executive recruitment industry.


One of the major tenets of good human resource practice is that organizations should carefully select new employees.

In today’s globalized world, talent has become a strategic priority for organizations.

The ongoing “war of talent” has constantly remained at the top of the business agenda. Thus, any forward-thinking organization aspires to attract the most talented executives to lead their business.


Talent Wars at the Executive Level

Organizations want to reduce their time to hire, especially when it comes to hiring executives.

The complexity of this process has become one of the core activities for strategic executive recruitment. It has also led to new and innovative forms of talent recruitment and selection.

For high-level executives and many other highly skilled employees, many organizations use executive search firms and recruiters to attract and screen potential applicants. This is particularly true for senior leadership positions in which hiring mistakes can be exceptionally costly. 

As such, popular tools of choice remain the age-old CV, followed by the failsafe interview from upper management or sometimes even members of the board.

Occasionally, the process is punctuated by a secondary interview and sometimes a psychometric test which has been gaining traction in the recruitment field in recent years.


The Growing Popularity of Psychometric Tests in Executive Recruitment

Companies are now starting to use psychometric assessment tests to ensure that they have the right executives who will bring about a positive change for their business.

Psychometric tests have been administered since the early part of the 20th century, but they are now starting to gain popularity in the business industry today. These tests are becoming a reliable tool to measure executive-level candidates.

In an age where every single top-level business decision has to be justified, backed up and supported by data, psychometric testing contributes a huge scientific element in the executive recruitment industry.

Otherwise, it often depended on gut feel and interactions between the recruiters and management team when it comes to making vital hiring decisions.


Psychometrics Tests: Making the Art of Recruitment Scientific

According to Technology Times, more than seventy to seventy-five percent of businesses today use psychometric assessment tests in their recruitment program. Here are several reasons


  • Psychometric tests are better than intuitions

It adds a degree of standardization and objectivity to the conventional art of recruitment. Taking psychometric tests will eliminate the unconscious bias that recruiters have when it comes to making various selection decisions. In fact, studies have shown that including psychometric assessments can improve recruitment outcomes by up to 24 percent over conventional selection methods. 


  • It gives quantifiable outcomes

Measuring human behavior and its corresponding impact on the company’s bottom line is one of the most challenging tasks facing organizations. In the age of Big Data, using psychometric assessment is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to quantify employee-related ROI. Thus, recruitment teams will now be a crucial instrument that interprets the associated assessment and recruitment results of qualified candidates.


  • It provides a positive business brand

The usage of standardized and objective selection processes can form a powerful and meaningful first impression of an employer’s brand. Candidates appreciate modern strategies for recruitment and selection. Thus, having an objective approach to measure their capability will raise their satisfaction in the recruitment process.

This is especially important for organizations that hire employees from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Psychometric tests tend to level the playing field wherein everyone’s merit is equally judged.


The Pros and Cons of Psychometrics Tests

Psychometrics tests can take a variety of different forms, but according to Coburg Banks, a UK-based multi-sector recruitment agency, they generally form into three categories:

  • The Aptitude Test

There are a variety of aptitude tests that are available depending on the type of the organization’s industry. However, the most common types include numerical, verbal, and abstract reasoning.

These tests will be based on scores that can be used as a benchmark for all candidates. Large companies usually let the candidates take online aptitude tests as part of the pre-screening process.


  • The Personality Test

Personality tests are often like questionnaires that will simulate how a candidate will respond to a typical work-based scenario. The candidates will be compared based on the typical behaviors of a specific reference group within the company.

There are also other alternative personality tests that use behavioral competency questions. Candidates would typically be asked questions like, “Tell me about your experience when you worked as a member of a team.” These questions will help predict a candidate’s future actions based on their past.


  • The Interest Test

The Interest Test will help recruiters gauge the candidate’s motivation and interest in the job. These tests will assess their personal interest, values, and opinions; then compare them to a reference group.

Reputable psychometric tests are typically designed by experts in the field of occupational psychology. They will provide manuals with explicit details on how to assess results. A Medium article discussed the various advantages and disadvantages of psychometric tests:


Pros of Psychometrics Tests

  • Enable organizations to choose the right executives

Psychometric evaluations are typically administered before the candidate interviews. Thus, the results from the executive evaluations will help the hiring team during the selection process.

For companies that look for executives with the right mix of technical know-how and charisma, a psychometric evaluation acts as a tool that will identify the types of personalities that are most suitable for the executive vacancy.


  • Enable organizations to understand the mindset of employees

Psychometric assessments have started to become a compelling factor in gauging employee performance. These tests will also help understand and identify the necessary collaborative skills to empower employees and boost company morale.


  • Establishes uniformity throughout the recruitment process

A psychometric test is also a tool to promote equality and consistency in the hiring process. A candidate’s ability is evaluated based on criteria with the same level of difficulty. Therefore, a benchmark is used to calibrate the capabilities that a candidate needs to fulfill the vacant role.


  • Evaluates personality attributes and skill set

An organization that recruits new executives to the company aims to hire a talented individual that will add value to the company for the long-term. Thus, psychometric evaluations will draw a clear assessment of overqualified candidates and incompetent ones.


  •  Encourages employee growth

Results from psychometric tests will give a clear picture of an executive’s specialized skillset. This will make it easy for them to engage and flourish in their new role since the results of the test are indicative of the customized need for the specific job vacancy.


Cons of Psychometric Tests

  • False understanding of test results

Disproportionate clarification of the test results in the psychometrics evaluation can break the entire process. When employers make a certain leeway towards the outcome of the tests, then the decisions made about the candidate might get skewed. Thus, only trained professionals should administer and perform the tests on the employees to achieve precise and accurate results.


  •  Failure to produce the perfect result

It is important to remember that psychometric tests must not be used in combination with other kinds of tests arranged for skill evaluation. Furthermore, the sole decision of hiring a candidate must not be based entirely on the psychometric test. This test will only give background data that may influence the decision to hire.


  •  Probability of spurious results

For businesses who are only starting to use psychometric tests in their hiring process, there is a chance that the lack of proper understanding of these tests will lead to unstructured results. In such cases, getting the advice of a reputable recruitment professional that specializes in executive recruitment will significantly help in evaluating executive candidates.


CDA is here to help you recruit the best executive talent.

Curran Daly and Associates is one of the top recruitment agencies in Vietnam that will help your organization find exceptional leaders who can navigate your firm into the future.

Our holistic and targeted approach for executive search service will help you find industry-leading candidates for the following roles: CEOs and other C-level executives (COO, CTO, CFO, CIO, CMO), Vice President, Directors, Principals, and other managerial roles.

Partner with us and tell us more about your recruitment needs.



Baldo, C., Valle-Cabrera, R., & Olivas-Lujan, M. (2019). Executive Recruitment Triads from an Agency Theory Perspective. Administrative Issues Journal: Connecting Education, Practice, and Research, 9(1), 1–18. Retrieved from

Fitchew, J. (2013). What can be learned about recruitment from the X Factor? Grocer, 236(8125), 79. Retrieved from

Psychometric Tests in the selection procedure-Advantages and Disadvantages. (2018). Medium. Retrieved 10 January 2020, from

What Is A Psychometric Test? Everything You Need To Know.. (2015). Coburg Banks. Retrieved 10 January 2020, from

By: Curran Daly + Associates


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