How to Select Psychometric Assessments for Your Company

How to Select Psychometric Assessments for Your Company

Psychometric assessments have been around for a very long time and are quickly gaining traction in the Middle East. Companies mainly use psychometric assessments for screening candidates during recruitment and for identifying development areas in their employees.

With so many psychometric assessments in the market today, it can be very difficult for a company to select the best tools for its specific needs. Psychometric assessments are available in two types:

  • Personality/Behavioral: Assessments designed to help predict job performance or uncover development needs based on certain personality and behavioral traits.
  • CognitiveTests designed to measure intelligence (IQ), problem-solving capabilities, and verbal and numerical reasoning.

Whether a company is using one or both of the above assessment types, it’s important to get the following information from your assessments provider to ensure that you are using an effective tool:

Construct Validity

Does the assessment measure what it claims to measure?

Quite simply, if the assessment you’re using doesn’t accurately measure what it claims it does, then you’re just wasting your money and basic your hiring decisions on bad information.

Look for construct validity confidence levels of no less than 85% to ensure that you’re using a solid tool.

Content Validity

Does the assessment meet the guidelines of the scientific theory it is based on?

Every assessment out there is based on a validated scientific theory that has been proven through years of research. Just because a provider claims that their assessment is based on a theory doesn’t mean that it interprets candidate’s answers the way the scientific theory would. Content validity is usually conducted by a third party with experts in the scientific theory that is being tested.

Look for content validity correlation of 90% and above.


If someone takes the test more than once, will the results be approximately the same?

This is also known as test re-test reliability. As an employer, you should be seriously concerned if you’re using an assessment that has low reliability ratings. This means that the results you’re getting are not representative and accurate. Therefore, you’re making ill-advised hiring and development decisions.

For cognitive assessments, reliability ratings of 0.85 and above are solid. For personality and behavioral tests, a rating of 0.7 and above is acceptable. Since personality is not as black and white as cognitive abilities, the error margin tends to be a bit higher.

Predictive Validity

Can it predict job performance?

Possibly the most important factor for any company, the predictive validity rating proves that a psychometric assessment can accurately predict how a person will perform on the job. Furthermore, assessments are tested for accuracy in predicting top performers as well as bottom performers.

Look for a predictive validity score of 70% and above.

Criterion Validity

Do the question items in the assessment predict job-related behavioral or cognitive traits?

This is linked to predictive validity and they go hand-in-hand. When an assessment claims to predict performance, it’s important to know how exactly it is reaching to that conclusion. The data being used to make a hiring recommendation should be directly relevant to job performance traits and characteristics.

Ipsative or Normative

Ipsative assessments provide results based on a candidate’s self-evaluation of themselves, so they are mainly subjective in nature. If used alone, ipsative assessments are more effective in developing employees.

Normative assessments compare candidates objectively using a norm group that is represented using a bell curve. These assessments are mainly used for recruitment and selection.

The best case scenario is to use a combination of ipsative and normative assessments or use complementary assessments that combine both into a single informative report.

Sample Size

Every assessment is validated using a sample size. Understanding how large and diverse that sample size is will give you an idea of how representative the results will be to your company.

If you’re located in the Middle East, you’re going to want an assessment whose sample included people from multiple nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. There’s also a big difference between assessments that base results on sample sizes of 500 people versus those that have samples of more than 5000 people.

Now What?

Make sure you try a demo of the assessments you are interested in. There’s nothing better than experiencing them yourself and receiving a report that allows you to evaluate the accuracy.

If you’re interested in implemented assessments at your company, schedule a free demo with one of our certified assessors.

Nahed Khairallah

Nahed is an IT Management Master's graduate from The University of Texas at Dallas and holds a Bachelor's degree in International Business from Notre Dame University. He is a SHRM-SCP certified professional, which is the highest international HR credential issued by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) in the US. In 2016, Nahed was selected by SHRM to be one of twenty five test item writers for the SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP certifications worldwide. With more than 10 years of experience in business, higher education, corporate training and HR consulting, Nahed is the lead consultant for all our HR projects throughout the region. Nahed was previously an Instructor at Notre Dame University from October 2009 until July 2012 teaching undergraduate and graduate level business courses. He is also a regular speaker at HR conferences and summits in the MENA region.