The Psychometric Assessment Barometer 2016

International test publisher, Cut-e Global, in their Psychometric Assessment Barometer 2016 have answered many of the questions people have about who uses psychometric assessment and why.  They have also asked organisations who don’t use psychometric assessment why they choose not to do so.  This report is an excellent overview of the use of psychometrics as it provides employers an appropriate benchmark and allows psychometric test developers the opportunities to meet their client’s needs.

Why do organisations use psychometric assessment?

The Psychometric Global Assessment Barometer 2016 asked 1,732 businesses (36% with less than 100 employees; 21% with 100 to 500 employees; 21% with 501 to 5000 employees; 17% with more than 5000 employees) what benefits they expect from using psychometric assessment and the top 5 responses were:

  1. They provide more reliable and less risky decision-making
  2. Psychometric tests predict performance
  3. Organisations can make fairer decisions
  4. Organisations can defend their decisions based on data
  5. Decision-making is faster

81% of all respondents stated that being able to make more reliable, less risky decisions was, what they expected from psychometric assessment.

This tells us that organisations value psychometric assessment because it provides them with a faster, more reliable way to make decisions and predict performance. They also see the added value regarding fairness and impartiality of the decisions made. Psychometric assessment is not subject to interviewer bias and is therefore a valuable and objective decision making tool.  Candidates also see the psychometric testing process as fair.  This gives organisations a simple way to justify their selection decisions if a query is raised by a candidate.

What types of psychometric assessment are being used?


What type of psychometric assessment do you currently use?

Cut-e Assessment Barometer (2016)

Whilst the use of individual assessment has increased, the use of Assessment and Development centres has increased dramatically over the last 6 years. Over twice as many organisations are using assessment centres and almost five times more organisations are using development centres than there were in 2010.

Whilst organisations used to prefer individual assessment as a means of using psychometrics, the use of Assessment and Development centres has become more apparent over the last decade. Indeed, organisations have started to realise how useful these methods are when it comes to hiring new employees, finding out how to develop existing employees or deciding who to promote into managerial roles.

In addition to this, Situational Judgement Tests (SJT’s), Value Questionnaires and Realistic Job Previews are more commonly used by organisations. (These are new to the survey in 2016 so there is no 2010 comparison). The benefits to organisations of SJT’s and Realistic Job Previews is that they both test candidates using real-life scenarios. This benefits the candidate as it helps them develop a picture of what they could be expected to do on the job.  The increasing use of values-based questionnaires indicates how much employers have come to rely on the values of a potential employee, aligning to those of the organisation.


How are different markets making use of psychometric assessment?

Type of psychometric assessment in use

Cut-e Assessment Barometer (2016)

Organisations operating in mature markets (UK and Ireland) are among the top users for ability and personality tests. However organisations operating in intermediate (Germany and France) and developing markets (Portugal and Spain) use Situational Judgements Test’s (SJT’s) almost twice as often.

It is thought that one reason SJT’s are not used as often in mature markets may be due to the fact that organisations operating in these markets have become accustomed to traditional assessment questionnaires available over many years.  However, from Testing Talent’s perspective this is changing, brought about with increasingly sophisticated questionnaires available.   Some examples are, Who Cares? – Designed for Care Workers, Customer Service Dilemmas – Designed for Customer Service Staff), are often cheaper, and often include interview questions based on the candidate’s responses to the SJT.  The increasing use of SJT’s provides employer organisations, value for money products particularly when dealing with large numbers of applicants.


What way are organisations using psychometric assessment?

Psychometric assessment employee life cycle

Cut-e Assessment Barometer (2016)

The Global Assessment Barometer asked respondents who said they use psychometrics where in the employee life cycle they use them.  Organisations clearly favour using psychometric assessment as part of the selection process and this has grown by an additional 17% in the lasts 6 years.  There has also been a 20% increase in organisations using psychometrics for development and they are now used as often as they are for screening.  There also continues to be an increase in the use of psychometric assessment for promotion and exit decisions although its use, is not as popular in these areas.

This shows us that almost all organisations who are using psychometric assessment are using it in their recruitment and selection processes although it is becoming an increasingly popular tool for development.


How do I choose who to buy psychometric tests from?

The Psychometric Global Assessment Barometer identified 5 key factors that organisations look for in choosing a test publisher.  These are:

  1. Does the tool measure what it claims to? (Supplier Validation Information)
  2. Does the supplier provide a 5-star service?  (A Good Support Service)
  3. Stable, state-of-the-art technology. (This is becoming increasingly important to businesses)
  4. Does the tool accurately predict performance in a particular job role within my company?  (In-company Validation Studies)
  5. Does the tool and the process measure all candidates fairly and objectively without discrimination or bias?  (Litigation support)

Large organisations with thousands of employees generally employ Occupational Psychologists who can provide in-depth advice and information on the use of tests.  However, for smaller organisations who do not employ Occupational Psychologists this can be a very hard choice to make.   There are large number of tests available that at face value would appear to be ideal for assessing candidates.   The sheer number of these can be very confusing for anyone without an Occupational Psychology background.  As might be expected test publishers will likely only recommend the tests that they have designed, as it is in their interests to sell their own tests.

Testing Talent are an independent psychometric testing organisation, we don’t publish any of our own tests; instead we use our expertise and experience to professionally choose the correct ability / aptitude tests, personality questionnaires and SJT’s. We only use tests from the test publishers that meet our stringent requirements. We provide our clients impartial expert advice that meets these 5 key factors  when choosing a supplier.


So why doesn’t every organisation use Psychometric Assessment?

The Global Assessment Barometer asked non-users why they do not use psychometric assessment. The three most popular responses were:

  1. Lack of managerial support
  2. Psychometric tests are too expensive
  3. Interviews meet our recruitment needs adequately

It is possible that lack of managerial support stems from the other two, being the perceived cost and whether interviews adequately meet the organisations recruitment needs or not.  There are many myths about psychometric testing that may have made managers sceptical regarding their use.  Indeed, many managers may believe psychometrics are simply thrown together and sold without proper testing of their Validity (Does the test measure what it claims to?) and Reliability (Does it accurately measure job performance?).

Future Blogs

We will shortly publish the following blogs on:

Why psychometric tests will save you money – Could your business afford to lose £30,000 from hiring the wrong person? and

Why competency based interviews may not be meeting all of your selection needs –  Are Competency-based Interviews enough?

If you would like more information about the benefits of psychometric assessment or how you may be able to use psychometric assessment in your organisation, contact Testing Talent on

+44 (0)28 8224 3100 or email

You can find a full copy of the 2016 Global Assessment Barometer on cut-e’s website.