Psychometric assessments are tools to measure the intellectual capabilities and the behavioral traits of an individual.
In the previous article, we have discussed how large organizations adopt psychometric assessments in their recruitment process. Now, we shall see how reliable are psychometric assessments to make challenging hiring decisions.
Reliability of a test is the measure of consistency of the result or outcome of a test over a period of time and between different test takers. Hence a test measuring personality traits should yield the same answers for a test taker after several times completing the test, and within a short period of time.
It is not possible to calculate the exact reliability. Or to be bluntly put, they may not be able to provide 100% insights about a test taker, but they aim to measure the ability of a candidate to the highest degree of accuracy.
Here is how our psychometric assessments satisfy the 4 conditions of ‘reliability’.
Internal Consistency Reliability
This form of reliability is used to judge the consistency of results across items on the same test.
Essentially, we are comparing test items that measure the same construct to determine the tests internal consistency. When you see a question that seems very similar to another test question, it may indicate that the two questions are being used to gauge reliability. Because the two questions are similar and designed to measure the same thing, the test taker should answer both questions the same, which would indicate that the test has internal consistency. For example, a personality test may seem to have two or more questions that are asking the same thing.
If the test taker answers these similarly, then internal consistency reliability is assumed to be correct.
Consider the following questions:
In the above questions, if the test taker gives similar response to these behavioral questions, then internal consistency reliability is confirmed.
Parallel Forms Reliability
This uses one set of questions divided into two equivalent sets (“forms”), where both sets contain questions that measure the same construct, knowledge or skill.
Simply put, our aim is to find out if test A measures the same thing as test B.
How is this done?
We create a set of 100 questions that measure that construct and randomly split the questions into two sets of 50 (set A and set B), and administer those questions to the same group of candidates a week apart.
If the same results are obtained, parallel form reliability is confirmed.
This uses two test takers to mark or rate the scores of a psychometric test. This ensures homogeneity of the test across a diverse group of test takers.
If their scores or ratings are comparable then inter-rater reliability is confirmed. For example, each rater might score items on a scale from 1 to 10. Next, we would calculate the correlation between the two ratings to determine the level of inter-rater reliability. So, if the raters agree 8 out of 10 times, the test has an 80% inter-rater reliability rate.
This is the final sub-type to evaluate reliability.
Test-retest reliability is measured by administering a test (complete test unlike the previous type) twice at two different points in time. This type of reliability assumes that there will be no change in the quality or construct being measured. Test-retest reliability is best used for things that are stable over time, such as intelligence.
Why is Reliability important?
- To depend on the true score of the test
- To validate an applicant’s psychometry
- To make hiring decisions based on the results of the psychometric tests
Top reasons to rely on Psychometric Assessments
1. Serve as a credible evidence to evaluate the psychology
Organisational Psychologists spend decades researching, creating and rigorously testing psychometric assessments that are robust enough to predict when and why a given person will be successful or not in a given job.
Psychometric assessments can strongly predict a number of different work-related factors:
- Future job performance: How well they will learn new tasks, solve complex problems and perform on the job
Organizational fit: Whether they’re likely to share the organization’s values and feel more committed and engaged in their job
- Safety behaviours: How likely they are to accept personal responsibility for safety at work and avoid risky behaviour
- Behaviour and personality: How someone naturally prefers to behave at work, the kinds of behaviours they have adopted, and how difficult it is to sustain behavioural changes
- Emotional intelligence: How well they can identify, understand, manage and use their own and other people’s emotions
2. Psychometric Assessments undergo a stringent development process
Creating a valid and reliable psychometric assessment is not an easy joke. Psychometric assessments have stringent criteria to meet and need to prove that they can provide genuine information about a candidate’s suitability or ‘fit’ for a particular role. On an average, it takes 10 years to develop a psychometric test.
The primary goal of any psychometric test is to be able to precisely measure the psychometry of a candidate. This involves conducting psychometric assessments for a large pool of candidates, gathering data and performing an intricate statistical analysis on the results obtained.
3. Psychometric Assessments have check gates to detect fake responses
When candidates are applying for a job, they’re motivated to show their very best side. They likely provide a fake or a distorted response. This possibility can be ruled out as organizational psychologists have come up with various methods to reduce the opportunity for candidates to fake their responses.
- Verification testing: The candidates complete the same assessment (with different questions) a second time under supervised conditions to verify their original results
- Validity scales: At times, checks are built into the assessments (by certain questions or algorithms) to detect whether candidates are trying to present an overly positive image of themselves or their behaviour
Having discussed the reasons to rely on psychometric assessments and the ways to check the reliability of psychometric assessments, in our next article, we shall see the business outcomes on incorporating psychometric assessments in the recruitment process helps you with a
Xobin helps you with a detailed psychometric analysis of your candidates to determine the right fit for your organization.
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