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Why companies use TestGroup's psychometric tests

Saturday 02 April 2022

Online tests are as old as the Internet itself. In the early days, you couldn't take the results of such tests very seriously, not only because many dealt with questions like, "Which Teletubby are you?" but also because many online tests were simply not scientifically sound. Even online personality tests weren’t useful. After completing the test, you could recognize yourself in the result, but it was so general that you could not do much with that information.

Nevertheless, online tests caught the attention of HR professionals. Forward-thinking recruiters realized that the cost of a bad hire was very high. However, conducting a full assessment on every candidate is just not feasible. As a result, assessments were mainly carried out for recruitment for positions with a large sphere of influence, such as for executives and other managers.

Taking online ability and personality tests could be a good alternative to expensive and time-consuming assessments. In the beginning, the focus was on testing easily measurable variables, where a clear "right answer" can be defined. An IQ test, or a cognitive ability test, is relatively easy to develop. Tests aimed at filling specific roles where a very specific skill is required were also developed. Through trial and error, online tests became increasingly reliable.

They are now widely used and accepted, not just to test suitability for a specific job, but also as a guide for an interview. Many employment agencies use an (online) personality test to conduct the interview. Experience has shown that an online personality test enables you to find out more quickly whether someone will suit a given job.

Online assessments for every situation

TestGroup, a developer and publisher of online assessments, has been in the business for many years. We are based in Amsterdam, but now have offices in several European countries as well as in the US, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, and India. TestGroup works with various scientific institutes to develop interactive online assessments. The Bridge Personality (online personality test) developed by this company is at the forefront of innovation in the field of psychometric testing. This enables us to develop tests that can estimate with a high degree of reliability whether someone is suitable for a specific job.

This also clearly requires customization, since no two jobs are alike. That is why making an online assessment always starts with the context of the (future) workplace. The content of the job, the company culture, and possible career paths all influence the "fit" between candidate and job. Then, an online test is carefully crafted to match.

Is the job especially attractive because of its growth opportunities? Then test whether ambition and self-development are key drivers for the candidate. Does the position require extreme attention to detail? Then you use the personality test to see if someone is conscientious.

How reliable is a test that is readily available?

For many positions, TestGroup has already done this work. For example, an online sales assessment is readily available to select the best commercial talent. There are also general tests that provide a comprehensive personality profile of the candidate. These tests are often available online within just 30 minutes of ordering. However, this efficiency may raise questions about the reliability of tests.

An interesting article appeared in the February edition of the Gelderlander that addresses this very question. The article mentions that all kinds of examples can be found that the candidate can use to practice. Yet, it is not recommended to resist the temptation to practice too much. For ability tests, half an hour of practice can help you understand what is being asked of you, but for a personality test, it is best to be honest to avoid getting a job in which you are unhappy.

No matter how much you emphasize that the purpose of a test is primarily to see whether there is a match, candidates may be tempted to answer questions in a socially desirable manner. Sometimes it's blatantly obvious, but many times it's not immediately apparent that the candidate has given the answers they think are "the right ones."

Reliability is guaranteed

The problem of socially desirable answers also surfaced when TestGroup was developing tests. A clever solution has now been implemented: the Normative-Ipsative Split Technology.

TestGroup's online tests use Normative-Ipsative Splits. These are indicators of steered response behavior. The technology shows at which points the candidate had difficulty choosing among the answer options. This provides additional information that you can use in addition to the final answers. The doubt can be a signal, for example, of socially desirable answers.

It shows not only whether someone completed the test honestly, but also on which parts the candidate was honest and likely dishonest. Because The Bridge's Normative-Ipsative Split Technology recognizes socially biased answers, you get an even more detailed picture of the candidate. This helps you make a better hiring choice.

This is what our satisfied customers say about us

“Thanks to the Bridge Ability Suite we can admit more people to our corporate training.”

Kim Heerkens, Capacity Building Consultant

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