Human Resources Management
Using Psychological Tests as a Selection Technique

What does HR need to consider before using psychological tests as a selection technique?

Psychological tests can be one of the useful methods used in understanding the potential candidates to be employed in the employee selection process. However, implementing psychological tests can be a complicated task. Below are several issues to be aware of by HR managers before using psychological tests in the employee selection process.

Accuracy of the questions. Wrong or inappropriate designed question will obtain wrong input from the candidates, and thus causing wrong conclusion being made by the HT personnel (Dessler, 2011). This may means losing great talents, as when the psychological tests are unable to ferret out or signal a high performing and psychologically smart employee, great talents are not being hired. As such, HR personnel must understand the rationale, strengths, weaknesses, limitations of the questions used in the psychological tests. They should not jump too fast into the conclusion. Often, they may need to judge non-verbal or body language of the candidates to form better and more accurate opinions on the candidates.

Time provided to the candidates. HR personnel must also think properly if the time taken for the personnel to complete the tests is sufficient. The conditions and the atmosphere where the candidates are being tested must also be considered. In order to ensure the accuracy of the results generated by the test, the room atmosphere, testing process and psychological conditions of the candidates must be already in suitable conditions. Advices from psychologists may be needed to ensure the validity of the results obtained from these tests.

Ethical issues. Before even providing any psychological tests to the candidates, several potential ethical issues must be considered. For example, confidentiality of the candidates must be ensured (Mondy, 2010). If the survey results are leaked out to other persons, this may create serious ethics issues. Besides, consent must be obtain from the candidates that the results of the psychological test will be used to determine if he is suitable for the job being applied. Not only is that, the completed survey must be protected in secure database so that others will not have the chance to hack into the HR system to obtain confidential issues on all of the candidates. In the case when the candidates refuse to participate in the psychological tests process, HR personnel may need to think out alternative ways to test the personality and characteristics of the candidates.



Dessler, G. (2011) Human Resource Management ,12th edition. New York: Prentice Hall.

Dyer, L., & Holder, G. W. (1988). A strategic perspective of HRM. In L. Dyer & G.W. Holder (Eds.), Human Resource Management: Evolving Roles and Responsibilities. Washington, D.C.: Bureau of National Affairs.

Mondy, R. W. (2010). Human Resource Management (Eleventh Edition). New York: Pearson.

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