Use An Online Psychological Evaluation Before You Hire

Updated November 28, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Most human resource professionals understand that education, work experience, and references from prior employers are important, but hiring an applicant who is qualified in those areas sometimes doesn’t guarantee compatibility. In the modern workplace, individual competence sometimes matters less than a candidate’s ability to work successfully in a group. 

Often goals are met, and projects are completed not by a single employee but by the team to which they belong. Just because an individual interviews well and is personable does not guarantee that they’ll work well with the rest of the group. This kind of situation can be the result of simple personality differences and may be possible to avoid by using an online psychological evaluation as part of the hiring process.

Conversely, candidates applying for a position might not have the traditional qualifications listed in the job description, but a personality and psychological assessment may indicate that with a minimal amount of training, they would be an excellent fit for the role.

Online Psychological Evaluations Are Valuable For Hiring Managers

What Is A Workplace Psychological Evaluation?

Most businesses evaluate prospective employees beyond the professional certifications required for open positions. They consult the applicant's résumé, conduct face-to-face interviews, and sometimes contact previous employers. Businesses want to determine an individual's past behavior and the behavior that they’ll likely exhibit in the role they’re applying for. 

But employers also want to learn more about a potential employee's personality, knowledge, skills, and ability to think critically and make sound decisions. Psychological evaluation tests may help measure those qualities in a job candidate. There is a multitude of tests written by psychologists developed specially to measure the suitability of applicants for specific positions. While some are written tests administered by hand, many are available online. 

With the information they gather with the test, they can sometimes predict the individual's workplace performance, their ability to communicate and cooperate with fellow employees, and how they may react to direction from management.

Organizations will usually administer the same test to every potential candidate in the interest of equality and fairness. The assessment tests don’t always measure the outcome mathematically. Some evaluate a wide diversity of intangibles, like fine motor skills or the ability to handle stressful situations effectively. 

The aim is to assess a candidate’s potential strengths and areas where they still have opportunities for growth. The administering party must also ensure that the tests are not used to discriminate based on race, sex, nationality, religion, disability, or age. 

How Are They Used?

After the exam is used as a tool to narrow down the best candidates for a position, an employer can then set a time for personal interviews to allow the candidate to speak to their strengths. Interviews allow openness to communication that will give insight into factors like the applicant's past experiences and school or work history to judge the suitability of the applicant.

Tests can also be used when supervisors conduct evaluations assessing the employee's work performance and when making decisions about the employee’s ongoing suitability for the job.  Managers may then use those results to establish a personal development plan for the employee. If the results indicate that the employee is no longer competent in the role, that personal development plan may include strategies for helping the employee improve or to move them to another role they’re better suited for within the organization.

Types Of Psychological Evaluations For Employees

There are several types of employment tests available online to be used by managers to avoid bias in choosing a candidate to hire and to determine the likelihood of whether a candidate will be successful in the role:

  • Personality tests assess personality traits that may predict how a person will behave in certain situations. The questions are written and may be repeated with other wording to eliminate the possibility of dishonesty or so the person taking the test cannot skew their answers.

  • Skills tests assess a candidate’s potential job performance and the ability to learn the skills necessary for the job. These questions are designed to reveal if the candidate will be successful in the job if hired.

  • Cognitive tests measure a person's ability to reason, their reading comprehension level, their speed and accuracy in responding to questions, their memory, and their mathematical acuity. These tests could also include knowledge of a particular job.

  • English proficiency tests determine the level of proficiency a person must write, read, and converse in English.

  • Emotional intelligence (EI) tests survey a person's ability to understand their own emotions and the emotions of others. This reveals a person's ability to work well with colleagues and the public. It also reveals if a person can handle problems and frustrations professionally.

  • Physical exams are generally assessments to determine if a person is physically fit and healthy enough to do a job featuring physically demanding tasks.

The Benefits Of Online Psychological Evaluation

Some employers find themselves in a position where each resume they receive is comparable to the rest, or every interviewee brings similar skill sets and abilities to the job. Or perhaps they encounter job applicants who are skilled at interviewing but not necessarily qualified to do the job. Human resources professionals often must anticipate and adapt to these sorts of circumstances. 

Therefore, current best hiring practices for most critical positions often include a psychological test and a personality test to assess the candidate’s psychological compatibility with other individuals, general aptitude for the position, intelligence, and compatibility with the company’s culture. 

How To Perform An Online Psychological Evaluation

Online Psychological Evaluations Are Valuable For Hiring Managers

There are several online services that can support the hiring process, either as a specialty or as part of a wider offering. The tests and evaluations are typically performed by qualified therapists or psychologists and may cover anything from a candidate’s ethical inhibitions to their personality type. Such a service can also make general recommendations about team composition, such as whether a goal-oriented manager can effectively work with a process-orientated specialist.

Takeaways:

If you strive for a hiring process that is auditable and efficient in matching the right person to the right role, an online psychological evaluation may help. Hiring a candidate who isn’t compatible or capable can be costly both monetarily and productively. Placing a candidate in a job they’re not compatible with is detrimental to them as well. These are some of the mistakes HR departments are responsible for avoiding, which is why utilizing every hiring tool available, including employee psychological tests, is essential.

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