How widely used is psychometric testing in the USA?

Whether you’re looking to relocate to the USA for a job, or you are job hunting inside the country already, its best practice to have an understanding of the recruitment environment you will be facing. An adequate understanding of the tools and techniques of recruitment in the geographic location you’re stepping into allows you to better prepare to compete for the role you’ve applied for; here is a look into how widely psychometric testing is used in the USA today.

Although it is commonly quoted that 80% of Fortune 500 companies in the USA use psychometric testing as part of their recruitment process, there is a scarcity of information in regards to the proportion of smaller-sized, family-owned businesses using similar tests. Regardless of this lack of specific data, it still appears that psychometric tests are exceedingly popular, with the overall use of psychometric test use predicted to grow each year by as much as 10-15%. Looking at this information, it is reasonable to conclude that all companies will be using psychometric testing eventually, as part of their process to find the best fit for their role – you!

The need for psychometric testing

Psychometric testing is popular in the USA for a reason. With a steady stream of graduates armed with similar qualifications, employers and recruiters are finding it more difficult than ever to differentiate between candidates, to see their actual skillset, and to find the best fit for the role. In some cases, graduates come out of college, or graduate school, lacking essential basic skills such as numeracy or deductive reasoning.

In saying that, if you’ve come out of graduate school and you identify that your math skills aren’t as sharp as they used to be, never fear. This is a common complaint from graduates whose skills have become rusty during the course of their studies. Acknowledging this is the first step towards working on it; the next step is making a choice to overcome it – which means practice, practice, practice.

Practice, however, can only get candidates so far; you really have to master it, which is why we offer a range of tests designed to lift your level of competency. A lack of genuine psychometric test mastery adds to a candidate’s level of test anxiety, which has long been identified as an employment barrier for some people, who are simply too terrified of the concept of a test to do as well as they are able on a daily basis.

Evolving psychometric environment

In response to this, some United States based recruiters are transforming the way psychometric tests are administered. Instead of being pure test form, they are incorporating them into a game style situation, which encourages candidates to respond naturally while also challenging them in a similar way a psychometric test would.

US-based company Deloitte has transformed their standard psychometric testing suite into a game style situation which requires candidates to engage in a simulated work situation. At a lengthy 20 minutes, it requires candidates to act on regularly occurring workplace tasks. The candidates’ performance is used in the first round of the recruitment process allowing the employer to select people with the desired competencies regardless of how they compare to others with similar qualifications. Interestingly, Deloitte have crafted it to pique candidates’ interest in the role, making it attractive enough for candidates to want to work there.

While an example like this sounds very ‘fun and game like’, this doesn’t mean candidates need to update their ‘game’ skills; a solid range of general psychometric competencies would do every candidate well. If you have a strong set of skills and can perform well in any psychometric test put in front of you, you will stand the best chance of being offered the role regardless of how the psychometric testing environment evolves over time. Professionals take the same approach; being able to excel in a traditional test will give you transferable skills that help you both in test conditions and on the job – what could be a better investment in your career than that?

Are you ready to face an aptitude test? Find out today, try our free Aptitude Test Readiness Evaluation.