Psychometric Assessment – Why Indian Organizations have been a late starter?


Psychometric assessment tests are scientific tests which are designed to help assess an individual’s personality traits and cognitive abilities. Psychometric assessments evaluate an individual’s performance, skills, knowledge, attitudes, competencies, personality attributes, and job as well as academic potential. These standardized tests are useful for recruiters in the hiring process because these tests accurately predict a candidate’s behavioral tendencies and how competent the candidate is for a particular job. The insight about the candidate’s personality and skills help recruiters make better job-related decisions and provide training for employee development. 

In leading organizations, recruiters have started using psychometric assessment tools in the hiring process to select candidates who respond well to training, are efficient in their area of work, and possess the required skills for a particular job, so as to enhance business productivity. Psychometric assessment tools help recruiters and HR professionals assess a potential candidate’s major personality traits and skills to understand how well the candidate fits in a particular role as well as with the organization’s work culture and values. 

According to a 2016 study by Willis Towers Watson, “psychometrics add quantitative measures to qualitative assessments to present a holistic portrayal of a candidate’s capabilities. These instruments can bring new depth to a company’s assessment of a new hire or an existing employee’s abilities, leadership potential, personality and culture fit. When combined with qualitative assessment, psychometrics can also help determine an employee’s potential to take on larger or more challenging roles.”

In India, there has been a considerably low adoption of psychometric assessments as compared to the foreign companies. In western countries such tools have been used since early 20th century! Indian organizations have been late starters of using psychometric assessments because of many reasons. 

  1. Recruiters gave preference to work experience and educational qualifications much more than anything else. They considered it the most important aspect to consider while hiring any candidate.
  2. There has been not much awareness and knowledge about the benefits and uses of these assessment tools. Often companies think of them as fancy academic exercise which is not going to have much impact on finding the right hire.
  3. Indian organizations have always been focused on cutting costs and not on having ROI. Thus, adoption of such tools was considered as costly and hence avoided. 
  4. It is always thought that as these tools have been developed in western countries, so they are valid for the Western population and not for Indian population. 
  5. Over-reliance on the gut feeling while hiring people as a judgment of their usefulness is another major reason why these tools were adopted late. 
  6. Attrition and low productivity were taken for granted. It was assumed that employees never perform and irrespective of whom you hire, the performance will remain low in majority of the cases. 
Interestingly, now the situation is changing. We now see not only MNCs but also promoter led companies in India using tools like Predictive Index (PI), Thomas profiling, DISC, SHL and Hogan etc. for understanding the core personality of a candidate before hiring them. 

There are many reasons for this change. For example, one of our clients who runs a promoter led company in Punjab, partnered with us for Predictive Index system because their US client made them do the assessment even before placing an order with them! This was an eye-opening instance for them on the usage of psychometric assessment and the depth to which they are relied upon by US companies. 

With the advancement of technology and cloud computing, such assessments have become very affordable. For example, Predictive Index system allows its client to do unlimited behavioral and Cognitive assessments. There is no per assessment cost but rather an annual subscription with unlimited usage. What it means for the company is that the more they use the assessment, the better is the ROI.  


It is important for Indian organizations to use psychometric assessment tests for making the hiring process more effective and hiring quality talent. These tests also are an effective tool to screen out candidates especially when there are a large number of applicants. The use of psychometric assessment tools can help organizations understand their talent preferences and hire candidates accordingly. However, these tests should be supplemented with other assessment methods like interviews, resume screenings, knowledge tests, and other methods of observations. Doing this will give holistic results to the recruiters to select the best candidate. 

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