Article · 6 minute read

Optimizing Your Selection Process - The Crucial Role of Psychometric Assessments

By Etienne Danton – 20th November 2023

What does your current hiring process look like? Are candidates asked to complete any psychometric assessments? Chances are, if you are reading this article, they probably will be!

We often observe psychometric assessments being used only at the very late stages of the hiring process. However, whilst having the right tools and questionnaires at later stages is valuable, failing to incorporate assessment early in the process carries substantial risks.

In the below article, we look at how assessments such as aptitude tests and personality questionnaires can be best utilized early in your candidate screening process.  

The benefits of using psychometrics tools

In the fast-paced, dynamic landscape of talent acquisition, organizations are increasingly recognizing the need for effective tools to help shape successful hiring decisions.

Psychometric assessments are typically self-report measures and evaluations of psychological attributes such as abilities, competencies and personality traits. While traditional methods of evaluating candidates using CVs and cover letters remains prevalent, introducing assessments early on in the hiring process has proven to be a valuable step.

Psychometric assessments carry a multitude of benefits. They minimize room for bias, can accurately predict future job performance, evaluate specific areas important for roles, and are excellent for efficiently screening large volumes of candidates; helping to reduce assessor time input and the costs often associated with selection processes.

For these reasons, the use of robust assessments during the early stages of the hiring process is key for organizations to select the right individuals and build truly successful teams.

The perils of utilizing assessments too late in the hiring process

Waiting until the final stages to introduce assessment means organizations could overlook critical insights that could have guided more informed hiring decisions from the get-go. Employers may invest time and resources in candidates who, despite excelling in unstructured interviews, or having an impressive CV, lack the necessary attributes for long-term success in the role.

Delaying assessments until later in the process could also prolong the time-to-hire which increases the risk of losing out on top talent to companies that move more quickly.

When assessments are positioned towards the end of the process, their primary function becomes validation rather than prediction. This means they could be used to confirm existing biases or judgments about candidates, rather than to objectively evaluate their potential. In such cases, assessments become less fair and less effective.

Delaying the introduction of assessments until the later stages of a process can also contribute to a negative perception of their utility. When assessments are employed in the latter phases, the consequential frustration and potential complications that arise may overshadow the intended benefits. This contributes in associating them with difficulties and challenges (ie ‘putting a spanner in the works’) rather than seeing them as valuable, reliable and valid tools that should be used to form opinions and shape decisions from the outset.

Mitigate the risks of a poor hire

  • By integrating assessments early on in the selection process, employers gain invaluable insights into candidates’ capabilities, personality traits, and cultural alignment.

  • Early assessments enable a more nuanced understanding of candidates’ suitability for a role, ensuring alignment not only with technical requirements, but also with the organization’s values and team dynamics. This approach not only streamlines the hiring process, but enhances the precision of decision-making, contributing to a more effective and efficient talent acquisition strategy.

  • Introducing assessments early in the hiring process can also act as a powerful cost-saving measure. By swiftly identifying candidates who align with both technical requirements and competencies, assessments significantly reduce the risk of a poor hire. Time-saving in the selection process is good for candidate engagement and also allows organizations to redirect these resources to other projects.

  • The validity of the assessment method has a key impact on the outcome of the hiring process. Validity essentially means that the assessment is rigorously measuring what it is meant to measure. The use of our flagship tool Wave®, especially early on in a process, can reduce the risk of a poor hire to 1 in 50, compared with a risk of 1 in 5 for less rigorous assessments.

Ultimately, one of the main benefits of early assessment lies in the ability to empower organizations to make informed, low-risk hiring choices that contribute to long-term success and team cohesion.

Another key benefit of early assessments is increased DE&I and fairness

  • Early assessment holds profound benefits for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives within organizations. By objectively gauging skills and qualifications early on, organizations can identify diverse talent, based on fair and impartial information, rather than relying on ‘gut instinct’ found with subjective evaluations of CVs and covering letters.

  • This proactive approach also contributes to addressing adverse impact and promoting a fairer evaluation of candidates from diverse backgrounds. Moreover, early assessments provide an opportunity for organizations to assess and address any unintentional biases embedded in their hiring processes, increasing the chance of a diverse workforce from the very beginning.

What is the cost of a poor hire?

According to the US Department of Labor, the price of a bad hire is at least 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings, taking into account the cost of the lack of productivity from a poor hire, and also the potential costs associated with rehiring for that role. (1)

However, the cost of a poor hire extends beyond just monetary considerations, and can also affect team morale and overall organizational dynamics. The ramifications of an unsuitable hire often necessitate additional recruitment efforts, increasing financial investment and time input from hiring managers and recruiters.

Leveraging assessments at an early stage not only provides a more effective selection process, mitigating the risk of hiring the wrong person, but also reinforces a commitment to building diverse and inclusive workplaces.

How can you change your hiring process?

Using powerful, valid psychometric assessments such as aptitude tests and Saville Assessment’s Wave personality questionnaire can bolster the quality, efficiency and candidate experience in your selection process.

At Saville Assessment, we offer tailored solutions to meet your recruitment needs, whether you’re dealing with volume recruitment or higher-level roles. Match 6.5, our highly-effective behavioral assessment powered by Wave®, is a short and robust predictor of workplace performance and potential. It can be utilized independently or in conjunction with other assessments such as Aptitude Tests and Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs), enabling swift and effective hiring .

One example of this involves the use of Match 6.5 alongside an SJT for the recruitment of sales representatives at a global insurance organization. The combined assessment approach accurately predicted success in the field sales roles. Those who did well in the assessments later went on to deliver an additional $86 million annually in sales for the organization, with each person contributing an extra $248,000 per year.

This project received the ‘Excellence in Assessment’ award at the Association of Business Psychologists (ABP) Awards in 2020 and won the Talent Management category at the Personnel Today Awards 2021.

You can read the full case study here.


The scalability of Match 6.5, along with SJT and Aptitude assessments, is also a huge benefit, making them ideal to use for both individual hires and filtering out large numbers of candidates. Whether making decisions for a small team or conducting extensive organizational assessments, our tools maintain precision and reliability, ensuring consistent application across various contexts without compromising quality.

Find Out More

If you would like to discuss which assessments to implement early in your next hiring process, our team will be happy to help. 


About the Author
Etienne Danton

Etienne is a Consultant Analyst at Saville Assessment, with prior experience in Data Analytics & Strategy, HR, and Recruitment, and expertise in Organizational & Occupational Psychology

You can connect with Etienne on LinkedIn here