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Summary of our 2019 research findings into psychometric assessment

Summary of our 2019 research findings into psychometric assessment

The OPG recently surveyed 43 HR and business people on their use of psychometric assessment. We then compared this data with the findings of the 2018 survey of 58 people.  The full findings can be found here.

The research and subsequent analysis has revealed some interesting findings…

A valuable tool used in selection and learning & development

Assessment is used extensively in development with a similar 80% of respondents in 2018 but only 50% in 2019: a marked decline. Next year’s survey will be interesting in identifying a trend.

However, whilst psychometric assessment is used in learning & development it is less used in performance management with an uptake of just under 12%. Again, the 2020 survey may provide more information.

70% of organisations use psychometric assessment for selection

As expected, psychometric assessment is widely deployed in recruitment and selection. 70% of respondents use psychometric assessment and this is even greater among larger organisations.

When asked why, respondents cited the quality of data psychometric assessment provides which interviews and performance reviews fail to identify.

A missed opportunity

Perhaps the most surprising area where uptake is low is the use of assessment for restructuring. Only 14% of respondents confirmed that they use assessment in these circumstances in 2019. This means that many organisations are missing opportunities to use assessment as an objective talent analytics tool which identifies potential as well as assessing work preferences and ability. It can also be a defendable tool which provides a level of assurance when making people decisions.

The data supports the hypothesis that assessment is used as a process for selection and development but may not be being utilised for strategic decision making around organisational structure and performance as much as it might. This is surprising given the objective nature of the assessment and its value as a defensible part of restructuring. Click here for details of our recent blog post on high stakes assessment.

Emphasis on using high quality psychometric tools

Respondents largely prefer to use high quality British Psychological Society approved tools. Consistently, the surveys identified the market leading SHL OPQ 32 being the most popular psychometric assessment with a consistent uptake of approx. 35% in both years. Hogan was second with over 27% of respondents using these tools. 16pf and Saville Wave were also popular with an uptake of 12% and 10% respectively and Thomas profile at 20%.

OPQ32 is the most popular psychometric assessment with a consistent 35% uptake in both years

Other popular tools over both years were the MBTI and Insights Discovery tools which are focused on learning & development rather than recruitment and selection. Both MBTI and Insights enjoyed an uptake over 40% in the use of these instruments in 2019.

How reliable are psychometric assessments?

The data suggests a consensus 85% who rate psychometrics as being effective. 48% of respondents rate the assessment as being very useful and in 3 cases they were rated as the maximum. Despite this positivity, 14% of respondents disagreed that they are helpful.


  • Psychometric assessment is valued by the overwhelming majority of surveyed organisations for its depth of information it provides.
  • Recruitment and learning and development are the two key areas where psychometric assessment is deployed.
  • Surprisingly, psychometric assessment is less used in strategic restructuring and performance management processes. The hypothesis is that psychometric assessment is used most for transactional situations which provide supporting data.
  • Top British Psychological Society rated tools top the poll but less well-respected assessments are also deployed. The hypothesis is that the popularity of assessments which do not require British Psychological Society accreditation may be cost driven? Next year’s survey will investigate.

The full report will be available in due course and will be sent to participants. If you would like a copy please email me, Matthew Davis medavis@ramseyhall.com

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