Competency Tests, Aptitude tests or Personality Tests?

April 14, 2023

Which Type of Test is Better for Recruitment?

To recruit effectively, you need a solid process which asks all the right questions of your prospective candidates. All too often, businesses rely on outdated CV screening, which provides the bare minimum information about the applicant and is often exaggerated or just works of fiction.

While CVs provide you with job history and experience, past behaviour isn’t necessarily an accurate predictor of future behaviour. It’s much more effective to ask direct questions of your candidate specifically relevant to your job vacancy to glean a picture of who they are and how they work.

Therefore, dedicated testing can make all the difference to the selection process and can distinguish between a successful long term hire and an early dismissal. It allows you an insight into the person behind the CV, providing you with valuable information on their skills, literacy, and even personality type.

However, not all testing systems are built the same. Depending on your job description and the type of business you’re running, it helps to have a basic knowledge of the different kinds of testing available to you. You’ll find some sample tests online, which can help you decide what is suitable for your company.

What is a Competency test?

Although frequently lumped into the same category, competency tests and personality tests are different in a few ways. Competency tests are designed to evaluate whether the candidate has the knowledge and skills for the job. Many competency tests might ask questions such as “tell me about a time when you…” or “what has your biggest achievement been to date?”

These are the questions you might expect to find in competency-based interviews.

What is an Aptitude test?

An aptitude test analyses the candidate’s hard skills. This can include numerical testing, literacy testing or general knowledge. Essentially, the candidate’s basic intelligence will be evaluated.

While this kind of testing might indicate if the person is qualified on paper for the job role, they supply no glimpse into the person’s interpersonal or communication skills.

What is a Personality test?

Conversely, personality testing is engineered to inform the candidate’s soft skills. These questions have no wrong answers and can test for communication skills, work ethic and teamwork to paint a clear picture of who your applicant is as a human being.

Which type of testing is best?

Essentially, the answer is that all three areas are essential and help provide insight into an applicant. You should research some practice tests to determine which will be most beneficial for your individual organisation.

However, it’s widely accepted that psychometric testing (which incorporates both competency and personality testing) undoubtedly provides the most accurate picture of a potential employee, making it very effective in recruitment.

This is because the key to finding the right fit for the job often lies in somebody’s personality, work ethic and communication more than someone’s literacy, numeracy or level of schooling. Many aptitude tests have a bit of a narrow focus that doesn’t give you a further understanding of who the applicant actually is.

Psychometric testing is highly flexible and delivers genuine insights into the candidate’s personality strengths, work ethic, and workplace behaviour. The questions can be specifically tailored to correlate with the job vacancy in question, meaning you’ll predict the candidate’s responses to situations that are relevant to the role.

If it’s determined that the candidate possesses the soft skills required to progress, you may wish to conduct a competency-based interview. This might be where you ask some of the open-ended questions specified above.

Contact us today

eTalent makes testing easy for recruiting businesses by supporting you in asking all the right questions. Our tried and tested psychometric testing uses a combination of scientifically proven methods to determine the best fit for your vacancy, ranking candidates in order of suitability based on their results.

What’s more, we take care of all of the surrounding admin involved in the hiring process. From your own branded portal, you’ll be able to compare and shortlist candidates for interviews, send rejection emails and even manage your job listings.

For more information, please get in touch with us today.