Can HR professionals do away with psychometric tests?

I remember giving MBTI, DISC etc. tests for recruitment. Till date I have not understood how it has helped organisations in decision making. I am yet to see any study which has conclusively proved that company using tests had more competent managers than those who do not.

Why are HR professionals using these tests? Are they substitute for good old personal interview technique? Or is it strong marketing by agencies owning these tests, who somehow managed to convince HR professionals that these tests can detect something, you will normally miss in interviews? Or is there a commercial interest in promoting these tests? Most of them insist on certification, then force you to give their on line tests and send their report. What is HR’s role in this? – Some-how force fit candidate in one of the 15 or 16 categories.

I feel certifying bodies, certified professionals and HR professionals have created a  myth that tests can detect something, a normal interview will miss ( typically they give example of iceberg- interview sees what is above iceberg and test sees what lies below water).

Poor candidate is branded with four letters- ISTJ, INTJ ESTJ etc or high D, Low S, low I high C etc. If purpose of test is to find his strengths then why is it used to eliminate the candidates? May times candidate is forced to imagine situations to respond, which goes against testing of competencies, competencies can be evaluated based on what happened in past, hypothetical situations have no meaning while testing competency.

I always remember scene from film Deewar, where young Amitabh Bacchan is branded with “Mera Baap Chor Hai” ( my father is a thief) on his hand, something he had to live with.

How can entire population of 7 billion humans be pigeon holed in 15 or 16 boxes?

MBTI has its origin in theory  of Carl Jung, which later was developed administered as test by mother-daughter duo- Briggs and Myers, to help women workforce to find suitable job in World War II era. While DISC has its origin in William Marston’s- Emotions of Normal People. Marston himself is known more for comic strip –Wonder Woman than DISC.

In-depth interview can reveal what these tests can. I feel HR professionals should go back to good old in-depth interview technique or Behavioral events interviews to get right candidates.



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