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26th May 2022

Reaching Your Full Potential – The Link Between Psychometrics Tests and Development

Although we as humans all share common characteristics, each of us has our own unique sets of traits and preferences that create our psychological make-up. These form our personality which shapes our perception of the world around us and how we respond to it. In an organisational context, our personality is reflected in our work style [1] and, as suggested by research, can be a significant predictor of job performance [2]. Therefore, having an awareness of how our personality influences the way we work and why we like or are better at certain aspects of our job more than other can be a powerful driver of professional growth and development [3].

What are Psychometric Assessments?

Psychometric assessments are a scientific tool used to objectively measure an individual’s personality, motivation, attitude, or emotional intelligence [4]. The origins of psychometric assessment can be traced back to the late 19th century. The first tests that were designed focused on measuring ability and mental functioning, with personality assessment, later claiming its place in the 1950s [5]. Nowadays, psychometric assessment is used a great deal for recruitment purposes, however, it is also a valuable tool for development.  The most common psychometric tests used for development are:

  • Aptitude/Ability tests – measure how our performance in executing different tasks
  • Personality test – measure our preferred way of behaving

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 Why should you consider using psychometric tests for development?

  • The psychometric reports can help both an individual and their manager gain a better understanding of their level of ability and work preferences, which can be useful for creating a development framework to support them to enhance their skills and performance at work. A meta-analysis (analyses evidence from multiple studies) suggested that an individual’s personal characteristics can predict their training motivation [5]. By using psychometric tests, leaders can gather useful insight into what motivates employees, their style of work, and their strengths [1]. Knowing this information can help them identify suitable training options for their employees.
  • Psychometrics tests can create a common language to distinguish a team’s strengths and development needs. This can help team members to communicate better and adapt their working styles to complement each other’s strengths [7].
  • In coaching, using psychometrics assessment can provide many benefits. It can help the coach to better understand the coachee and can use the results as a starting point for them to discuss the coachee’s preferences, strengths, and development needs. Additionally, it can be the ‘most powerful take away’ to the coachee in helping them gain a better self-insight and awareness into their strengths and development needs, catalysing their self-development [6].

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What psychometric tool should you use?

 There is a whole array of psychometric tools to use. However, to ensure you receive all the benefits of psychometric assessment it is important to have a clear understanding of how you want to apply it as a development tool, what you are looking to measure and why [8].

Important points to consider are:

  • Reliability of the test. The tool should provide consistent results and external factors should not significantly influence them [8].
  • Validity – this is perhaps the most important criterion when considering an assessment. The tests should measure what it is designed to measure [8].
  • Administration of the test and interpretation of results – when using the psychometric tests, it is crucial to have qualified assessors to administer the test and interpret the results. This controls for possible misinterpretations by the individual which can make the development tool less valuable to them. Therefore, it is important to have an assessor with knowledge in how to use the tool and conduct safe debrief [9].

How can Impact Psychology for Business Help You?

Our team of Occupational and Business Psychologist and Consultants are trained in the British Psychological Society (BPS) Test User: Ability and Personality. We abide by the BPS Code of Ethics and are trained to use a wide range of different psychometric tools. We incorporate psychometrics into team and leadership development programmes. We also actively use it with our coaching clients. To learn more about how we can support you to reach your full potential using psychometric assessments, click here to talk to us.

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Useful resources

  1. Batey, M, Walker, & Hughes, D. (2012). Psychometric Tools in Development – do they work and how?
  2. Barrick, M & Mount, M (1991). The Big Five personality dimensions and job performance: A meta-analysis, Personnel Psychology, 44 (1), pp 1–26
  3. Passmore, J (2012). Psychometrics in Coaching: Using Psychological and Psychometric Tools for development. Retrieved from
  4. Buchanan, R & Finch, S. (2005). History of Psychometrics. doi: 10.1002/0470013192.bsa282.
  5. Mcdowall, A., & Smewing, C. (2009). What assessments do coaches use in their practice and why? The Coaching Psychologist. 5.
  6. Colquitt, J., LePine, J., & Noe, R. (2000). Toward an Integrative Theory of Training Motivation: A Meta-Analytic Path Analysis of 20 Years of Research. The Journal of applied psychology. 85. 678-707. doi: 10.1037//0021-9010.85.5.678.
  7. Radhika, G. (2020). 11 Benefits of Psychometric Assessments. Retrieved from
  8. Psychometric Assessments. Retrieved from:
  9. Kirton K. (2022). The Dos and Don’ts of Using Psychometrics for Workplace Development. Retrieved from: