Should You Use a Personality Test As a Hiring Method?

September 30, 2016

Personality tests are everywhere. Some of us keep the magazine clippings with the test that will give us more insight on our life while others take internet quizzes that will reveal some sort of truth. The point is, personality tests are popular and gaining force in the hiring process. Employers or HR managers use these type of quizzes to get an idea of how well the potential employee will mesh with their business culture.

Bullseye Recruiting weighs in, “Such pre-employment testing is becoming far more common; in 2014, Indeed estimated that between 60 and 70 percent of applicants’ personalities are being tested by U.S. employers.” Now, what is more effective, gut instincts or a way to foreshadow employee behavior? Here are things to consider when deciding whether or not to use these sort of behavioral assessments.

Hire Based On Needs Not Likes

What used to happen is that employers would hire those who were most likely to fit in or those who thought a lot like them. It is natural right? We attract those who are like minded. Well, recent debates state that those who have hiring power should diversify their staff. To put into perspective, if you have many people who all think alike, it decreases the possibility of innovation. Inc.com has Shapiro, who formerly led a 20,000-person innovation practice at Accenture, weigh in. He states, “Everyone thinking the same way creates efficiencies. But today you want innovation and growth to be competitive, and that can’t happen in a monolithic culture.” Keep this in mind when analyzing personality tests.

Seek Expert Assistance

There are a couple of legal concerns when conducting a personality test for employment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has specific standards on these types of evaluations and is investigating whether personality tests target certain groups. If you are not comfortable facing this alone, it might be a good idea to hire someone who has substantial knowledge in this area.

Tests Should Not Be Your Only Method

The counter side to personality tests warns that these sorts of tests can screen out great candidates by not representing candidates accurately. There are multiple stages of the hiring process, and these types of tests should be around the midpoint. Business Insider weighs in, “What personality makes someone a good computer programmer? This is difficult to answer. Additionally, the tests will likely give those with “mainstream” personality types a more positive reading, while creative, think-outside-the-box candidates “who may potentially become leaders and do extraordinary things for an employer may be weeded out.” By evaluating on each level of the hiring process, it will help you come to a more accurate decision.

Popular Personality Tests

According to Bullseye Recruiting, there are three top personality tests that employers use. The Myers- Briggs Type Indicator, the 16PF Questionnaire and the DISC assessment are all at the top of the list. The MBI is based on attitudes, perceiving functions, judging functions and lifestyle. The 16PF Questionnaire is multiple-choice and a mainstream help to psychologists. It asks questions to determine behavioral situations and a candidate’s everyday life. Lastly, the DISC Assessment is a bit less mainstream, but it is still commonly used by employers. The test focuses on dominance, inducement, submission and compliance.

There are many companies, like Xerox, who believe in the benefits of personality tests. It takes extensive research and advising to choose the correct personality test. Good luck!

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