Should the Hiring Process Include Personality Tests?
Apr 19, 2023 · 8 mins read ·Hiring & Onboarding
At one point in your job search, you were probably asked to answer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire, or the DISC personality test.
It's not uncommon for recruiters to utilize pre-existing tools such as personality tests to make hiring decisions. These tests allow employers to understand candidates' motivations, values, work preferences, and personality traits.
But most of these tests are facilitated by the candidates themselves (the tests are widely available on the Internet), making one wonder whether such personality quizzes are reliable hiring tools.
Choosing the best candidate for the position in today's competitive environment is critical, where every worker and the time it takes to hire them matters.
Before you require your candidates to take multiple personality tests, should we break down what these tests achieve in the long run?
What are personality tests?
A personality test is an instrument used to assess a person's temperament or psyche. It usually takes the form of a questionnaire intended to bring out a person's character traits.
Professionals use this instrument to evaluate a person's defining features when exposed to various situations. Moreover, personality assessments can be used to forecast a person's behavior in specific scenarios.
Employers utilize personality tests to learn more about a candidate's behavior and how it might affect their ability to execute their job. Recruiters also use this tool to determine whether a candidate's personality fits with their company's culture.
There are quite a lot of personality tests, but the most common ones used by employers are the following:
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, also called the MBTI, is frequently utilized by businesses throughout the hiring process.
By asking applicants questions, it ascertains where they fit within four major categories: extraversion vs. introversion, judging vs. perceiving, intuition vs. sensing, and thinking vs. emotion.
The categories' outcomes assign test-takers to one of 16 personality types. The test is rather lengthy, totaling 93 questions.
DISC Personality Test
This test is divided into 28 statements based on the DISC categories of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance (DISC).
Four alternatives exist for the test-taker to score how they identify with each statement. The result is one of 12 possible personality types.
16 Personality Factor Questionnaire
The 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire, often known as 16PF, was initially published in 1949 by Raymond B. Cattell, Maurice Tatsuoka, and Herbert Eber.
It has numerous uses, including job advancement and employee progression, and aids in measuring people's behavior.
It assesses dominance, rule-consciousness, sensitivity, emotional stability, perfectionism, self-reliance, and openness to change, among other personality qualities.
What are the advantages of using personality tests?
There is no denying that personality tests have advantages for companies.
They give insightful information about how an applicant's personality will affect their behavior at work, enabling recruiters to comprehend how a prospect will collaborate with others, solve issues, and control their emotions at work.
Other advantages of using such tests include the following:
An improved understanding of applicants
Employers can determine potential applicants' required personality attributes with the help of objective personality evaluations.
The recruiter can select individuals from a pool for a particular job profile based on underlying personality qualities.
For instance, if you're looking to hire a business analyst, you'll be looking for personality attributes like analytical thinking, curiosity, quick thinking, persistence, solid English abilities, empathy, and the capacity to maintain composure.
Speeds up the hiring process
It expedites and makes the hiring process more convenient.
Suitable candidates can be selected from the online assessment process, decreasing the number of unnecessary interviews. In addition, as the results of personality tests may be obtained in real-time, hiring applicants takes less time.
Provides insights about a candidate's potential
You can use personality tests to determine whether a candidate would succeed in the role you have in mind for them. This measure can also be used to determine how well a candidate will train for future positions that will require more sophisticated skills.
For instance, a candidate's personality test results can reveal they possess high degrees of the presence of mind, critical thinking skills, and stress management capabilities. This indicates you can prepare them for a strategic leadership position.
Testing helps you make more impartial decisions when sorting and ranking prospects, which can often be time-consuming and difficult. In addition, a personality test allows you to compare applicants using the same criteria.
Using this tool, you may screen prospects without unintentionally harboring bias. For example, you can use a candidate's personality test findings in the required competencies rather than choosing based only on how they made you feel about them.
What are the cons of personality tests in the hiring process?
Although personality tests have definite advantages, there are times when they lead to drawn-out disputes about your company's hiring practices.
It can get expensive
You may incur high costs if you administer a personality test to many applicants, mainly if an expensive psychometrics company provides the exam.
If hiring is a regular occurrence at your organization, running these tests might not be practical.
Although personality assessments can help recruiters provide a more equitable process, they can take many applicants' time.
Candidates must take this extra and often a lengthy step, which could frustrate them with the application procedure or cause them to lose interest in the position.
It may not be reliable or insightful
It's possible that personality test findings aren't always accurate.
Candidates may respond to the inquiry based on what they believe you want to hear. Unfortunately, when this occurs, the outcomes you receive won't accurately reflect the personality of the applicant, which could result in you hiring someone who won't be a good fit for your company.
Employing someone based on their personality test performance does not always mean they are the best fit for the position. Also, it does not imply that you will keep that person on a long-term basis.
It is impossible to say whether using personality testing in the workplace is "good" or "bad." Learning how to use personality tests at work effectively is the key.
No one test will help you establish a candidate's long-term fit for a position, but personality tests can help you look beyond "competence fit" and evaluate them for culture fit, which is just as important.
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