Personality assessments can be useful for HR to help streamline the hiring process. These are not the same personality tests getting clicks on social media, but directed assessments with the purpose of identifying potential employee’s behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs. The results of these assessments evaluate whether a potential hire will be a good fit for your workplace.
Five years ago, as many as 60% of workers were asked to take workplace assessments, turning them into a $500-million-a-year industry – which is still growing. Over a quarter of major incorporations include personality assessments when they evaluate candidates. What should your company consider when it comes to choosing and using personality assessments?
There are thousands of personality assessments available. It is important to be sure that HR considers them carefully in order to select the assessment that best fits their company. Some lower-quality assessments also run the risk of getting a company in legal trouble, so selection is important in order to ensure a test of value. The chosen test should be in compliance with all federal guidelines, and available in multiple languages.
A quality personality assessment measures stable traits that will not change over time, providing employers with an idea of what they can expect from a potential employee. The scores provided should be normative, comparing one applicant’s results against others, and the test should provide a “candidness” scale to indicate how likely it is that the results accurately portray the test-taker. A quality assessment will also have high reliability and be shown to be a valid predictor of job performance. Choosing an assessment that is the result of all this background research means the results will be more helpful in choosing the best candidates.
Higher-quality personality assessments have been tested in order to ensure the accuracy of their results. Assessments which are based on the popular Five Factor Model have had the most scrutiny from outside researchers. This model looks for a potential hire’s openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism – all important factors when considering teamwork and customer satisfaction.
Choosing a less expensive personality assessment means running the risk of making hiring decisions based on less valid results. Many popular personality tests, such as four-quadrant tests, should not be used during the hiring process, and the increasingly popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was never intended for use in the hiring process. HR professionals should avoid using tests that sort people into a small handful of personality styles because the results will be too simplistic and therefore not accurate enough to be useful. Workplaces are also shown to be stronger and more productive when employees fit into a variety of these popular categories, so the personality assessment chosen for the hiring process needs to go beyond this simple sorting.
A personality assessment should never be the sole indicator of whether a potential hire should turn into an employee. The results of a properly chosen and properly administered personality assessment are just one piece of the hiring process. These results alone are not necessarily an indicator that an applicant should not move forward, and the results of a personality assessment should be considered alongside other documentation and measures of the applicant.
Companies should choose the personality assessment that measures the attributes that most closely align with their organization. A properly chosen personality assessment will predict workplace behaviors that can affect sales, customer satisfaction, and employee turnover. If the results are free of bias, they can help companies make more informed decisions about potential hires and their likely long-term performance in the workplace.