Using Personality Assessments in the Workplace

Businessman Interviewing Female Candidate

Personality assessments are being used more often in the hiring process. These tests can help business owners learn more about prospective employees, including their strengths and weaknesses. A 2011 poll by the Society for Human Resource Management found that almost 20% of nearly 500 Human Relations professionals used a personality assessment during the hiring process. Of these HR professionals, more than 2/3 reported such tests can be a useful determinant in predicting behavior while on the job, as well as how well the job candidates would fit in the organization.

Personality assessments measure things like choice, preference, values, behavior, decisions, attitudes and job-related interests. Because these assessments evaluate characteristics that could factor into a person’s job performance, it’s vital that business owners also consider other things when deciding whether a job seeker is a viable candidate to work at their company, no matter the candidate’s position.

Personality Assessments

Personality assessments and related tests are designed to measure the characteristic patterns of traits that people display during a variety of circumstances. They can be used to help predict how people may respond in different situations by playing an objective role in the hiring process. Since personality is a major force behind our habits, behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes, it can be a strong predictor of job performance, morale, and dependability, among other things. If you need workers who are flexible and not averse to change, for example, hiring someone who scores low for those traits will not get you the results you want – no matter how much you might like the person. They may actually fit better in a completely different position in your company, however, especially if you treat the encounter as an opportunity.

As long as it’s not the only way you’re determining who to hire, personality assessments can be a helpful tool in your company’s toolbox when it comes to the hiring process. What else should be considered when looking for your next employee, though?

Hiring Strategy

Although personality assessments provide valuable insight that can result in a great hire, they should not be the only tool used when making hiring decisions. Establishing a hiring strategy that works for you as a business owner – as well as for your organization – is a smart move. You’ll probably want to determine whether prospective employees will fit in well with your existing team members while keeping a diverse workforce, which has been found to be crucial for growth.

Many who promote these tests emphasize that assessments should only be used in conjunction with reference- and resume-checking, initial screening interviews, and in-depth interviews that include behavioral questions. Indeed, what are the priorities of job applicants and how well do they align with your company culture?

Types of Personality Assessments

A commonly used and reliable personality test is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which summarizes answers to multiple choice questions and results in a four letter acronym taken from four categories.

The DiSC® assessment is another popular instrument that results in the levels of each of the traits in the four categories. Answers to statements are used to calculate results in the DiSC assessment.

To Test or Not to Test

There are plenty of tests on social media that allow people to determine what type of root vegetable they would be or what type of pizza they would be. Those tests might be fun, but they could hardly be considered helpful during an interview. However, implementing a personality assessment could provide valuable insight into whether business owners should even consider someone for an open position.

As an executive coach, I can help you determine if you need to add personality assessments to your hiring process. Let’s schedule a Breakthrough Session so you can get on with the process of leading instead of worrying about hiring.

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