HR trends

Should You Use Personality Tests in Your Hiring Process?

Ivan Pištingli blog author

Ivan Pištingli

Oct 13th, 2021

Four people holding cardboard thought bubbles

Overview on the use of personality tests in the hiring process.

There are many ways to determine if a potential recruit will be a good fit for the company or not. But here, we will be focusing on one specific tool that can make the hiring decision easier - personality tests.

One of the many benefits of personality tests is that they gather information about an individual’s personality traits, values, and work preferences, making finding a fitting talent for your team easier. At the same time, this information can also be used throughout employees’ careers to develop them further. This is why organizations are embracing such tools to build the best teams possible.

According to Forbes, 60-70% of employers include a pre-employment personality test in the recruiting process. 

Benefits of Personality Tests

The benefits of personality tests are undeniable. They enable employers to understand the personality traits of their potential employees, including their emotional stability, workplace behavior, and teamwork capabilities.

While that is undoubtedly useful, there are plenty of other benefits as well. Here we will explore some of them.

  • Understand candidates:

A good personality test can help you choose the right talent for your company environment based on the personality assessment and compatibility with your company. As a result, you can select the best fitting candidate, especially when you need to choose between candidates with similar qualifications. Knowing who you are hiring is vital if you plan on having a healthy and long-lasting team.

  • Eliminate unwanted personality traits:

Certain personality traits can be problematic in the workplace, and it is vital to know if your candidates display these traits in a way that might hurt your team's effectiveness. Traits such as temperament, impulsiveness, aggression, narcissism, insensitivity, and opportunism can cause issues with certain lines of work. Of course, different jobs require different personalities, but it is important to know if any potential candidates might be problematic.

  • Faster recruitment process:

Speeding up the recruitment process is important because the larger the company, the longer the recruiting processes can take. By giving potential candidates a test that can, in most cases, be solved online, you basically give yourself a way of filtering out the candidates that show promise and reducing the number of individuals that will have to go through the rest of the recruitment process. This can save a lot of time.

  • Cost-effective:

Most personality tests are cost-effective and provide results incredibly fast. Additionally, if you are using a reliable test, the process can reduce the chance of inadequate hires. This will save money on candidates that do not work out and lowers the chance of negative impact to the already established team, keeping morale and effectiveness at a high level.

Woman taking a test on a laptop

Disadvantages of Personality Tests

Of course, personality tests are not perfect. Also, it’s crucial to administer them properly, and to do that, you need to be aware of these disadvantages. For that reason, organizations usually employ people trained in using personality tests effectively for recruitment purposes. 

We’ll go through some of the disadvantages here.

  • Content Quality:

Not all tests are equal in quality. Some have questions that are simply not written well, which eventually leads to confusion among the test takers. Others do not cover everything that is actually important to the company that is looking for talent. This is why you need to have properly trained experts to oversee the tests and their results to select the right test and use these tools to their full potential. 

  • Job-specific Customization:

Certain jobs require specific mindsets and personality traits. This means that not every personality test will be appropriate for every job position. Choosing the wrong personality test can negatively impact your hiring process, so make sure to customize your test appropriately.

  • Dishonest Results:

Because personality tests are so widely used, people already expect them as part of the job interview process. And unfortunately, certain trends have arisen among candidates to ‘cheat’ the test. As a result, tests that do not consider that people might lie when answering can show incorrect results.

  • Influence of Irrelevant Factors:

Job interviews can be stressful, especially for young people that do not have much experience in the job market. Nervousness and fear of failing can often cause problems when answering questions, especially the more complex ones. Personality tests do not usually consider facts such as stress, language barriers, and similar.

Two people having a conversation in a longe

Examples of Personality Tests

There are many personality tests out there, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. In this section, we will briefly go over a few of the tests available for free online. You can check them out and test them yourself. 

  • Myers Briggs

The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), also called the 16 personalities test, is one of the most widely used free personality tests. 

Test results will show a four-letter acronym that determines which trait prevails in each of the four categories. There are 16 possible combinations, with detailed explanations of the drivers, habits, perspectives, and strengths and weaknesses. In addition, it will further explain personal and workplace characteristics that will be the most useful to potential employers.

  • DiSC

The DiSC assessment is widely used in professional settings. The test breaks down personality into four main quadrants: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance. 

The test presents four statements in each group, and the test taker needs to select one which he agrees with the most and another with which he agrees the least. Based on the choices, the test will generate a graph showing the dominant personality quadrants.

  • Test Color

Test Color is a quick and easy personality test. All you need to do is select all the colors on the screen in the order of your preference, starting with your favorite and then again starting with your least favorite color. 

The results will show the extent of introversion and extroversion, emotional intelligence, leadership, organizational capabilities, decision-making skills, and creativity in the test takers. 

  • Who Am I?

Who Am I? is a somewhat long picture quiz that asks users to select the most accurate or interesting photo tiles in each category. The examination covers a wide array of topics. The test analyzes 15 personality traits such as self-control, resilience, conscientiousness, and sociability. In the end, the test provides a detailed insight into the test-taker's temperament and motivations.

These are just a few that we found interesting out of a vast number of online tests available. With such a vast selection, it should not be too difficult to find one that suits your company's needs.

Two people shaking hands in a company office

So, are personality tests useful?

Whether a personality test is useful broadly depends on the implementation. Choosing the right one and implementing it correctly is crucial, but even then, the tool itself is not perfect. For example, categorizing people into personality groups can never be entirely correct as individuals are complex beings that change and evolve over time. 

Still, these tests can create insight into the candidates, useful for noticing problematic traits and even promoting self-awareness. Additionally, they can be used as fun team-building exercises that encourage self-reflection and bonding between colleagues. 

All in all, personality tests can be beneficial to employers, as long as they are selected and implemented well and as long as you remain aware that they are not the complete analysis of an individual.


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