With an increasing amount of applicants per job opening, workplaces are looking for ways to simplify the hiring process whilst ensuring the best quality candidates are chosen.
We have previously spoken about hiring for a cultural fit and the effects of demotivation in the workplace. While the interview process continues to remain an integral part in determining how cultural fit and the resulting motivation occurs in the company, there are complimenting strategies to make the best possible hiring decisions.
A personality test is one such option. They are generally designed to evaluate and measure an individual’s motivation, ideologies, temperament and overall morality. Often it is these social and behavioural qualities that determine whether the applicant will have a positive or negative impact on the company.
Personality tests are in no way shape or form a new invention. They have been used historically by executive coaches and career placement organisations. The personality test is however, gaining recent traction from companies looking to streamline the hiring process and find the best possible candidates.
Personality tests can be used as one of many options to weed out the often-overwhelming amount of applicants, particularly if hiring for a cultural fit is an important goal.
The question is, does this type of onboarding assessment enhance or hinder your hiring goals? Are personality tests simply another gimmick, or will it positively affect your organisation’s culture?
Firstly, let’s look at the Downsides of Personality Tests:
Often when reviewing the impact of personality assessments, there appears to be a lack of evidence to support the use of such tests. We are taught to never judge a book by its cover, yet personality tests provide you with a complete overview of candidates. All in all, this removes the ‘leap of faith’ often associated with hiring, and it is sometimes these instinctive decisions that result in acquiring the best talent.
What are the Advantages of using such Tests?:
Tips on how to run a Personality Test:
If your going to utilise a personality test, the most important question to ask yourself beforehand is “who are we” and “what are we looking for?” If your company motto is something broad such as “a team of hard-workers driven for success,” what are the traits you’re looking for that would determine who you hire for an organisational fit? Create a clear outline for the answers you’re looking for and adjust your test in response.
It is important that these tests not be the sole instrument used for selecting applicants. Rather, they should be used in conjunction with other procedures.
Forbes provides a look at various personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire that might be helpful to your organisation.
Personality tests and their usage are incredibly dependant on your organisation and its overall projection. Hiring has become increasingly automated, with technology such as artificial intelligence being used to crawl resumes. In many ways, the human element has become lost. While human involvement may come with a significant time investment, it can be crucial to determine the organisational fit of the employee that the software may miss.
For a company that is stretched for time and driven by the need to hire for a cultural fit, a personality test may be necessary and beneficial. For a smaller business, a ‘gut feeling’ may be enough to steer you towards the right hiring direction.