Pros and Cons of Using a Personality Test for Hiring
Contemporary hiring managers often find themselves inundated with resumes every time they post an opening. Many candidates will have resumes touting great credentials, skills, and experience.
However, employment can often come down to more than a skill set. Candidates must fit the corporate culture, work well with their new colleagues, and demonstrate loyalty to their employer. That’s often why companies use a personality test for hiring.
What are the Advantages of Using a Personality Test for Hiring?
Often, people ask, “why use a personality test for hiring?” A personality test helps hiring managers to take a deeper look at a candidate. Rather than simply assessing skills, a personality test will show what type of person is attached to that skill set.
It will be useful to assess, for instance, how a candidate might relate to their co-workers. If you are staffing a department full of strong, outgoing personalities, a more introverted personality might feel overwhelmed or stifled amongst so many loud and brash people.
Personality tests also tell you how a candidate processes information. They might take things at face value with little other thought. Other candidates might be prone to interpret and apply their natural intuition to a situation or problem. With this sort of knowledge, you can begin to assemble a strong team with a diversity of strengths.
Understand unique skill set
When you use a personality test for hiring, you can discover unique skills or attributes in a candidate. Your candidate might be a whiz at bringing people together and discovering commonalities. This sort of skill might not directly apply to the nuts and bolts of a project, but if they can bring extra cohesion to a team, that is the sort of asset you can’t teach or buy.
On the other hand, you might need a stronger leader on the team. If you are managing a team of introverted programmers, a stronger leader might be useful when it comes time to make a presentation to the Board or to motivate teammates on a daily basis.
Match for culture
Hiring is a delicate art of creating a working culture based on individual skills and personality traits. You need an instrument that will give you the insights you need to determine where a new candidate will fit within your culture.
Do you need another strong salesman type or does the culture need a big-picture philosopher-type? With personality testing, you can find the best players for your team.
Match for position
While you might have a candidate who has held similar positions in other companies, you need to know whether they will fit the specific position you have available. You might be hiring for a receptionist or a file clerk, for instance. In that situation, a personality that craves entrepreneurism and creativity might not be a great match.
On the other hand, a personality that craves routine and predictability might not work best in a sales or other position that requires outside-of-the-box thinking.
One thing personality tests do is help you avoid biases. When you have a set of objective test results, you can take a look at who the candidate is apart from any bias you may have about them. We all have biases, so these tests are a great way to look past our emotional responses.
What are the Disadvantages of Using a Personality Test for Hiring?
It’s true, personality tests are great tools for hiring. However, they are only one of many tools you can use in your hiring process. If you rely too much on them, you will eliminate many of your own intuitions. Hiring is an art and it would be disadvantageous to rely too heavily on scientific measures to create a human result.
Another reason to not use a personality test for hiring is that it might not be the right test, or that it might contain certain biases. Evaluate the tests carefully before applying them to your hiring process. If you want a culturally diverse employee base, it will be important to screen out tests known to have cultural biases.
Personality tests of various sort have been in use for well over a century. Contemporary tests are the most accurate we have, and they are highly effective tools for you to use in hiring. As long as they have been vetted for cultural bias, you can use a personality testing protocol to establish certain baselines for your employees.
Remember, however, that you should not rely on them 100%. No personality test can yet assure us perfect accuracy, so continue to use your time-tested intuitions. When you use a personality test for hiring, no matter how accurate, never forget that it is just one of many tools at your disposal.
In the contemporary world, our personality tests are far more reliable than those in the past. When you choose a test for your hiring process, research which ones are considered the most reliable.
Read testimonials and read any related scientific studies to verify their efficacy. Most are quite reliable and will help you arrive at a more objective perspective on your hiring, as well as your existing team. However, if you choose a test without research behind it, you could be getting incorrect results.
It’s not the end all
Using a personality test for hiring is not the ultimate method for staffing the best team. However, they are strong and reliable tools that are at your disposal when you need them.
You should spend quality time in interviewing candidates, getting feedback from their potential teammates, and examining their resumes. Personality metrics can’t yet give us a full experience of who a person is, much less how they will perform in a new situation with all-new people.
Also, it’s important to note that employers should check the laws in their state about personality tests and tests used for hiring to ensure you are following applicable employment laws.
Rush Recruiting is Here to Assist
Rush Recruiting has a team of staffing professionals and HR consultants that will help you implement personality tests or other methods for hiring the best staff. Give us a call at or email us through our website. We are here to help!