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Importance Of Personality Tests In The Workplace

Asavari Sharma

July 04, 2023

A typical work environment does not always guarantee like-minded individuals doing their jobs harmoniously. On the contrary, every workplace has a mixed bag of people with varying personalities - both good and bad.

When employees do not get along with each other, the impact of the conflict affects their work and the work of others. It can be a rather tricky situation for the manager to diffuse. The overall atmosphere in the workplace can become toxic.

That is why conducting personality tests at the time of hiring has gained prominence. But what benefits do they exactly offer in recruitment? How can hiring teams leverage them to find qualified talent? What are the types of personality tests? Let us find out:

The benefits of personality tests in the workplace

Understanding the character traits of potential employees can be powerful when deciding who to hire. Personality traits can help you gain insight into their thought processes and working styles. Here are the top benefits of personality tests in the workplace:

1. Unconscious bias during candidate selection can be decreased

Bias occurs when you simply form an impression of a candidate by screening their resume, LinkedIn profile, or cover letter. Typically, it is driven by criteria not necessarily relevant to the job requirements, such as how their name sounds, their gender or race, or where they are from.

Thanks to personality tests, you can consider candidates based on whether they possess the skills required for the job. You can evaluate them on the same scale for recruitment and keep unconscious bias at bay.

2. Identify tomorrow’s leaders becomes clear (and easier)

With the help of personality tests, you will know which candidate can take on a more hands-on management approach or whether they perform better independently. You will know if the candidates can be mentored in a certain way or provided with targeted training.

3. Fitment issues can be avoid to a great extend

From a culture perspective, whoever you hire must be a good fit for the company. For instance, if your company is hierarchy-driven and relies on a structure of managers, supervisors, and employees at various ranks with set responsibilities, someone from a flat organization may be unable to adjust properly.

Adaface Personality Tests

A personality test gives insight into how well your candidates will mesh with the team and place employees in positions where they can perform efficiently.

4. Training programs can be customized

Conducting personality tests aids in designing training programs for employees. For instance, if you are planning to launch a copywriting workshop for your content team, a test can determine the best way they learn or consume new information.

The drawbacks of personality tests in the workplace

If you have conducted personality tests before without much success, you may be doing it at the wrong stage of the hiring process. And if you have never had candidates giving tests before, that also needs to change! Nevertheless, there are some downsides of using personality tests in the workplace:

1. One personality test may not be fit for two different jobs.

Using the same personality test with the same questions to fill every vacancy and team is not a great idea. For instance, if you are hiring a social media manager and a Java developer, you are looking at hiring two different personalities. Standard assessment cannot support that! What you need is a test customized for the job role.

2. Personality tests can be considered discriminatory.

It is important to note that getting candidates to give personality tests might be seen as potentially discriminatory against those with mental health issues. This is especially true when the hiring decision is majorly based on how a candidate performs in the personality test with no other factors being considered.

3. Candidate responses may not be entirely truthful.

Even though you hope that your candidates respond truthfully in the personality test, and in most circumstances, they are honest, there is no guarantee. They may try to adjust their responses to suit your company culture and better their chances of bagging the job. Ultimately, that is a poor representation of the candidate’s personality, so such tests should not be the sole factor behind a hiring decision.

Top examples of personality tests

Have you decided to include personality tests as a part of your pre-employment testing? That is great! There are hundreds of tests to choose from, each with unique features and target group. There are some tests, however, that are universally preferred because of how accurate they are, including:

1. Cattell’s 16 Personality Factors (16PF)

Developed by British-American psychologist, Raymond Cattell, the 16PF questionnaire comprises 164 situational questions and each of them indicate how accurate it is on a scale of:

(1) Disagree

(2) Slightly disagree

(3) Neither agree nor disagree

(4) Slightly agree

(5) Agree

It takes most people 10 minutes to complete. Cattell’s 16 Personality Factors (16PF) test helps companies judge how candidates will make decisions on the job.

2. Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

Designed by the mother-daughter duo Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers, the MBTI personality test helps individuals understand their likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, and how they interact with others based on four dichotomies - thinking vs. feeling, sensing vs. intuition, judging vs. perceiving, and introversion vs. extroversion.

Myers Briggs Type Indicator

3. Caliper Profile

The Caliper test objectively and accurately measures an individual’s personality traits and motivations to predict on-the-job potential and behaviors. It analyzes the candidate based on 25+ personality characteristics through a two-hour test comprising 150 questions.

4. Enneagram

The Enneagram is a model of the human psyche that describes people in terms of nine personality types, each with its core motivations, internal dynamics, and fears. Although everyone has a bit of all nine types in them, one type is the most prominent. The Enneagram is meant to help recruiters understand why the candidates behave the way they do, based on the core fears and desires that drive each type. It is a quick test - lasting up to 12 minutes.

Enneagram personality

5. DiSC®

A personal assessment tool, DiSC® stands for (D)ominance, (i)nfluence, (S)teadiness, and (C)onscientiousness. None of the DiSC® personality traits are inherently negative or positive. The test results reflect how people respond to conflict, resolve problems, and discover their working styles.

DiSC® Personality Traits

When do personality tests come in handy?

As an increasing number of companies are turning to personality tests to hire and retain the most suitable people for the job, let us take a look at when these tests come in handy in the workplace:

I. Pre-hire

Different types of psychometric tests can be used to enhance multiple aspects of HR but they are more commonly used while hiring. These assessments are undertaken by candidates, which are then reviewed by the HR team and hiring managers for an objective decision. Such tests help:

1. Satisfy job role requirements

Recruitment is costly and time-consuming, so when you finally lock on someone for the job, you want them to deliver on specific requirements. This obviously puts a lot of pressure on the recruiting teams, which is where conducting personality tests helps them accurately assess candidates’ potential in real-life situations.

2. Improve HR efficiency

Personality tests are extremely valuable for remote hiring efforts where accessing and engaging candidates can be logistically tedious. Web-based personality test interface and evaluation significantly reduces time to hire and enables HR to assess skills and hire from anywhere across the world.

3. Find a culture fit

Personality tests are often used to gain insights into a candidate’s compatibility with the team and the company. Hiring is not exact science and personality tests help you avoid unnecessary turnover by measuring whether the candidate aligns with the company’s values.

II. Post-hire

The value of personality testing continues even after the hiring process. You can still ask your employees to give such tests to improve their experience with you in the company. Here is how you can benefit from personality tests post-hire:

1. Manage performance

Personality tests help you gain deeper insights into each employee’s information processing habits and communication styles, which, in turn, influence the performance management process. You can use the information derived from the tests to have effective conversations in one-to-one meetings and deploy balanced team dynamics.

2. Engage employees

Personality tests shed a light on employee preferences and behavior patterns. They help understand how to keep employees interested and satisfied at work. For instance, such tests help find alternate incentives for different types of employees, such as extra time off or public recognition.

3. Nurture talent

Learning and development is a critical aspect of employee growth within an organization. It is your job to ensure your workforce reaches its full potential.

However, not every employee has the same pace and style when it comes to learning, which requires you to tailor your training efforts at an individual level.

With personality tests, you can create bespoke training programs that allow employees to deliver their expected work threshold and still hone their skills at the same time.

Can personality tests lead to successful employees in the workplace?

Yes, but there is a catch. You see, personality tests are just a tool and their success depends on how well they are implemented and not just focus on the evaluation. Adaface personality tests help you identify candidates with the characteristics to be a good fit for the role.

Adaface Psychometry Profiling System

The tests are at most 20 minutes long and ideal for screening both junior and senior-level hires. Plus, you can access detailed scorecards immediately after the assessment is over. To know more about Adaface, please visit our website.

Asavari Sharma

Asavari is an EiR at Adaface. She has made it her mission to help recruiters deploy candidate-friendly skill tests instead of trick-question based tests. When taking a break, she obsesses over art.

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