Employees are the main asset for a company, and to acquire a talented workforce, the HR experts used personality tests to gauge information about the candidates’ personas.
A personality test aims to understand the candidate and systematically elicit information about a candidate’s motivations, preferences, interests, emotional make-up, and style of interacting with people and situations.
In recent years, human resources practitioners and psychologists have suggested using personality testing to make more informed and better hiring and managerial decisions.
Know that there are certain pros and cons before using personality tests in the workplace. Read this guide to know everything in detail.
What Is A Personality Test?
A tool specifically designed to assess human personality construct. It measures the characteristic patterns and traits that people exhibit across various situations.
A set of tests that consist of tasks designed to analyze various aspects of the personality and the emotional status of the individual examined.
Personality tests are a great way to diagnose and assess potential candidates and help build cohesive teams. They can also help employers better understand their strengths and weaknesses so that they can choose the best ones for work.
Types Of Personality Tests
Personality tests are of two types.
- Self-report Inventories Test
- Projective Tests
1. Self-Report Inventories Test
A type of personality test that is administered on a paper or computer. It presents a series of questions and statements about personal interests, values, symptoms, behaviors, and traits or personality types.
It has a structured set of written questions formatted in a consistent way that asks the respondents to evaluate their answers in True/ False, Yes/ No, or a rating-scale format. It often might include open-end questions.
This is a type of survey you might have seen in doctors’ clinics, on Facebook pages, or during market research surveys. An example of a well-known self-report inventory test is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI).
2. Projective Tests
A type of personality test that offers the test taker to give responses to ambiguous clues, scenes, words, or images. Projective tests are designed to uncover feelings, desires, and conflicts hidden from conscious awareness.
What Are The Objectives Of Using Personality Tests?
The personality assessment helps predict job performance and can be used for personnel selection.
- Personality tests are designed to gain insight into who the candidates are and what motivates them. From an employer’s perspective, understanding an individual’s personality can help determine their work style and how they might fit into the company’s work culture.
- These tests help you learn more about candidates’ strengths and weaknesses. Learning about a candidate’s specific traits can help you gain greater insight into their behavioral patterns. For example, if a candidate rates high on the personality trait of introversion would give you a clue that he needs to expend energy in social situations.
How Is A Personality Test Benefit In The Workplace?
Around 80% of Fortune 500 Companies conduct personality tests to assess potential and current employees to make hiring, team building, and developmental decisions.
It gives you a more comprehensive understanding of how each work, thinks, and acts. This kind of data will increase employee awareness and allow you to know their core competencies and traits.
Personality tests can be useful in many ways. Recruiters conduct this test to make informed hiring and development decisions. Personality tests are directed for a number of different reasons, including:
1. To Facilitate The Interview Process.
Hiring managers use data from personality assessments to know which soft skills and behavioral interview questions they should pay attention to during the interview. This can ease the screening of the right personnel.
2. To Help In Team Building
In companies, a good mix of personalities is important. Employees need to work in collaborative, team environments. When building and managing teams, understanding the personalities of team members is critical for successful working relationships.
3. To Assess If The Candidate Is A Good Cultural Fit.
Every organization has its own working environment. Recruiters need to select the candidate that fits into the work setting. Personality testing helps managers to determine whether a candidate is suitable for the company’s culture. For example, In a retail business where employees need to be vocal and have great communication skills does not demand an introverted person.
4. To Know The Candidate’s Ability To Fit Into The Role/Team.
Hiring is not a complex science. Different types of people may be more or less suited to different kinds of roles or organizational contexts. It is crucial to know the ones best suited for the role.
Selecting one wrong member of the team can mess up productivity. Personality tests give you an insight into a candidate’s compatibility with the team and the company at large.
5. To Reduce Unnecessary Turnover
When personality tests were not commonly used in the workplace, many employers spent a lot of time finding the right candidate, training them, and processing them into the system. Now, most employers use a personality test to facilitate the hiring process and ensure that the candidates are aligned with company values. Taking out personality traits helps businesses avoid unnecessary turnover and helps to reduce costs.
Disadvantages Of Personality Tests
Although personality tests help you in many ways, they have possible drawbacks and potential pitfalls. According to the founder and C.E.O. of SpinupWP,
“Personality tests can also fail to consider factors like cultural background or language barriers.”
1. False/ Deceptive Information Is Possible.
One potential disadvantage of self-reporting personality tests is ensuring that the responses are accurate and real. There is a greater chance that respondents can add biased and untruth information, trying to deceive the test provider.
For instance, a respondent might suggest answers that are considered more socially acceptable or desirable but are not the most accurate reflection of their true perception or behavior.
2. Can Hurt Employees
Another drawback with personality tests is that being labeled as a certain type of person could affect employees’ attitudes at work. Instead of trying and learning something new, they can prefer to stay in their comfort zone.
As to some employees, it is a way to categorize people to determine what opportunities are or are not open to people.
3. It Is Not The Ultimate Answer.
Personality assessments are a good tool for knowing a candidate’s motives, values, and work styles, but they do not provide a final verdict about the right candidate for the job. Personality is just an indicator of success and not a prediction tool.
While personalities and cultural fits hold the utmost importance, there is much more to creating a workplace where everyone has access to improve and advance. Personality Test results alone aren’t enough to conclude whether a person would be a successful addition to your company.
Examples Of The Few Popular Workplace Personality Tests
Today, a range of personality tests have become popular and are majorly used in the workplace. Commonly used personality tests include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the DISC Personality Test, Hogan Personality Inventory, the Big Five Personality trait, and the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment.
1. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
It is a personality test that identifies candidate preferences, personality types, and strengths. The test uses an introspective questionnaire that weighs people’s personalities based on their responses to hypothetical situations.
The test helps to explore each individual’s likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, possible career preferences, and compatibility with others using four specific spectrums: introversion-extraversion, sensing-intuition, thinking-feeling, and judging-perceiving.
- Introversion-extraversion is represented by I or E
- Sensing-intuition is represented by S or N
- Thinking-feeling is represented by T or F
- Judging-perceiving is represented by J or P
Although a person cannot fall into one specific category, a mix of these factors can represent the side of each of the four spectrums a person most closely fits. A person can make 15 personality combinations across these scales, like INTJ, ESTP, etc.
The MBTI is a good tool for hiring, team-building, conflict prevention, and leadership development.
If you want to take the MBTI test, you can visit MBTIonline.com. According to MBTI online, the assessment would take roughly 45 minutes to complete.
2. DiSC Personality Test
This is another popular personality assessment tool available to workplaces today. It defines candidates on four broader scales: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.
The 28-question assessment helps companies with their management and leadership development as well as conflict management and communication.
It determines the varying individual level in each of the four primary personality types. The DiSC helps to identify which style gravitated more toward the comfort zone. By using the findings, underlying tendencies, and preferences are predicted to adapt behaviors and improve relationships.
Your DiSC scores provide insights into your personality in various dimensions and suggest tactics for increased effectiveness.
3. Hogan Personality Inventory
Hogan Personality Inventory is a great pre-employment testing tool for H.R. managers and recruiters. A Hogan personality inventory measures a candidate’s ability to go ahead and go along. It facilitates employee selection, leadership development, succession planning, and talent management processes.
Created in the 80s by psychologists Robert McCrae and Paul Costa, The Hogan Personality Inventory, or H.P.I., is based on the Five-Factor Model of Personality and considers 7 personality traits- ambition, sociability, interpersonal sensitivity, prudence, inquisitiveness, learning approach, and adjustment.
The Hogan Assessment test offers three special assessments.
- The (1) Hogan Personality Inventory (H.P.I.) assesses your normal personality,
- The (2) Hogan Development Survey (H.D.S.) measures your personality under pressure, and
- The (3) Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (M.V.P.I.) examines your core goals, values, drives, and interests.
It asks 4-option rating questions that attempt to show what type of employee you are and how well.
4. Big Five Personality Trait
An assessment tool that brings people to five broad traits that line up people’s personalities according to the levels of those traits in them. These five traits represent broad domains of human behavior and account for differences in personality and decision-making.
It gives human resource practitioners useful insights to help explain individuals’ tendencies consistently over time.
The Big Five personality traits form the acronym O.C.E.A.N. Here are each trait defined.
- Openness- a candidate’s willingness to learn and explore new things.
- Conscientiousness measures one’s reliability and promptness. This trait might be measured by one’s thoroughness and organizational skills.
- Extraversion is how one gains energy. An extrovert will gain energy from the presence of others, and an introvert will gain energy from themselves.
- Agreeableness is the friendly, cooperative, and compassionate nature of people. It looks into one’s ability to empathize with others and win their trust and sympathy.
- Neuroticism can also be considered emotional stability. Someone can control their negative emotions.
5. Predicted Index Behavioral Assessment
The Predictive Index behavioral assessment is a popular work-related behavioral assessment highlighting the behavioral traits and cognitive ability someone would need to succeed in a given role.
It’s a short behavioral test that usually takes only 10 minutes. P.I. measures four primary personality constructs (formality, dominance, patience, and extraversion) and two secondary constructs (decision-making and response level). The results help employers gain insight into the self and self-concept of candidates or employees.
The Predicted Index Behavioral Assessment helps business employers understand the needs of a project, role, or business strategy, Collect candidate data and use that data to make more informed and more objective decisions
These decisions include whom to hire, how to manage and when to add a new executive, and more.
Personality tests are a great tool to select the right personality for the role and diagnose and resolve any conflict on your team. We see them particularly effective when aligning leadership teams. However, it is essential to keep in mind that personality assessments are not stand-alone tools. For hiring, you should use the test in conjunction with behavioral interviews and references to reflect all of an applicant’s characteristics. The assessment should be job-related, consistent with business necessity, and compliant with the culture
Personality tests are designed to determine the workflow, capability, and skills of the employee to help make thoughtful decisions.
By accessing personality tests, Human resource experts understand how each team member is wired and whom they can approach to help them in areas where they might lack certain natural gifting.