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Are personality assessments effective hiring tools?

Sharon Florentine | Dec. 23, 2014
Businesses often use personality assessments to gauge a candidate's degree of cultural fit. We look at workplace personality tests really tells employers.

"Top performers love taking these types of assessments, because it helps them identity areas in which they need help, where they can grow, where they can improve and how they can do better. Offering an assessment like Harrison to a top performer, or a potential top performer, is giving them a great tool to better themselves, and to inspire loyalty to your organization," Povec says.

Is Personality Testing Legal?
While personality assessments are legal, they should not be the sole criteria used to make hiring decisions, according experts. In addition, these types of assessments should be an all-or-nothing exercise given to all potential employees during the screening process or to none to avoid legal trouble.

"Everyone must be subject to the same assessment criteria to remove a legal basis for discrimination lawsuits. If you're unsure, consult an employment attorney or don't use these tests. Remember, too, that this shouldn't be the single deciding factor when making a hire - I suggest technical skills, experience and knowledge should count for about 50 percent of the decision, assessments for 30 percent and interview performance 20 percent," says Povec.

"There is nothing inherently immoral or unethical about having candidates take these tests or even making such assessments mandatory, as long as the results are used in context and not in a discriminatory fashion," says Demartini.

Congruent Values Are What Matter
Personality assessments can help you determine how congruent the job description, values and mission of your organization is with an individual's highest values or priorities. The greater the match, the better probability of cultural fit, productivity, engagement and longevity, no matter if the candidate is an introvert, extrovert, a judger, perceiver, intuitive or what have you.

"Each individual is an extrovert in those settings that are more in alignment with their highest values and an introvert in other settings that are not in alignment with their highest values. Individual human values make more practical personality indicators. That's why typologies are fading out in favor of more concise value-determination systems today," says Demartini.


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