Pros and Cons of Personality Assessments

Image courtesy of Thomas Galvez's photostream

Image courtesy of Thomas Galvez’s photostream

Over the years, I’ve seen more and more employers using personality assessments as part of their hiring process. I’m a big of fan of using them as a supplement to the interview, but some employers are relying too heavily on the results and are rejecting applicants as a consequence of their assessment. Before deciding to use personality assessments as part of your hiring process, there are some pros and cons to consider.

Pros of Personality Assessments:
•    Strengthens the Interview: A good personality assessment can help hiring managers know which behavioral interview questions to focus on. Some assessments will even provide you with sample questions to ask based on the candidate’s responses.
•    Deeper Insight: Every candidate is different. These differences are not always apparent on a resume or during an interview. Personality assessments can give you another tool to help understand what the candidate has to offer and how they will fit into your team.
•    Management Tools: Personality assessments help you to understand the preferences, motives and values of employees and will help you understand what they need from you as an employer to stay focused and engaged.

Cons of Personality Assessments:
•    Time and Money: A good personality assessment takes time and costs money. Despite the fact that you can find some sort of personality assessment online that is free and only takes a few minutes to complete, it’s not going to give you a lot of information. A good assessment should take about an hour to complete and costs at least $100 per candidate.
•    Administration: Technically anyone can administer a personality assessment, but in order to increase the accuracy of the results, it’s important to use trained professionals to administer and evaluate the assessments.
•    Results: They’re not the final answer. Personality assessments can help provide a deeper insight into a candidate’s work style, motives and values, but they do not give the final answer on which candidate is the right one for the job. Personality assessments do not predict success, but they can provide you with indicators for success.

Keep in mind that these assessments should not be used as a stand-alone tool. They should be used in conjunction with behavioral interview questions and the candidate’s professional references. I believe personality assessments should be the final tool in the interview process. Conduct the interview(s), check the candidate’s references and finally if you think the person is the right fit for you, have the applicant take the personality assessment. Don’t rule the candidate out because they’re more introverted than extroverted. Use the personality assessment as a guide to help you manage that person. Do your research and find the right assessment for you and your business.

Jason Pindzia

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