Personality Tests: The Pros and Cons of Using Them in the Hiring Process

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9 MIN READ

Hiring the right individual for your company is essential to promoting the growth of your organization. When you work with hardworking people who align with your goals, you will be closer to achieving the success you want for your business.

On the other hand, failing to hire the most suitable individual for your company can lead to various consequences. Some of the problems you may encounter are the following:

Lost Productivity

An employee who is not a good fit for a position will not be able to do their job well. When this happens, you might be spending your resources on someone who does not provide the same output as your other employees or the one they replaced.

The output that they do produce might not be good enough for your standards. This means that they or another employee must redo it, causing you to waste time and resources. Over time, this can negatively impact your company’s productivity and standard maintenance.

Negative Impact on Employee Morale

As discussed above, a bad hire will not be able to accomplish their tasks well because of the lack of skills or motivation. Because of this, other employees will have to cover for them while still receiving the same salary and benefits.

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This occurrence can have a negative impact on your staff morale if not addressed properly. After some time, your existing staff may get burnt out from the additional tasks they are handling. A bad hire who has a negative attitude towards work can also cause tension and conflict within your team.

Financial Costs

Recruitment costs money, so you have to make sure that you are hiring the right individual. If you end up with a bad hire, you might have to replace them after a few months and go through the recruitment process once again.

This means that you need to spend money on creating and publishing job postings, sourcing applicants, reading through CVs, and carrying out interviews. While this is happening, your company’s productivity and revenue might be negatively affected because of a shortage of manpower.

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Negative Effect on Reputation

You run the risk of negatively affecting your business’s reputation whenever a bad hire interacts with a client or creates an output that is sent directly to a client. If the performance or output of your employee does not meet the expectations of your client, you may lose the relationship that you have worked hard to establish.

If not taken care of properly, you run the risk of losing clients. You may also suffer from a drop in revenue.

To avoid this, most companies make sure to go through the recruitment process thoroughly. They use their resources in requisitioning for the job and advertising the job posting. Then there’s the process of filtering candidates and organizing interviews – sometimes multiple ones—to make sure the candidate looks like a fit.

Most companies are concerned with applicants’ hard skills or the technical abilities that will allow them to perform the job indicated. While this is indeed important, as a recruiter, you should also consider a candidate’s culture fit.

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Hiring an individual who is a good cultural fit for your organization will allow you to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Great performance and productivity
  • High staff retention
  • Excellent employee engagement
  • Impeccable communication
  • Improved teamwork

There are various ways that you can try if you are looking to hire for culture fit. You can improve your job postings to reflect your company’s values and beliefs. You should also optimize your interview questions to provide you with an insight into how well the applicant might adapt to the feel of your organization.

Additionally, you can give a personality test for job applicants. This is an important investment for companies that hire, whether in small or in volume. The information you obtain from administering personality diagnostic tests can yield lots of qualitative and predictive information about the fit of the candidate for a role in your organization.

For more information and inquiries about personality tests, don’t hesitate to contact Aptitude today.

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What is a Personality Test?

A personality test is a type of tool that is used to evaluate an individual’s personality. It is usually in the form of a questionnaire that is designed to reveal features of a person’s character.

This tool is used by professionals to assess an individual’s characteristic patterns of traits when exposed to different scenarios. Additionally, personality tests can be used to predict how a person will react to circumstances in different situations.

In the context of employment, personality tests are used by companies to gain information on an applicant’s behavior and how it can affect their work performance. Recruiters also use this tool to find out if a candidate’s personality aligns with their organization’s culture.

Advantages of Using Personality Tests in the Hiring Process

It’s time to get into more detail about the benefits of personality testing. Recruitment managers use personality test assessments for many reasons, including these:

Faster Recruitment Process

Most recruiters provide online personality tests or more advanced 360°degree-type personality assessment tests before interviewing an applicant. Doing this allows them to filter out unqualified applicants at the start of the recruitment process, reducing unnecessary interviews.

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When you choose to give personality tests to your applicants, you can save time from tediously interviewing every shortlisted individual. Once you determine their character through this assessment, you can decide whether they will be a good fit for your organization or not.

Get to Know the Candidate Better

The results of personality tests supplement the information provided by the candidate. Through this, you can also form an idea of the candidate in your head, in addition to the information they’ve given you through their resume, samples from their work portfolio, and written references.

Learn About Their Personality Traits

One of the benefits of using personality tests in the hiring process is that it allows you to discover personality traits that represent that person. This is important when hiring for culture fit because certain kinds of traits become set over time and don’t really change.

Personality tests can also help you spot an applicant’s unwanted personality traits before you hire them. Some of the unpleasant characteristics you may notice through this tool are:

  • Opportunism
  • Self-obsession
  • Insensitivity
  • Impulsiveness
Cost of a Bad Hire

Gain Insight Into an Applicant’s Potential

Personality inventory tests may help you determine whether the person will thrive in the position you want for them. You can also use this tool to assess how an applicant can be trained for more advanced roles in the future.

For example, a candidate’s personality test results show that they have high levels of critical thinking skills, stress-managing abilities, and presence of mind. You should consider grooming them for a strategic leadership role.

Eliminate Bias

Filtering and ranking candidates can be a lengthy, complicated process, and testing can help you decide between each one more fairly. With a personality test, you can compare various candidates according to the same metrics.

This tool can help you avoid having unconscious bias when screening candidates. Instead of basing your decision on your impression of a candidate, you can use their personality test results in the necessary competencies.

Understand Their Aptitudes and Strengths

You can use a personality test to know what motivates and encourages an applicant, or what kind of situations or tasks could cause them to struggle. With this information, you can better understand how to keep them enthusiastic in their job if you decide to hire them.

The Benefits of Personality Testing Past the Hiring Process

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You should recognize the benefits of personality tests in the workplace. Once you hire an applicant, you may be able to harness this information you have on them in other ways that will benefit your organization. Let’s provide some examples:

  • Team fit. The tests you are using may be able to give you an idea of how to manage different personalities within teams you’re developing.
  • Performance evaluation. In creating performance evaluation assessments for team members, personality assessment tests can help you pinpoint areas for improvement and set specific performance targets to help that team member grow.
  • Learning and development. You can get a clearer idea of what kinds of formal training activities to invest in. Likewise, you can look into more informal learning or community-based activities that will keep your employees engaged and connected to the company.

Potential Cons of Personality Testing

The benefits of personality testing are tangible, but there are cases when personality tests create lengthy discussions around your company’s recruitment strategy.

  • Testing Cost

Giving a personality test to a lot of applicants can cause you to rack up considerable costs, especially if your personality test is from an expensive psychometrics firm. This might not be a viable option if your company often goes through the recruitment process.

  • Time-Consuming

Although personality testing can help recruiters provide a fairer hiring process, it can be time-consuming for applicants. This is an extra step that candidates should take, which can cause them to get frustrated with the process or loss interest in the job.

  • Reliability of Results

The results of personality tests may not always be reliable. There are times when candidates answer the questionnaire based on what they think you want to hear. When this happens, the results you get will not reflect the applicant’s personality, leading you to hire someone who might not fit your organization.

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  • Hard to Find the Right Test

Over time, organizations have come to question some of the most popular personality testing instruments that were the standard twenty, or maybe thirty years ago. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test, for example, has been strongly criticized by the psychologist community for being designed by non-psychologists and non-psychometricians. Other alternatives are not easy to find, and organizations sometimes find themselves using these tests anyway.

  • Does Not Provide Definitive Insight

Hiring someone based on their success on a personality test isn’t a foolproof guarantee that you’re hiring the right person for the job. It also does not indicate that you’ll retain that person in the long term.  

  • Might Not Suit Your Recruitment Process

Although personality tests are helpful in recruitment, they do not always fit into every organization’s hiring process. Personality tests are made for various purposes, not just for hiring. So, if you make the mistake of using an assessment not made for recruitment, you might end up with skewed results that will not help your cause.

Timing the Personality Assessment

No two candidates are the same. Although the hiring process should remain fairly uniform, there may be times when you may run a personality test before an initial interview—or afterward.

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There is also the added convenience of online testing, which allows you to handle candidate assessments outside the confines of the day shift. Not only does it allow you to consider candidates working different time schedules; you will be able to optimize the process without direct supervision as well, helping you save costs.

Take Advantage of Personality Assessment Tests

There is no doubt that you should always assess a candidate’s competence fit whenever you are screening applicants. However, you should not forget about their cultural fit, which will help you determine a candidate’s long-term fit for a job.

You can easily assess an applicant’s cultural fit through personality assessments. Use the results of this tool to evaluate whether a candidate will fit well into your organization. You can also use the results to determine the most suitable career path for the applicant, should you decide to hire them. Remember that obtaining as much information about every candidate you’re hiring is an investment in your company’s future success.

For more information and inquiries about pre-employment tests, don’t hesitate to contact Aptitude today.

Benefits for the Candidate

The candidate undergoing the hiring process also benefits from the testing process. Insight into your hiring assessment process helps them begin to understand the kind of person you’re seeking, and whether they see themselves as a fit. In this sense, you’re setting the right tone for the job process and framing clearer expectations for the candidate. 

And for one reason or another, even if that candidate ends not being hired by your company, they will be able to attest in future employment interviews that they’ve passed a similar assessment, increasing their chances at getting hired.   

New Testing Paradigms for Candidate Hires

No one test will help you determine the long-term fit of a candidate for a job – but personality assessments, if you use the right tools, help you look beyond “competence fit” and assess them for culture fit, which matters just as much. 

Work with your recruitment and hiring managers to learn more about the personality assessment landscape, which continues to evolve. Brand new 360°degree-type personality assessment tests have become available that help with pre-employment and current employment evaluations. Remember: obtaining as much information about every candidate you’re hiring is an investment in your company’s future success.

I’m In! What Do I Do Next?

Reach out for a free trial today and take advantage of our introductory promo. You’ll get a full overview of our recruitment tests as well as a sample report. We can provide online or on-site training on how to administer the test and interpret the data given.

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