Assessing the Hiring Process: The Use of Personality Tests as a Hiring Tool


Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

In the past, personality tests for recruitment purposes were limited to the U.S. Army. During World War I, military officials wanted to weed out recruits who were physically capable but mentally and behaviorally likely to perform poorly in the army. Instead of a pass-fail system that may not apply to all candidates, a personality test determines subjective differences in personality that may make a recruit unable to thrive in certain situations.

Today, personality tests for job applicants have become more common in businesses and other for-profit and non-profit organizations. Assessing a candidate’s personality and attitude has become a crucial step in many hiring processes. Through this method, recruiters can streamline their hiring process by finding someone with the skills, mindset, and attitude to fit the company well. After all, skill and experience alone do not determine the best fit for any company.

If your recruitment team has yet to use personality tests or personality assessments in your hiring process, here are its uses and why it should be an essential hiring tool for your company.

A team talking, keeping each other informed

Reduce Turnover, Decrease Onboarding

High turnover rates means more time, money, and manpower from your Human Resources team going towards hiring. As much as possible, you want your company to get the right candidates to ensure they stay long-term without any problems in productivity.

Here are two scenarios. Let’s say that you hire an applicant without applying a personality test into your process. There’s a chance that your new employee may be a successful hire, but there’s also a chance that they turn out to be a bad fit for the company as they have behavioral and personality traits that clash with those of your existing employees. Morale may go down and productivity may decrease until such time that that new employee leaves. Then your team can start the turnover and onboarding process again after a number of months.

With a personality test, however, you can gain insights on an applicant that you normally wouldn’t get in a traditional job interview. If you ask an applicant “are you a hardworking person?”, it’s highly likely that they’re going to say yes in an interview to put their best foot forward. But effective personality assessments that don’t straight-up ask a person about their qualities but instead sees those qualities put into action can show you what traditional interviews fail to do.

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

3 people looking at paperwork

Finding the Right People

Not everyone fits the bill for all job positions. While that’s a given when looking at factors like educational and work experience, this is often overlooked in terms of personality and attitude.

For example, a salesperson should be persuasive and convincing. They should have some social skills and should be able to spot opportunities to upsell to a customer or client. Someone who is introverted or shy may have the educational background your company might be looking for in a sales, but personality and attitude-wise, they might not be a right fit for the company. When it’s clear that they are unable to do their job well because of their personality, you’ll have to repeat the recruitment process all over again.

Or for another example, let’s say that you do recruitment for a high-end restaurant. You’ll find plenty of applicants qualified in terms of education and experience, so one of the effective ways to trim down your list of applicants is through a personality test. If you’re looking for a chef, you’re looking for personality traits like attention to detail or time management. And if you’re looking for waitstaff, you have to see if someone can communicate well and can perform under pressure.

In short, looking at experience and skill is not enough. You’ll find plenty of applicants that meet and exceed those criteria, but not everyone has the personality and attitude to use what they have well in your company.

Hand-in-Hand with Integrity Tests

Combined with integrity tests for pre-employment assessments, personality tests can reduce the chance that you’re putting the wrong person for the wrong role. Skill and experience are not the only things to look out for when hiring; you could have the most highly-skilled person in your industry on the team, but productivity would not go up if they refuse to do more than the bare minimum of their job.

Not only do personality and integrity assessments weed out the potentially bad hires, but it also brings forward the ones likely to shine in your company. You want to look for someone who can easily assimilate themselves into your company culture. You’re also looking for someone with high integrity and good personality as they are the ones more likely to be productive and independent as well as taking the initiative to go above and beyond.

Fair Measurements Compared to Pass-Fail Tests

Unlike traditional pass-fail tests, effective personality assessments can better determine an applicant fairly. Assessments use multiple choice questions or true-false statements, and the result is scores that can more accurately determine the valued traits the company is looking for.

However, be careful about the personality test you are using. Many test providers claim effectiveness due to numbers and validity coefficients but do not have the data to justify a correlation between a personality trait and the questions they use to determine one’s personality.

New Testing Paradigms for Candidate Hires

Set High Standards to Avoid Rocking the Boat

By now, your company already has a handful of high-performing employees. Ideally, the new employee you bring in has to hit the ground running and improve productivity without rocking the boat or disrupting regular operations as much as possible. Personality tests can determine how well a candidate can assimilate into the workplace and get along with their team, whether it’s a team of like-minded adults or a very diverse team from different walks of life.

By applying a personality test, you can do two things to avoid rocking the boat. First, you can determine the compatibility between the personalities of the applicant and their potential supervisor and team members. Second, you can base the applicant’s traits and compare them with the traits of your company’s star performers and if they have any traits that match that can suggest that this applicant will be just as good as the star performers in the workplace.

Personality tests are a useful tool to streamline your hiring process, weed out potential bad hires that could drive turnover rates, and bring forward star candidates that are likely to perform well in your company. If you haven’t applied personality assessments to your hiring process, consider it for the sake of getting better hires that are more likely to shine in the workplace.

Contact us today to start your free trial.

I’m In! What Do I Do Next?

Reach out to Aptitude for a free trial of our online recruitment tests today and take advantage of our introductory promo. You’ll get a full overview of our recruitment tests as well as a sample report.

Scroll to Top