Pros vs. cons of workplace personality assessments

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A woman in a yellow shirt standing up in front of her colleagues, giving a presentation on workplace personality assessments.

Over 80 % of US Fortune 500 and 75 % of UK Times 100 companies are using personality assessments to aid the recruitment and hiring process for their businesses. Joining the likes of JP Morgan, Barclays and KPMG, Goldman Sachs has now confirmed that personality testing will be rolled out as a tool to assist them in making better and more informed hiring and developmental decisions.

Some of the most common and widely used personality tests that we see include Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Caliper Profile, Hogan Assessments, StrengthsFinder, and DiSC. With more employers implementing these as part of their hiring and selection process, we take a look at some of the pros and cons of personality assessments.

The pros: How can personality assessments help you hire and retain talent?

Strengthening the interview: A good personality assessment can help hiring managers better understand which soft skills and behavioural interview questions they should focus on at interview.

Gaining a deeper insight into candidates: Employees and candidates have a broad range of skills, abilities, and work styles. These differences are not always apparent on a CV or during an interview, so personality assessments can give you another tool for understanding what the candidate has to offer and how they will fit into your work culture.

Development and recognition tools: Personality assessments help you to understand the values, motives, and preferences of employees; they will help you know what they need from you as an employer to stay engaged.

Team building: Employees are increasingly working in a team environment; understanding the personalities of team members is critical for success when building and managing teams.

Improving the culture: Personality tests can be used to enhance your organisation’s culture by understanding each employee’s communication styles, leadership styles, learning styles, and level of introversion or extroversion.

The cons: Why might personality assessments not be the right tool?

Tests take time: Testing and obtaining the results from a professional can take time, during which you might risk losing a candidate to another company.

Tests cost money: Personality assessments can be costly. While this cost will normally be absorbed by the prospective employee; this cost can add up if you’re making a number of hires, and the return on investment will not be overnight.

Rules and regulations: Technically, anyone can design and administer tests. To increase the probability of accurate interpretations, and to avoid any unintentional discrimination, it’s important that you find a fair and consistent test.

They aren’t the final answer: Although personality assessments can help to provide a deeper insight into a candidate’s motives, values, and work styles, they do not give the final verdict on which candidate is right for the job. Personality assessments are not prediction tools. They simply provide you with indicators for success.

In summary, the right personality fit is critical for any employer and should always be a major consideration during the hiring process. While personality assessments can help inform the decision-making process, it’s important to keep in mind that personality assessments should not have the final word; they should be used only in conjunction with other employee screening techniques.

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Author Tiger Contributor Tiger Recruitment Team

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