When and Why It’s OK to Use Personality Tests When Hiring a New Employee

It is becoming increasingly apparent that academic credentials, work history, and professional certifications are only part of the picture when it comes to assessing the suitability of a person for a particular position. Employers are now placing more emphasis on a range of intangible qualities, such as character traits, interpersonal skills, cultural awareness, and worldview, as these can be just as, if not more, important in determining an individual’s potential to perform the role successfully.

If a business and its leadership are both striving to achieve separate objectives, even the most skilled and accomplished person in their field would struggle to progress the company. It would be similar to if Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the best footballers in the world, was moved from his usual position at the front of the field to the centre of the defence. The issue, therefore, is whether or not the professional, personal and cultural objectives of both parties are compatible. It becomes even more complex when attempting to manage remote employees.

Within these parameters, personality tests, a complex and detailed process, are increasingly being utilised. These tests are designed to provide an insight into how an individual’s traits and attributes might be manifested in a particular work setting.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a psychological questionnaire developed in 1943 by Katherine Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Myers, and is based on the theories of Carl Jung. It has since become the standard method of assessing an individual’s personality, indicating its lasting value and durability over the decades. It is a testament to the lasting quality of the work that it is still in use today, more than seventy-five years after its initial publication.

It is understandable that organisations are increasingly incorporating personality assessments into their recruitment process, especially when it comes to hiring remote employees. This is because personality assessments provide valuable insights into the potential of candidates and can help employers to make informed decisions about who to hire.

Taking a personality test can help you to narrow down your choices, thereby saving you time, energy and reducing your stress levels. If you are looking to create your own quiz, you may want to consider using a quiz-building platform such as Paperform.

The Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI) is often used to bring together teams of people who have the same working ethos. It can be a useful tool in helping to identify potential employees who fit the company culture and could be the perfect addition to the team. However, there is much debate as to whether or not such personality tests are reliable indicators of a person’s capabilities and suitability for a role, or if they are simply a passing fad. The controversy surrounding the validity of such assessments has grown with the increasing demand for them. Ultimately, it is up to the company to decide if these tests can help or hinder their ability to recruit suitable staff and assess the complexity of the human mind.

What Characteristics of an Employee’s Character Are Most Valued by Your Firm?

In order to provide the most appropriate answers to these questions, it is essential to consider the requirements, objectives, and ethos of your business. By doing this, it is possible to identify the most important human qualities that should be present in a potential candidate. The effectiveness of a particular personality test in revealing these qualities will depend on the type of examination that is administered.

Does your organisation have to adhere to strict deadlines? Is it essential to achieve both high-quality results in a timely manner? As such, it is evident that an aptitude test should be taken to assess an individual’s capacity for effective time management and their level of stress tolerance.

We are looking for team players who can contribute to our organisation over the long term by providing training to other staff members or bringing in new customers through face-to-face contact. The assessment should go further and involve more realistic scenarios, testing the candidate’s receptiveness, extroversion, agreeableness, adaptability and ability to understand the needs and feelings of other people.

Trying to find a worker that can do it all? You’ll need to administer a test that probes several facets of a person’s mental capabilities.

Just how do these personality tests function?

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a tool that can be used to classify an individual’s behaviours, ideas and attributes into four broad categories. These categories have been found to have a strong correlation with the Big Five personality traits of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. Answering the Myers-Briggs questionnaire can then give an indication as to which of the 16 distinct character types an individual is most likely to identify with.

Engaging in a “personality test selfie” is akin to revealing your inner self to the public. The Myers-Briggs personality test utilises four pairs of contrasting colours to create a picture of your personality. Each query is formulated to enable you to ascertain which of the two colours will prevail in the given options.

It can be difficult to accurately represent oneself when presented with a complex palette of options. Personality tests that involve being placed in hypothetical scenarios and given a few potential responses are often used in the recruitment process. However, it can be challenging to select the response that most accurately portrays one’s personality when presented with three or more possible answers.

Certain personality assessments endeavour to tackle this issue by offering two choices: one which is more accurate and another which is more of a challenge. This technique is designed to aid in identifying one’s individual qualities without being too exact.

It is possible that potential employees may become dissatisfied with this approach if the available options fail to accurately reflect the situation. In actuality, the supposed most accurate response does not even come close to the truth. Furthermore, it is quite likely that the least plausible option may have crossed the minds of those involved twice.

It is conceivable that even the originator of the Myers-Briggs personality test may not have access to all of the answers, as they are too convoluted and hidden in the murky areas. A cloudy image may be made more lucid by engaging in direct conversation and posing inquisitive questions that go beyond those found in personality questionnaires.

Problems often encountered in personality assessments

The information provided by them may not be reliable

When addressing the complexities of human interaction, it is often the case that generalised solutions are insufficient for taking into account all the possible scenarios and implications of a delicate situation. Complex issues demand considered solutions, and it is not always sensible to attempt to replicate real-world circumstances with a computerised test and set answers. This may not allow prospective employees to demonstrate their talents and abilities to their fullest extent.

Employees may feel that they are in a situation where their distinctiveness is not only suppressed, but actively discouraged. This is not something that most people would regard as an advantage of their job.

Identification as one’s own persona

One of the most frequent issues raised in relation to personality tests is the use of questions that seek to evaluate the individual’s own character. For example, some assessments may ask the candidate to rate their strongest, weakest and middle attributes on a scale of one to three.

On the one hand, presenting yourself as the super-creative, super-sensitive and fun individual can be advantageous; however, on the other, portraying yourself as a distracted, slow and procrastinating individual can give off a bad impression to potential employers and can be seen as a potential hazard.

It is not possible to offer a more comprehensive reply that would highlight your personality and the contribution you could make to the role. You cannot explain how being late is your most prominent difficulty yet, at the same time, one of your most powerful attributes is your self-awareness which motivates you to progress.

You need not worry about being perceived as a nefarious character or having your behaviour analysed like a character in a psychological thriller when engaging with this method. Most personality tests simply aim to categorise people into broad groups, however there are some which are more precise in their approach.

Both have pros and cons that become clearer at different points in the hiring process.

Changing results, both positive and poor

It is highly likely that it is possible to influence the outcome of a job application. By taking the time to familiarise oneself with the job description and the company in question, it is not difficult to determine the answers that are most likely to result in success. The extent of the challenge presented by any personality tests that may be included in the application process is dependent on how open-ended they are.

It is essential to stress that influencing results is not necessarily wrong. Preparing a ‘cheat sheet’ for an examination can be likened to making a plan of action; taking the time to think about possible questions and formulating answers can be beneficial in terms of deepening one’s understanding.

It is possible to apply the same rationale to personality tests when assessing a candidate. If they are able to tailor their answers to align with the values and culture of your organisation, this is indicative of the effort and consideration that they have invested in understanding your business.

Obtaining a satisfying compromise

It is vitally important to reach an acceptable compromise when tackling something as complex as the human experience. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has been a true game-changer; it has improved not only the job-seeking journey but also how we live our day-to-day lives.

Personality tests can be extremely useful when it comes to making decisions on which candidates to hire, as they can provide an indication as to how well an individual might fit into the values and mission of a particular company. By administering a personality test, you can gain valuable insight into a candidate’s character and any potential issues they might have in the workplace. Furthermore, using a personality test can help to reduce the number of potential hires, thereby saving time, energy and reducing stress when it comes to making the final selection.

Personality tests can be helpful in the recruitment process, but should not be the only factor in determining a successful hire. They can act as a useful tool to support the decision-making process, yet should not be the decisive factor. Instead, personality tests should be used as a starting point to facilitate further exploration. By engaging in an open and honest dialogue, recruiters can gain a better understanding of the candidate by asking questions that are tailored to the job and that really get to the heart of their skills, motivations and experiences.

The range of technologies available to expedite application and interview processes is ever-expanding and ever-improving. However, it is essential to bear in mind that if these are not utilised correctly, they can be rendered useless and may even have a detrimental effect on your business. Certain pieces of equipment should only be operated by those with the relevant training and qualifications.

At Works, we are dedicated to helping your business find the best remote freelancers for your organisation. We understand the importance of finding reliable professionals who can effectively contribute to your growth. That is why we take the time to thoroughly screen all applicants to ensure that you are only presented with the most suitable candidates. If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We look forward to hearing from you.

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