How reliable are personality tests in assisting in the recruitment process?
Personality Tests are questionnaires or any other standardized instrument designed to reveal aspects of an individual’s character or psychological makeup. Personality tests are used for the purpose of assessing theories, to look at changes in one’s personality, to evaluate the effectiveness of therapy, used to diagnose psychological problems, and used in screening potential employees.
A candidate’s personality has a significant role to play in deciding whether he has the enthusiasm and the motivation that the employer is looking for. Also, personality tests may determine how well a candidate is going to fit in to the organization. This can create a window where recruiters can see a candidate’s personality, attitude, and general work style. Personality can affect the day-to-day operations of a business and an organization. Either help build the company towards success or can only cause the business and productivity to slow down.
Personality tests may be given to applicants to check skills and experiences, to assess enthusiasm and motivation, or to evaluate personality and attitude. Effective recruiters use personality assessments to be able to enhance their decision-making about potential candidates.
Recruiters would want to place someone who are able to relate to other people, candidates who are able to express themselves and deliver a conversation, and also how well they are able to function under certain and expectations and dynamic working environment. This can measure various personalities and can give information to recruiters:
- Personality tests can help assist the recruiter whether one candidate is open to working with other people. Candidates who can cooperate well and contribute to tasks and if the candidate is able to provide suggestions and solutions to problems.
- Recruiters also want to know if one candidate is capable of empathy and concern towards other people — regardless of the issue being work-related or not.
- Recruiters want to assess if one candidate able to work alone with minimal supervision, become innovative and is able to multi-task.
- Personality tests can also assist recruiters understand if one candidate able to work under pressure or not. This tests can reflect if one candidate is calm, relaxed, and rational.
However, there are also challenges and precautions that recruiters have to consider when giving personality tests to potential candidates:
- It may be possible that candidates may engage in deception when answering personality inventories. Some candidates may tend to skew answers to achieve desirable results or to put them in a good light — this may lead to a case of applicant faking.
- Another challenge is that some candidates may have problems or concerns in answering personality tests because they are not so good at accurately describing their own behaviour. If in the event that candidates take the test for granted, this may have a serious impact on the accuracy of a personality test.
- One challenge that needs to be considered is how the tests are made. Tests need to promote standardization that can be observed regardless of culture. Application-based personality tests may give circumstances that other culture or other demographics might not be able to relate to or understand.
- Another challenge that recruiters need to understand is that some tests can take long enough and can eat a lot of time which may cause the candidate to get bored and frustrated. When this happens, candidates will answer the questions as quickly as possible, without understanding the context or not even reading the questions.
Recruiters should be able to manage these concerns by properly informing the candidates that there are no right or wrong answers when taking the personality test. The recruiters must be able to educate and inform the candidates why a personality test is needed…
The question is how reliable are personality tests in terms of the recruitment process?
It may become reliable to assist in the recruitment process as long as it is administered properly give that recruiters are able to properly inform the potential candidates of the intentions of taking the test. This can also help the recruiter in the process of decision making, personality inventories can provide or can result to some information that candidates were unable to declare. It may also become reliable to the recruitment process since the purpose of the test is to establish what a person would be likely to do, what they’re like, what their preferences are, and what they would like to be. It can be a good indicator whether one candidate has the potential to be productive or to just slack off. The use of personality tests can also be used to help create a development plan for a candidate by being able to identify the person’s strengths and opportunities.
Yes, it may be reliable but it is still important that there should be the presence of competent recruiters who are able to evaluate the candidate’s thoughts regardless of having a basis from the personality test. Organizations should not only bank on expensive and high-end personality inventories, it is also important to have skilled recruiters who are able to identify, deliver, and make sure that they have the right candidate.
Harper & Hill Executive Search makes sure that our recruiters are already able to evaluate the potential candidates whether they fit the job function or not. And also to check if they are able to perform with specific organizations that may match they work preferences. The recruiters at Harper & Hill Executive Search pushes and drives the candidates to be transparent enough for the purpose of properly classifying their skills and personalities. With the help of personality tests, this can assist the recruiters to match opportunities to our clients’ recruitment expectations, demands, and needs.
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Angelo is the Managing Director of Harper & Hill Executive Search Inc, specializing in Senior Management positions in Emerging Market in Asia. He managed full spectrum of senior level placements and worked with multinational clients in Asia, Africa and Europe. He travels across asia pacific region for his assignments.
Feel free to connect with him or follow him on LinkedIn. Angelo Cenon Valdez
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