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Personality Tests are Fitting

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by Nicole Cristello

“Fit” is a term that is becoming more familiar among businesses of all sizes. An employee may have an impressive resume with years of relevant experience under their belt, but whether or not they will easily accept and value a company’s culture is a completely separate consideration.

It costs a company approximately 1.5 times a worker’s salary to replace them. Hiring the wrong candidate can lead to increased theft, absenteeism, violence, harassment, and an overall decrease in motivation. For these reasons, personality tests are becoming a popular means of determining whether an individual is not only the best person for the job, but the best fit with the company.

Personality tests are a beneficial means of assessing employee fit before making the commitment to hire them. Employees who fit the company culture tend to be happier, more motivated and more satisfied, which leads to better results and therefore a higher ROI.

Recommendations for employers considering using personality testing as part of their recruitment process:

Ensure Resources are Available

Testing requires time, money, as well as ongoing support and modifications. If a company cannot commit to providing the necessary resources or does not have access to them, then personality testing may not be the most appropriate option.

Don’t Rely Solely on Personality Tests

Personality Tests should always be used in conjunction with other types of recruitment tools. Also, don’t assume that testing is valuable in every situation. Be sure to assess whether personality tests are advantageous to your particular business and the positions you are hiring for.

Train Key Managers to Administer Tests

Ensure key managers or trained personnel are administering the tests to ensure that they are being scored and evaluated correctly.

Eliminate Bias – Ensure Reliability & Validity

Tests must be reliable (the results should be consistent over time) and valid (the personalities being assessed should be indicative of those necessary to perform the job successfully). Bias toward specific individuals or personality types should never influence the hiring decision.

Understand, Maintain & Assess

Companies choosing to use personality testing must first understand the importance and purposes of it. Ongoing maintenance and assessments of the reliability and validity of these tests are necessary.  Continual improvement and adjustments are also critical as a company and the jobs within it evolve over time.

Potential Risks

Invasion of Privacy

Some candidates see testing as an invasion of privacy and do not trust that they are accurate predictors of their potential success on the job.

Cheating

Some questions have obvious “correct” answers and candidates may choose the response that will give them the most favourable results in order to increase their likelihood of being hired.

Situational & Environmental Factors

Applicants may respond that they would react one way on their test, but their behaviours may be completely opposite once on the job. Situational and environmental factors such as motivation, stress, confidence, and satisfaction can also strongly influence an applicant’s behaviour and cause them to react differently than they would have answered on any test.

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