Many companies use personality tests to screen candidates during the hiring process. Depending on the type of work to be done, there can be a number of different tests that might be of relevance. For example, a major retailer with lots of hourly employees may conduct the personality test as part of the initial application process. A business with salaried positions, on the other hand, may only test those candidates they have already vetted during an interview.
Staff members who are part of the hiring process might wonder about the efficacy of personality tests. After all, what can a test explain that a conversation cannot? It’s a fair question, and one that can’t be answered the same way for every type of test. Keep reading to learn what companies can gain from using personality tests during the hiring process.
Types of personality tests
There are quite a few personality tests out there, but three stand out not only for their prevalent use, but for the generally-accepted accuracy of their results. If fact, two of the tests have been around for over 60 years.
Gallup StrengthsFinder: This is the newer of the three major personality tests and it comes from one of the most trusted polling companies in the U.S. According to Psychology Today, the StrengthsFinder test is designed to target 34 areas of personal strengths and talents. It asks the individual taking the test how they view their own talents and can show employers valuable insight about the candidate’s potential for success at the company.
The Caliper Test: This test has been used in the business world for over half a century. It’s trusted by many companies because it has proven to be a valuable tool. This test uses a series of questions about behavior and emotions to show the employer how the candidate might react in certain situations. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Caliper Test is about relativity – no single question will completely push the applicant into troubled water. It’s about looking for trends over the course of the test.
16 Personalities: Another test that’s been around for well over half a century, the 16 Personalities questionnaire focuses on practical situations. Using examples of common workplace scenarios, this test is meant to indicate how well the applicant will perform on the job, both when completing tasks and when interacting with clients.
A personality test should be used in conjunction with other interview methods.
Which types of business can benefit from personality tests?
In short, any business can potentially benefit from using a personality test during the hiring process. That said, the amount of benefit that can be achieved will greatly depend on how the test is used and analyzed. For example, if a small startup company uses a personality test to narrow down candidates, they could run the risk of going too far. The Society for Human Resource Management noted that going too narrow during the first years of a business’s life could cause a lot of good talent to slip by.
In general, personality tests are best when used in conjunction with other data such as candidates’ resumes, cover letters and in-person interview. Using a personality test as the driving factor behind hiring isn’t advisable. At the end of the day, it is simply more information to capture the candidate’s whole personality that can be used by the hiring manager.