Did you know that 60% of workers are now asked to take skills tests? How about the fact that 22% of organizations use personality testing to evaluate job candidates? This last point should be taken particularly seriously because the way we carry out personality tests in the workplace is important.
Should we be using personality tests to make final hiring decisions? We don’t recommend this, and neither does SHRM. But if personality tests should not be used to make the final call, how should we carry out personality tests in the workplace?
It is important to consider:
- Whether personality tests should be used in the workplace
- The common personality test types used in the workplace
- Why personality testing is useful
- The drawbacks of personality testing
- When personality tests should be used
- How personality tests should be used
We have covered each of these points below.
Can and should personality tests be used in the workplace?
To give a short answer – yes, they can. The way they are used can be beneficial in many ways for your organization, which we have covered below.
Organizations across the globe are using personality tests not only to evaluate what motivates candidates and how productive they are but also to discover more about their cognitive abilities and technical skills, according to Forbes.
You might also be wondering whether personality tests should be used in the workplace. While personality tests should be used as part of the hiring process and pre-employment testing, they shouldn’t be the only factor used to make a final hiring decision.
There are various other important factors to consider when hiring a candidate, including hard skills, soft skills, and experience in the field and position you are hiring for. You will also find out more about your candidate in the interview stages, which is where personality tests can be ideal. Keep reading to find out how.
Which are the common personality test types?
There are four main personality test types available on reliable skills testing platforms. Here are the key tests you might choose as part of your hiring process.
The 16 personality types assessment
As indicated by the name, the 16 personality types test will give you insight into your candidates’ personalities and which of the 16 personality types they fit into. This personality test was created from the theories and work of psychologist Carl Jung. It will help you understand more about your candidates’ personalities in a limited amount of time. Find out more about the 16-personality types test here.
The Enneagram test
The Enneagram test will give you an understanding of your candidates’ personalities and how they manage challenging situations in the work environment. Your candidates can fall into nine personality types with the Enneagram test, which was developed out of the theories of Oscar Ichazo and Claudio Naranjo. You can get more information on the Enneagram test here.
The DISC assessment
Using the DISC assessment will also provide you with an insight into your candidates’ personalities. Your candidates can be classified into 12 main personality types according to the DISC assessment. Once you’ve received more information on your candidates’ personalities from the DISC test, you can then think about the best ways to manage your candidates. Discover more about the DISC test here.
The Big 5 (OCEAN) assessment
There are five main personality types in the Big 5 (OCEAN) personality assessment. Is your candidate open to new ideas? Are they extroverted? Use the Big 5 (OCEAN) test to learn more about how your candidates’ personalities fit with the role you are hiring for. You can learn more about the Big 5 (OCEAN) assessment here.
Why are personality tests in the workplace useful?
Personality tests in the workplace are useful for various reasons. As well as enhancing the way you communicate with your successful candidates and employees, here are five other reasons why personality tests are incredibly useful in the workplace.
Understand strengths, weaknesses, and style of thinking
Knowing your candidates’ and employees’ strengths and weaknesses is important in the context of the working environment, particularly for productivity reasons, which is where a personality test can be useful. It will shed light on your candidates’ and employees’ way of thinking and approaching tasks.
They can also indicate your candidates’ interpersonal skills, what motivates and drives your successful candidates.
Plan for management in line with your candidates’ personalities
Personality tests are also useful for helping you adapt your management style to your successful candidates and employees. With the results of the tests, you will know if you should take a more hands-on management approach or whether your candidate works better independently.
Do your candidates need to be coached or motivated in a particular way? Personality tests in the workplace will give you an indication of how you might motivate them.
Find out whether individuals personalities align with your team culture
How your candidates’ personalities align with your team culture is important, and a personality test will help you understand how your candidates will fit into your team. Who will your candidates work best with?
Use a personality test to determine how your candidates and team culture will align if they are hired for your vacancy, and plan towards adjusting the makeup of your team to accommodate new hires if needed.
Use personality tests in the workplace to create training programs
Alongside your management style, creating training programs is also easier with a personality test. Say you need to offer a successful content writer candidate a training program. You might use a personality test beforehand to determine the best way your candidates learn or take in new information.
Personality tests in the workplace, in this case, might help you decide how to provide feedback to your content writer during training, for example.
Help employees and successful candidates avoid burnout
Not only can your candidates’ personalities affect how they work best, but they can also be used to determine which working conditions lead to burnout. Personality tests in the workplace are useful for cultivating a working environment that favors your candidates.
As soon as you know more about your candidates’ personalities you can create working situations that align with this. You can determine the working environments in which your candidates are most productive and avoid those that might lead to burnout.
What are the drawbacks of personality tests in the workplace?
There are a few drawbacks to using personality tests in the workplace. In addition to the fact that some organizations might use these tests at the wrong stage of the recruitment process, here are a few other downsides of personality testing in the workplace.
How personality testing in the workplace might be unethical
It’s important to be aware that giving candidates a personality test might be seen as unethical and potentially discriminatory against those who have mental health challenges. This is particularly true if a hiring decision is based solely on the results of a personality test and no other factors are considered.
Personality tests might not be specifically customized for each job role
Using the same personality test with the same questions for every role and team in a company is not recommended. If you’re hiring a developer and a marketing professional, a different personality test with different custom questions might be a better approach for each of these positions.
As your organization might have a particular culture running through it, but have different factors motivating each department’s productivity in different ways, you might need to customize your personality test questions to get reliable results.
How the responses your candidates provide might not be entirely truthful
Though we hope your candidates answer your personality tests truthfully, the truth is that some may look for ways to cheat on pre-employment tests. In the case of personality tests, your candidates might try to adjust their responses to suit your organization’s culture. In the end, this will give a poor representation of their true personality. However, it is rare that candidates provide false answers to personality tests.
When should personality tests be used?
We recommend that you use personality tests near the beginning of your hiring process, ideally before you reach the interview stage. There are two main reasons for this. Not only can the results of your candidates’ personality tests help you when it comes to the interview stage, but they can also help to reduce your time-to-hire significantly.
How should personality tests be used?
We mentioned that to find more about your candidates during the interview stage, personality tests can be ideal. This is because personality tests should be used to inform your hiring process. To be specific, the results of a personality test can be used to create interview questions and discover more about your candidates’ approaches to the role.
The other thing to remember about how to use personality tests in the workplace is that you should combine them with a range of other tests, interviews, and custom questions to learn as much as possible about your candidates. Because, as we said, basing a hiring decision solely on the results of a personality test isn’t recommended – and can ultimately lead to a mis-hire.
You should also remember that cultural diversity within a team is recommended. Diverse teams perform and make better business decisions, which is why you should always look to widen your candidate pool. For this reason, using a personality test to exclusively select particular personality types for your organization can reduce your chances of boosting productivity. It should be avoided.
Use personality tests in the workplace the right way to hire top candidates
Assessing your candidates and learning more about them can be a challenge, but you can use personality tests to your advantage. They have a range of benefits that you can take advantage of as an HR professional. But you should always remember to use personality tests the right way. It’s no use making a hiring decision based only on a candidate’s personality. Remember to:
- Use personality tests at the beginning of the hiring process
- Use personality tests to inform the interview stage
- Combine personality tests with other skills tests
- Avoid bias and exclusively selecting certain candidates for the next round of interviews
Discover more about your candidates and gain as much information as possible about them by exploring TestGorilla’s personality tests today.