What You Need to Know about Personality Assessments

what you need to know about personality assessments

Personality inventories are among the most popular assessments used in pre-hire testing and test, or rather assess, an individual’s personal characteristics or Traits. The use of personality tests in combination with other assessment tools can yield advantageous predictions regarding how that employee will perform in their future role.  

The results of the Aberdeen study, “Human Capital Management Trends 2012: Managing Talent to Lead Organizational Growth” showed that the top companies, the so-called “Best-in-Class organizations,”were 79% more likely to use pre-hire assessments than their laggard counterparts (68% versus 38%) and nearly one and a half times more likely to use post-hire assessments (55% versus 24%)."

According to Development Dimensions International, about one-third of employers use testing for hiring and promotions. While many major companies such as Macy’s, PetSmart, Bloomingdales and Walmart use them for pre-employment screening, a growing number of small to medium-sized companies are also reaping their benefits, since their affordability and value are pretty indisuptable 

The best personality assessment tools on the market should meet the following criteria:

1. Documentation is available to prove that they are valid instruments.

2. Training: the company providing the tool should provide a 1 or 2 day certification training for your staff who will administer and interpret the results.

3. The tool should be easy to administer and take. This includes online administration and management. Tests shouldn’t take more than about 15 minutes to complete, and they should include a graph for quick interpretation of the results vs. having to read through a lengthy report.

4. The report should include two result areas: one that tells you what the person’s hardwired personality traits are and another that tells you how they believe they must behave in their current role. This provides you a comparison between who they are and who they believe they need to be and the potential difficulty they may be having in modifying and sustaining that changed behavior.

5. Job Profile: The assessment tool should also include a tool to help you benchmark the ideal and/or required traits of the job that you can then use to compare an individual’s results to.

6. Cost Effective: the tool should provide you several purchase options to meet your specific needs and budget. They should not cost you more than about $30-$50 per assessment, depending on the quantity you purchase.

Applications for Assessment Tools:

  • Hiring & Selection
  • Leadership Development
  • Team Building
  • Performance Management
  • Coaching
  • Conflict Management and Resolution
  • Training and Development Planning
  • Career Development and Succession Planning
  • Organizational Design

EEOC Guidelines for Employer Best Practices for Testing and Selection

The EEOC publishes guidelines for use of personality assessments, and some of the main points you should be aware of are the following:

  • Employers should administer tests and other selection procedures without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age (40 or older) or disability.
  • Employers should ensure that employment tests and other selection procedures are properly validated for the positions and purposes for which they are used. The test or selection procedure must be job-related and its results appropriate for the employer’s purpose. While a test vendor’s documentation supporting the validity of a test may be helpful, the employer is still responsible for ensuring that its tests are valid under UGESP.
  • Employers should ensure that tests and selection procedures are not adopted casually by managers who know little about these processes. A test or selection procedure can be an effective management tool, but no test or selection procedure should be implemented without an understanding of its effectiveness and limitations for the organization, its appropriateness for a specific job, and whether it can be appropriately administered and scored.

One of the most important things you need to know about any assessment tool is this: they are only as good as the person using themThis means that you should obtain training and/or utilize a certified consultant that can help you properly administer and interpret the results as well as help you utilize them to achieve specific results. It does no good to pay for these tests, amass a pile of graphs and reports, and throw them in a drawer never to be seen again!

To get a free personality profile, click the orange arrow below. 

(function(){ var s='hubspotutk',r,c=((r=new RegExp('(^|; )'+s+'=([^;]*)').exec(document.cookie))?r[2]:''),w=window;w[s]=w[s]||c, hsjs=document.createElement("script"),el=document.getElementById("hs-cta-005a2d07-cef2-4a67-aa27-1a14d60392a6"); hsjs.type = "text/javascript";hsjs.async = true; hsjs.src = "//cta-service-cms2.hubspot.com/cs/loader.js?pg=005a2d07-cef2-4a67-aa27-1a14d60392a6&pid=205015&hsutk=" + encodeURIComponent(c); (document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0]||document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0]).appendChild(hsjs); try{el.style.visibility="hidden";}catch(err){} setTimeout(function() {try{el.style.visibility="visible";}catch(err){}}, 2500); })();