Personality tests are no longer just a psychological curiosity; they’re becoming a vital part of the recruitment process.

With the right approach, these checks can unlock insights into a candidate’s true potential, transforming the way you acquire talent.

Eager to elevate your current recruitment strategy? Join us as we delve into the world of pre-employment personality tests for hiring, offering you a fresh perspective on finding the perfect fit.

What are pre-employment personality tests?

These tests are psychological assessments designed to gauge a candidate’s personality traits, such as openness, conscientiousness, motivations, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

Here evaluations often include a series of questions or statements that applicants respond to, revealing underlying characteristics that may not be apparent in a resume or interview.

By understanding these qualities, recruiters can better assess how a potential candidate might fit within the company culture and perform in a specific role.

1. Predictive performance of the potential newcomer

Personality checks can be powerful predictors of job performance.

A research by the SHRM found that personality assessments when combined with cognitive ability tests (CAT), can predict up to 50% of the variance in job performance.

Traits like conscientiousness and emotional stability have been linked to success in various roles, allowing recruiters to make more informed decisions.

2. Validity of stable responses over behavioral pattern

Unlike behavior, which can change in different situations, personality traits are considered more stable over time. According to a research, these remain relatively consistent throughout adulthood.

This stability makes personality tests including the best disc personality test, a reliable measure for assessing how a candidate might behave in various office scenarios and under regular work pressure.

3. The need to be honest

While there may be concerns about candidates faking answers, most personality tests are designed to detect inconsistencies.

There are control questions in place, and specific scales are often used to detect those who attempt to fake their answers. 

This ensures that the results are an accurate reflection of the person’s true personality, reinforcing the credibility and utility of personality tests in the hiring process.

4. The element of objectivity

Personality tests add an objective layer to the hiring process, reducing biases and providing a standardized measure to compare applicants.

Deloitte reported that organizations that use data-driven assessments, including personality tests, see a 30% increase in diversity among their employees.

This objectivity helps in making fair and informed hiring decisions, promoting a more inclusive workplace.

5. Enhanced interviewing process

Understanding personal characteristics can lead to more insightful and productive interviews.

Many recruiters and hiring managers have faced challenges in making the right hiring decisions, often due to a lack of understanding of the aspirant’s personality.

Personality tests provide insights that can guide interview questions, allowing recruiters to explore areas that might not be covered in a traditional setting.

4 best practices for incorporating personality tests in recruitment

Personality tests for hiring can not only help you but also your candidates.

1. Combining with other tests

Personality tests should not be used in isolation but rather in combination with other assessments such as verbal, non-verbal, quantitative, and spatial reasoning CATs, skills assessments, and interviews.

This holistic view ensures that recruiters have a comprehensive understanding of a candidate’s suitability for a role.

2. Avoid taking pass/fail decisions based solely on these tests

Personality tests should not be used to make final decisions about hiring prospective job seekers.

The British psychological society emphasizes that personality tests are designed to provide insights into attributes and preferences, not to conclusively determine a candidate’s ability to perform a job.

Using them as a pass/fail criterion can lead to unfair and biased decisions.

3. Consider team dynamics

Assessing how an aspirant aligns with existing team members can foster a more cohesive and effective work environment.

Harvard Business School found that considering team dynamics when using personality tests led to a 30% increase in team collaboration and productivity.

4. Maintain transparency and respect confidentiality

Transparency in the use of personality tests is vital to building trust with candidates.

Clearly communicate the purpose of the tests, how they will be used, and what they measure before you begin.

Ensure that all personal information gathered through these assessments is handled with the utmost confidentiality, in compliance with relevant privacy laws.

Respecting applicants’ privacy not only enhances the candidate experience but also reinforces the integrity of the hiring process.

5 pre-employment personality tests and what they measure

Learn more about using personality tests here!

1.Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI)

The Myers-Briggs type indicator is a renowned personality assessment tool that categorizes individuals into 16 different personality types. It evaluates how people perceive the world and make decisions, offering insights into working styles, communication preferences, and potential team fit.

For example, an INTJ type (introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging) might be well-suited for analytical roles, while an ESFP (extraverted, sensing, feeling, perceiving) might excel in customer service.

While not predictive of job performance, MBTI is widely used for team-building and leadership development. It’s certified by CPP, Inc., ensuring quality and reliability.

2. Hogan personality inventory (HPI)

The HPI measures seven primary personality dimensions, including ambition, sociability, interpersonal sensitivity, prudence, inquisitive, adjustment, and learning approach.

These dimensions offer a nuanced understanding of how a person will relate to others, approach work, and handle stress.

Particularly useful for leadership positions, the HPI can predict talent’s potential for success in a specific role, considering both strengths and potential challenges.

Candidates with high ambition scores might make good leaders, while those with high interpersonal sensitivity scores might make good team players.

The HPI features tailored solutions for different industries and is backed by extensive research, making it a trusted tool for recruiters.

3. Gallup StrengthsFinder (Now called CliftonStrengths)

Gallup’s CliftonStrengths identifies a person’s unique sequence of 34 themes of talent.

This assessment helps individuals discover what they naturally do best, allowing recruiters to pair job seekers with roles that play to their strengths.

By focusing on what a candidate excels at, the program enhances job satisfaction and performance, creating a win-win situation for both the employer and the employee.

CliftonStrengths is certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF), ensuring professional standards. It also offers specialized solutions for recruitment, onboarding, and employee engagement, making it a versatile tool for staffing agencies.

4. Predictive index behavioral assessment (PIBA)

The platform measures 4 primary behavioral drives: dominance, extraversion, patience, and formality.

A candidate with high dominance might be assertive and take charge, suitable for managerial positions, while high patience might indicate a thoughtful and steady worker, ideal for detailed-oriented tasks.

This understanding of how an individual will behave in different job-related situations allows recruiters to match candidates with roles based on behavioral fit.

By ensuring that their natural behavioral tendencies align with the demands of the job, the PIBA creates a harmonious fit that benefits both the organization and the individual.

This tool provides a range of solutions, including talent optimization, team building, and leadership development, and is certified by the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA).

5. DiSC

DISC is a behavior assessment tool that focuses on four personality traits: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness.

It helps recruiters understand how candidates will respond to challenges, influence others, respond to rules, and maintain a steady pace.

A person with a high “D” (dominance) might be a good fit for competitive roles, while a high “S” (steadiness) might indicate a supportive and reliable team member.

DiSC offers specialized solutions for leadership, sales, and team development. It’s widely recognized for its ease of use and actionable insights, making it a popular choice for recruitment and staffing agencies.

How to implement personality testing in your hiring strategy?

Switch to personality tests for hiring and acquire top tier talent today!

1. Integration of tests and services

Integrating personality tests into the recruitment process requires careful planning and alignment with organizational goals.

Start by identifying the specific quirks and competencies that the tests will assess.

Collaborate with hiring managers to understand the key personality traits that line up with success in various positions.

All 5 aforementioned tests offer integration capabilities with popular applicant tracking systems. This seamless merger allows recruiters to manage candidate information and test results all in one place, enhancing efficiency in the hiring process.

2. Ensuring legal compliance

Ensure that the personality tests are scientifically validated and adhere to all relevant laws and regulations, including non-discrimination against protected groups. 

The EEOC provides a framework for compliance and ethical considerations.

Engaging legal counsel to review the selection process, including adherence to the ADA, adds an extra layer of assurance.

3. Mastering evaluation techniques

Evaluating the results of personality tests requires expertise and an understanding of the underlying constructs.

Provide training to recruiters and hiring managers on how to interpret the results and apply them in decision-making.

Consider using platforms like Hogan assessments that offer detailed reports and guidance on interpreting the findings.

Regularly review and analyze the impact of personality testing on hiring outcomes to ensure that it adds value to the process.

Frequently asked questions

1. How many companies use personality tests for hiring?

The adoption of personality tests in the hiring process has seen a growing trend in recent years.

Many companies, ranging from small businesses to large corporations, are recognizing the value of these assessments in identifying suitable candidates.

The extent to which personality tests are used can vary widely across different industries, company sizes, and regions, reflecting diverse hiring needs and organizational cultures.

2. Can personality tests be used for internal promotions or team building within a company?

Yes, personality tests can be used not only for hiring but also for internal promotions and team-building practices.

They can help identify strengths and areas for growth within existing employees, fostering a more cohesive and productive work environment.

3. How long does it typically take for a candidate to complete a personality test?

The duration of a personality test can vary depending on the complexity and the number of questions. Generally, they can take anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes to complete.