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Should your organization use personality tests?


Regardless of the industry you're in, personality tests can help with the hiring process.

Regardless of the industry you’re in, personality tests can help with the hiring process.

Organizations of all sizes across every industry are always looking for ways to improve their hiring processes. That’s because hiring the right individuals will increase productivity while lowering costs associated with employee turnover. In recent years, that has meant hiring managers are using new tools – such as pre-employment screenings – to determine how candidates will perform in the role before they ever set foot in an office.

Steven Davis, an economist at the University of Chicago, explained why pre-employment assessments are increasing in popularity.

“The incentives to screen before hiring have increased over time, while the costs have declined,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “Both those things are encouraging employers to move away from what was essentially a trial employment situation to just screening people out in advance.”

Nowadays, many businesses have gone beyond diagnostic assessments and moved toward administering personality tests. Personality tests can help hiring managers get a better overall picture of a candidate. Here are three things personality tests can teach hiring teams about potential candidates:

1. Work ethic

“Eliminate candidates who don’t fit in with the company culture.”

Businesses are only as productive as their employees. That said, hiring managers should seek out job applicants whom they know will work hard to contribute to the overall success of the organization. By using personality tests, hiring managers can gain insight on the willingness of individuals to go above and beyond the minimum requirements of the job. Although interviews are great ways to assess some personality traits, administering personality tests can help to eliminate candidates who don’t fit in with the company culture before you waste time with the interview process.

With tools such as these, companies are better able to find ideal candidates for positions that need to be filled. Employers now have the ability to cast a wider net for prospective employees because they have the resources to narrow down the field more effectively. As organizations continue to use these tools, they get closer to hiring the perfect candidate as opposed to settling for a mediocre one.

2. Empathy
Given the ease of communication between business professionals, some element of customer service is required in nearly every industry. The strongest business professionals have a sense of empathy.

Having a sense of empathy requires more than simply reciting the right words from a pre-written script. Kristin Roberts, a consulting professional at KR Consulting, believes that empathy can generally help nudge customers to negotiate rather than complain. Empathetic employees possess good listening skills, a sense of politeness and a real desire to help others.

Despite your best efforts to be thorough in an interview, it’s difficult to accurately assess which candidates possess the right interpersonal skills. Personality assessments can give hiring managers a good indication of how candidates would behave in different business scenarios, from high-stress situations to more typical ones.

3. Motivation to succeed
It’s no secret that receiving a paycheck is motivation to work, but there are individuals who are influenced by other factors as well. If you want to maximize the productivity of your company, hire people who express a desire to find both personal and company-wide success. Employees that are only motivated by money inherently increase the risk of employee turnover within your organization. Pick out people who are passionate about their work.

If you and other decision makers at your organization feel the need to change or improve your hiring process, let the professionals at EmployTest help. Our Behavioral Profiles and Customized Behavior Tests are great tools for learning about candidates’ interpersonal skills.