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Personality Assessment Tests and Their Value in Professional Recruitment

Carlos Acosta | 07.04.2021

In recent years, personality assessment tests are being used more frequently in the hiring process, and for good reason: one’s personality greatly shapes every aspect of a person’s life, including how they conduct themselves at work.

In recent years, personality assessment tests are being used more frequently in the hiring process, and for good reason: one’s personality greatly shapes every aspect of a person’s life, including how they conduct themselves at work.

Sometimes clients ask us to recommend a specific assessment and we tend to encourage the hiring manager to review all the options and make that decision themselves. We have found client preferences to be as varied as there are assessments in the market. Hopefully this article will help you better understand some of the primary personality assessments available today.

Personality Tests Give You More Insights When Recruiting

Personality tests give recruiters more targeted insights, not just into whether a candidate’s personality and interests match the job but also their culture fit.

This is especially important when you’re hiring for managerial and professional/technical roles. Skills testing and one’s experience are certainly important, but personality tests—as well as a series of interviews—help recruiters identify soft skills and traits that are needed for such jobs.

5 Common Personality Tests to Use for Recruitment

Here are some of the tried-and-tested personality tests. Note that the list is not exhaustive and it’s always preferable to choose one that fits best to your company’s needs:

1. DiSC Assessment

This test covers questions that could categorize candidates into four personality styles: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness (thus, DiSC).

The results of this test indicate general expectations of how a person reacts to certain situations. For example, those who rated high for “influence” tend to place more importance on relationships and are more open to others.

2. California Psychological Inventory (CPI)

The CPI is a self-report test that has over 434 items assessing 5 areas for measuring behavior and personality: dealing with others, motivations and thinking style, self-management, work-related measures, and personal characteristics.

It’s one of the oldest assessment tests, first published in 1956. A unique aspect of CPI is that it can help identify falsified answers to help improve results.

3. Caliper Profile

Whereas CPI uses self-reporting, the Caliper Profile is a more objective type of assessment, measuring over 22 personality traits to predict on-the-job behavior and motivations, such as leadership, time management, empathy, interpersonal dynamics, and decision-making, among many other areas.

What delineates this test from others is that it provides insight both into a respondent’s strengths and weaknesses for a more well-rounded assessment.

4. Gallup StrengthsFinder

As its name suggests, StrengthsFinder aims to identify the respondent’s top 5 attributes out of 34 possible strengths instead of exploring their general personality traits. These attributes include self-assurance, communication, and achievement, to name a few.

As opposed to the Caliper Profile, StrengthsFinder deliberately focuses on strengths and ignores weaknesses as a way to filter out irrelevant data in the hiring process and to reduce cognitive biases.

5. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The MBTI is a self-report test that explores various psychological preferences in how a person perceives various aspects of life, including how one works.

It gauges for areas of perception: World (Extraversion or Introversion), Information (Sensing or Intuition), Decisions (Thinking or Feeling), and Structure (Judging or Perceiving). The results would assess your personality type among 16 possible combinations of the 4 perceptions.

There is also a closely related personality test called 16pf Questionnaire, which is founded on the 16 personality traits in MBTI. One of their differences is that 16pf further organizes the results into more general personality factors—note that MBTI uses the term “trait” instead of 16pf’s “factors.”

Key Considerations When Using Personality Assessment Tests

A few things to consider to make personality tests work well for you in the hiring process:

  • Select personality tests carefully. Choose only those that have been validated in terms of content, criterion, reliability, and construct.
  • Be aware of cognitive biases. When selecting desirable traits for a certain job position, it’s important to have a solid awareness of the tendency for biases. For example, selecting applicants that have a high degree of “assertiveness” and “self-confidence” may cause recruiters to exclude female candidates. Awareness and a conscious decision to be objective are key.
  • Results may not be accurate. This is especially true for self-report tests. Candidates may alter their responses based on how they feel is a desirable result for the selection process.
  • Do not use personality tests exclusively. Every good recruiter knows that the selection process involves a series of assessments and tools to help you make better hiring decisions. Use personality tests in conjunction with other hiring instruments.

Work with Experienced Recruiters for Your Next Hire

At The QualiFind Group, we understand that it takes more than a single interview and a résumé to arrive at a sound hiring decision, especially when recruiting for managerial, technical, and professional roles.

We take into account, first and foremost, your company’s unique needs and the specifics of the job role you’re hiring for. We have also worked with several multinational clients over the years, with a particular focus on cultural context and nuances and how these matter in the hiring process. We’re also well-versed in integrating pre-employment testing where needed, including personality testing.

If you need help with any of your professional and technical recruitment needs, The QualiFind Group has the experience and the resources to ensure that your next hire is your best hire. Contact us at https://www.qualifindgroup.com/en/contact/ to learn more!

Carlos Acosta is a Senior Managing Partner and Practice Leader for The QualiFind Group. From our office in San Diego, California; Carlos leads our team of professional recruiters, researchers and back office staff in various locations throughout the US, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Carlos is bilingual English and Spanish and holds dual citizenship in both the US and Mexico. Carlos can be reached at 619-240-2638 or cacosta@qualifindgroup.com