Are Personality Tests Effective Recruitment Tools?

Are Personality Tests Effective Recruitment Tools? A Professional Recruiter’s Perspective

Given the expense of an incorrect hire, especially at executive level, many companies include personality tests in the screening process as an extra tool to determine a candidate’s suitability for a particular role. But are personality tests really effective aids in the hiring process? Professional recruiters, Mindcor InterSearch Global, examines the topic.

Tomato-Tomato, Potato-Potato

While tests may be able to detect the global personality traits of individuals, they are not necessarily good predictors of whether or not an individual will succeed in a certain work environment. Accomplishment has more to do with a candidate’s unique strengths, determination, motivation, experience and skills, rather than their personality type.

Hiring Bias

Some HR professionals subscribe to the school of thought that certain personality types are better suited to particular roles. An example is the belief that extroverts make better salespeople or that developers are typically introverted. Rejecting an applicant on the basis of personality type could mean the loss of a talented person who could potentially add value to a team. An introvert with good listening skills and a heightened sensitivity may excel in sales. Likewise, some of the best developers are extroverted as they are able to connect with and understand clients better than developers who are stereotypically anti-social.

Who Would You Like Me to Be?

Applicants seeking employment have been known to manipulate personality tests, providing answers they think the employer is looking for, rather than responding truthfully. This renders the test invalid and unsuccessful as a tool to gain a deeper understanding of the applicant. In addition, given that the tests themselves are not classified as scientific, they may not even be accurate in their evaluation.

Advice From Professional Recruiters

Most professional recruiters advise that classic personality tests be used for engagement purposes, rather than as hiring tools. That is, once a candidate is employed, a personality test can be applied to understand natural preferences or communication styles, instead of being a deciding factor.

Executive recruitment firm, Mindcor InterSearch Global, utilises a combination of effective AI and in-person approaches, as well as assessments to evaluate a candidate’s suitability for a role and fit within a company or even a specific team. One such approach is the evaluation and comparison of candidate responses to a battery of structured, customised questions. Questions such as the parts of their job they didn’t like or how they will respond in a given situation reveal a lot more about a person’s ability to function in a role, than a standard personality test.

For additional insights on Mindcor InterSearch Global’s fail-safe approach to candidate evaluations or for assistance in screening candidates for a particular position, please contact us on (011) 551 5500. We have well over 20 years’ professional recruitment experience and success in sourcing and evaluating top candidates for our clients.