The Pitfalls of Standalone Personality Assessments
While personality tests provide a scalable, low-cost solution for organizations with high-volume recruitment needs, there are pitfalls to be aware of if used as a standalone assessment during selection.
According to CB Insights, HR technology now represents a $148 billion opportunity. The market is saturated with opportunistic providers whose solutions vary considerably in quality. In other words, there are good and bad personality assessments. There are also good and base uses of personality assessments. To differentiate, examine a measure’s reliability and validity – two key indicators of quality.
Varying Degrees of Quality
Personality traits are highly stable, meaning measures of such should also be consistent. Reliability refers to an assessment’s accuracy and consistency. For example, if a candidate were to take a personality test twice, are results the same each time? If not, the personality results cannot be trusted for hiring decisions.
Validity refers to whether an assessment measures what it is supposed to or if it predicts meaningful outcomes. Many companies use the MBTI during hiring; in fact, approximately 80% of Fortune 500 and 89% of Fortune 100 companies use the MBTI; however, the MBTI isn’t validated for use in hiring decisions. While tests like the MBTI can be good for self-discovery and understanding team dynamics, they are not designed to predict job performance.
If results of personality measures are used to screen out candidates, there must be strong evidence of the relationship between scores on the measure and performance in the role. Using a test that is not valid for your particular use can expose your organization to legal risks and implications.
They’re Easy to Manipulate
Because there are no right or wrong answers on personality tests, candidates can attempt to paint themselves in a favorable, or socially desirable light – commonly referred to as “faking”. When personality measures stand alone, it can be difficult to know if a candidate responded in socially desirable ways if you do not have other measures in place. Deliberate manipulation of one’s responses influences the validity of the measure and the accuracy of inferences made based on a candidate’s results.
Could Potentially Limit Diversity
Personality tests can introduce the risk of legal defensibility. Recently, major companies such as Best Buy and CVS reached agreements with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to stop using personality assessments after they were found to have adversely impacted applicants based on race and national origin. Also, if personality results are used to match personality to that of others within the organization, this could result in a lack of diversity.
Lacks information about Aptitudes
Personality assessments alone can tell HR leaders about a candidate’s motives, interests, and interaction style but the results of such assessments do not provide information about a candidate’s abilities or skill levels. Personality assessments, like the DiSC, are easy to use but are not recommended for pre-employment testing because it doesn’t measure a specific skill or aptitude.
A Better Use of Personality Assessments: One Part of a Whole
Strong selection processes include measurements of job-relevant factors across multiple methods. While personality assessments provide useful context regarding one’s typical patterns of thinking and behavior – personality results don’t tell the whole story. Assessment centers offer a more accurate methods for measuring an applicant’s abilities. Together, behavioral observations, personality assessment, and measures of learning capability can increase the accuracy and predictive ability of selection processes.
To learn how Pinsight leverages personality measures in combination with behavioral observation to enable HR professionals to hire, develop, and promote their leaders, get connected here.‹ Previous PostNext Post ›