Currently, personnel selection is considered the most important investment a company can make in the Human Resources field, as errors in this area are common and can be costly for the company.
Personality can be a relevant indicator for predicting job performance, as long as the evaluated traits are pertinent to the position.
In 1919, the United States Army developed the first modern personality test to select the most suitable recruits to avoid trauma or shock. Since then, private companies have adopted these tests, often referred to as assessments to minimize the connotation of approval or disapproval of the exercise, with the aim of screening out candidates during the selection process.
Personality tests are also used to speed up the hiring process. Evaluating an individual’s behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs can decrease uncertainty about whether they will fit the job profile and allows employers to go beyond the candidate’s resume, experience, or good image.
However, it is easy to rely too much on the results of these tests and fall into the temptation of rejecting a candidate based solely on the evaluation scores, instead of understanding their human and motivational side.
What are personality tests?
Personality tests are a psychological tool used not only in the clinical field but also in the selection, development, and orientation of professionals. These tests measure the inherent traits or qualities of a person, regardless of the context in which they find themselves. Due to their high reliability and validity, personality tests are highly recommended and useful in selection processes.
What is their usefulness?
In a selection process that includes a personality test, it is important to consider that these tests have several objectives.
First, they help to discover aspects of oneself that are difficult to detect in an interview, which can be a challenge for candidates and professionals.
Second, they allow for an understanding of whether one’s qualities and traits are suitable for the job and work environment.
Third, they are useful for estimating the level of performance on the job. Finally, personality tests also allow for the observation of individual differences in behavior among participants in the selection process, which helps to make objective decisions.
What personality tests are used?
Personnel evaluation processes in organizations often use different types of personality tests, including the following options offered by Evalart:
- 16 Personality Factors, a classic psychology test that measures 16 personality factors. It allows for the measurement of everything from dominance to emotional stability, one of the most valued traits by organizations.
- DISC or Personal Preference System, which uses a set of 28 groups of four concepts each, so that the candidate chooses the word that most and least fits their behavior. The results show the behavior pattern and the characteristics and qualities associated with it.
- Big Five Personality Test, one of the most commonly used tests in personnel hiring processes. It can recognize the main personality traits and their components, from the disposition to explore new experiences to responsibility and drive to achieve goals, the ability to socialize and collaborate, as well as the tendency to experience positive or negative emotions.
How to use personality tests in a selection process?
To achieve optimal results when implementing a personality test in a selection process, it is necessary to follow several clearly defined stages that are adapted to the needs, corporate culture, behavior, and expected performance level.
First, it is essential to define the selection criteria based on the expected needs and behaviors for the vacant position, corporate culture, and team. The results of the personality test should be interpreted in relation to the position and environment and not analyzed in absolute terms. To do this, the most efficient, motivated, and committed employees can be subjected to a personality test to highlight the expected traits and competencies in future candidates. Job descriptions can also be reviewed, and key questions asked to define selection criteria.
Second, it is important to choose the most suitable personality test for the position. Not all tests are appropriate for a selection process. It is necessary to search for a reliable and valid instrument that measures personality traits relevant to the professional environment, the type of position, and the level of responsibility required. Additionally, it should be designed with current psychometric methods and techniques and meet scientific validity standards, which should be provided by the publisher in validation studies and assessment manuals. The social desirability scale should also be monitored to avoid bias in results.
Opting for a personality test with a skills reference framework is beneficial as it allows criteria to be established according to specific expectations and requirements for the position.
When should a personality test be conducted?
It is suggested to conduct a personality test after an initial selection based on the curriculum vitae, experience, and references. This test provides additional information that complements the data collected. It is important to remember that there are no “good” or “bad” personalities, but rather attitudes and competencies that are more suitable for the specific position.
However, it is important to note that a personality test cannot predict everything and should be complemented with other criteria, such as the candidate’s interests, emotional intelligence, reasoning ability, and specific skills. These criteria can provide greater clarity about the candidate’s potential and likelihood of success in a specific context.
Finally, we invite you to explore Evalart’s catalog of tests, where you will find different tests necessary and important to improve your selection processes.