Utilizing Character Checks as a Hiring Instrument: What Are the Professionals and Cons?

Revised and updated on October 27, 2020

Smart leaders know how powerful it can be to have different personality types in the workplace. Personality tests like Myers-Briggs and Enneagram can measure a person’s specific personality traits in a number of ways. Many companies have started using these assessments to better understand prospects and current employees and to provide them with valuable insights that they may not have otherwise obtained.

However, as with all approaches, there are a number of positives and negatives to using personality tests. To understand the extent to which employers should rely on personality tests in their recruiting or employee development efforts, we asked 13 entrepreneurs on the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:

What are the pros or cons of using personality tests to recruit and / or develop employees? Why?

Pros: They serve as great conversation tools

Personality tests are not a uniform tool for identifying and recruiting employees, but they can be excellent conversational tools for existing and new employees. In addition to employee training and growth tools, personality tests can serve as a tool to discuss aspects of your team members’ behavior or self-esteem and to help them open up and learn more about themselves. – Darby Cox, Darby Cox LLC

Pros: You can help tailor people to jobs they would enjoy

Personality tests can be extremely useful in the hiring and development process for employees. I’ve found the DISC personality test to be useful for connecting people to jobs they enjoy and are likely to do well. You can also communicate with others more effectively because you better understand how people process information. – Kevin Getch, Webfor

Pros: You can eliminate unqualified candidates

I think you can use personality tests when hiring employees, but that’s about it. Questions about the red flag on the test can help you eliminate unqualified individuals, saving you time and money. They also improve the chances of hiring someone who fits their new role. – John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

Pros: They may offer a better perspective on past experiences

Personality tests are useful in hiring because they can test what people are doing in specific situations so that you can get a real perspective on their previous experiences. Candidates will tell you great stories about how they dealt with certain situations, but a personality test will give you a better understanding of why they acted this way, since most people cannot fake their answers. – Josh Kohlbach, wholesale suite

Pros: You can identify how employees can be integrated into the team

Understanding how someone works best is as important as the education and skills they have. The Gallup CliftonStrengths assessment is a great test of where a candidate stands in their natural state and how they will integrate into your existing team. It can be used to identify which candidates and personalities are filling any gaps in company culture you may have. – Matthew Podolsky, Florida, PA Legal Counsel

Pros: They can be more relevant to an employee’s inner self

I think personality tests are interesting and potentially useful, but they are also limited, especially when it comes to the workplace. They are pretty abstract and probably reveal more about an employee’s inner self and potential than how someone actually behaves in everyday life. You can use them, but you can also look at more measurable factors such as: B. what people actually did. – Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

Other items from AllBusiness.com:

Con: They are not a definitive testimony of character

When taking the Myers-Briggs or Enneagram tests, it is important to remember that they are not ironclad reports that give you definitive testimony of a person’s character. They are designed to help you understand a person’s preferences. This is a great way to help people find work and tasks they enjoy doing, creating a great, high-productivity workplace. -Syed Balkhi, WP beginner

Con: You could make employers biased

I think a major downside to using personality tests for recruiting is that you are biased. You can attribute a candidate’s behavior and words to what the test says rather than actively listening to people. It is important to know that you can misjudge a person. Be open-minded and rely on your experience to understand a candidate’s fit for your company. – Blair Williams, Member Press

Con: It is possible that they will generate false positives

I don’t like personality tests because they are not always accurate and often measure a person’s state of mind at the time of the test. Many people are uncomfortable during the hiring process, so they will give you a false positive. If you insist on using these tests, you are only making them a factor in your hiring decision. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

Con: You risk arranging employees according to general standards

A personality test introduces employees to standards and norms that apply to a trend of people but should not be used to assess the individual. The risk with these tests is that we are trying to infer too much data about an individual. Instead, they should just be an indicator of strategies and ways to manage and motivate individuals to improve. They should be used to provide a checkpoint and start more conversations. – Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.

Con: You don’t summarize an individual as a whole

The main disadvantage of a personality test is that it does not sum up an individual as a whole. People are complex and it takes more than one test or a couple of tests to understand how they’d like to work. Better to turn to their references for the most accurate, up-to-date information on how they are in the workplace. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

Con: They don’t really show whether an employee is a good fit for you

One downside to using a personality test for recruiting is that it doesn’t tell you exactly whether the employee is a good fit for the position. Personality tests are good, but you need to combine them with other tests. It is equally important to listen to the candidate and see how they react and deal with a stressful situation. – Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

Con: It could provide an inaccurate reflection of their personality

One downside would be that people might try to guess what to say so it might turn out to be an inaccurate reflection of that person’s true personality. Then mitigate your interactions, goals, etc. based on information that is not relevant to the person. – Brad Burns, Wayne Contracting

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