Should you test personality of potential new hires?

Workforce | 1 Aug, 2016 |

First, the good news. The unemployment rate is at an all-time low and while the fluctuating labor force may be a driver of the current stats, the fact is, companies are hiring. The not-so-good news is that you, as a business owner or executive, have new positions to fill and stacks of resumes.

How do you choose candidates who are not only right for these roles, but also have the aptitude to contribute to your organization for the long haul?

Personality testing is a viable answer.

The question then becomes what do personality tests really tell you and how do you use them in a way that best benefits your organization.

There are dozens of tools available and many are extremely valuable. These tools help you gain clarity and insight into how others think and act and unquestionably, are worth the time and expense. However, much like how some doctors are better than others, the same is true with personality assessments. Some are more valuable than others.

The tool of choice for U & Improved, a Scottsdale-based leadership development and training organization, is Emergenetics, a personality assessment framework that measures how people think and behave. Emergenetics has been an invaluable tool to the organization and countless companies they’ve trained for two key reasons. One, the resulting profile is easy to understand, remember and apply. Two, the Emergenetics program requires a certified trainer to administer the profiles, so that the information is understood both by the business owner/manager and the profile recipient. It’s all too easy to use the resulting information in a way that traps a staff member or potential employee in a box.

As an example, the Myers-Briggs personality test classifies a person as either an introvert or extrovert. Someone designated as an “E,” might be considered for a more social, interactive position while an “I” might be overlooked. With the varying degrees of these designations, it’s a piece of information that should be considered, but not used to make final hiring decisions. Although classifications can give you a baseline of where a person might thrive and be energized as opposed to limited, using Emergenetics can show you where a person is energized and illuminates his or her gifts rather than limitations.

Bottom line, yes, personality testing can be a valuable part of the hiring process—as long as they are administered properly and used in a positive manner. It can be a game changer and perhaps exactly what you need to make the decision between a good candidate and a great one.

Jodi Low is the founder and CEO of U & Improved, an award-winning leadership development company. 

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