I’d like to think I have a great personality. Shocking to me and I know to you, some others just don’t think so. The nerve….
I am a believer that personality does stand for something in the work world. Naturally, personality does have a bigger role to play in some jobs than others. In HR there is usually is a place for it; data analytics not so much.
But why do we need to assess personality pre-hire? If you really think about it, do you think that personality is any sort of indicator of good job performance? Results producing performance? I say no. I have discussed with several others the benefits of pre-hire personality assessments and most think they are just another data point usually not worthy of the trouble.
The reality is that nothing….NOTHING is as good an indicator as an interview. Presuming you have an excellent interviewer everything you need to know can be gathered in an interview. Yes, your interview will have to be fairly long. Yes, your candidate may have to answer 10 follow-up questions to prove they are speaking truthfully. But if we look at candidate time, I would rather the candidate spend that extra hour with interviewers than taking an assessment.
Personality assessment stink pre-hire because:
- Personality has nothing to do with job proficiency. One of my mentors and former bosses (who knows a thing or two about assessments), Fran Bostick, told me conflict resolution doesn’t come naturally in her personality. However, after 30 years HR experience, she is damn good at this skill.
- They cost money. You don’t need to spend money to determine personality.
- You can assess personality in an interview. I mean, aren’t you talking to the person yourself. Isn’t personality somewhat evident and self-explanatory?
- On the flip side of that, someone may be having a bad day. So, an assessment is just a snapshot of how that person is feeling that one day. Tiers of interviews over multiple days are a better indicator of consistent personality traits.
- Some personality assessments can be manipulated. A devious candidate can likely look at a job description and know what to answer on the Myers-Briggs.
When are personality assessments good?
- Post Hire
- To identify how a team members personality works into the team dynamic
- To teach a team how to communicate with certain personality types
If you want to assess something pre-hire, judgment seems to be more compelling. I just learned about the Judgment Index some Co’s use to assess, well, judgment. Pal and CHRO of Children’s Hospital in Birmingham AL , Doug Dean (@DeanEagle5) uses this test and since they are a nationally ranked hospital, they are doing something right. Disclaimer, I have not personally used this test. But I’m intrigued.
Note to recruiters who decide to skip the assessment and stick to good ol’ fashioned interviews to determine fit (including personality). Check yourself regularly to make sure you are not only hiring people whose personality you love. Be a pro. Be aware of your biases. Rise above them. Don’t be the cliché.
Skills test make sense pre-hire. Work demonstrations make sense pre-hire. Assessing personality pre-hire although important, is simply judging a book by its cover.