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According to Forbes, 60-70% of employers use pre-employment personality testing to vet job applicants and recruit the right fit.
Organizations are increasingly embracing advanced tools such as personality tests to make hiring decisions and build top-quality teams. One of the many benefits of personality tests is that they inform recruiters about an individual’s personality traits, motivation, values and work preferences for a specific job role, ensuring they are the right fit.
In today’s competitive landscape, where every employee and the time taken to hire them counts, it is important to select the right fit for the job. The advantages of using personality tests in the hiring process are that they not only prove to be a great way to filter candidates at the screening stage, but the same information can also be used throughout employees’ career trajectory to develop them for the right role.
The benefits of personality tests for employers are undeniable. They provide informative insights about how candidates’ personalities will impact their workplace behavior, enabling recruiters to understand how candidates coordinate with others, solve problems, and manage their emotions in the workplace.
The advantages of personality inventories include understanding the candidate better, an impartial recruitment process, reduced time-to-hire, improved ROI, identifying dark personality traits, and a greater probability of landing the best-fit candidate. Let us understand some of the benefits of personality assessments:
Objective personality assessments help employers identify the required personality traits of potential candidates. The recruiter can filter candidates from a pool for a specific job role based on underlying personality traits. For example, if you seek to hire a business analyst, you will look for personality traits such as an analytical mind, curiosity, quick thinking, perseverance, excellent spoken English skills, empathy, and the ability to stay calm. Talent acquisition experts can leverage the advantages of using personality tests in the hiring process for smooth recruitment.
It lends speed and convenience to a recruitment process. It is an online mode of assessment, and the right candidates can be filtered out, reducing unwanted interviews. The time consumed in hiring candidates is saved as the personality test results can be achieved in real-time.
The benefits of personality tests also include a significant decrease in the chances of unconscious bias in selecting the candidates for the job role. Recruiters can make fair decisions by considering applicants based on their scores in the required personality competencies. A candidate possessing the requisite skill sets is considered the best fit for the job role. The personality assessment evaluates candidates on various parameters and provides transparent results to evaluate them on the same scale for recruitment.
Employers can detect dark personality traits, such as opportunism, self-obsession, insensitivity, temperamental, and impulsiveness, from the personality test and make recruitment decisions accordingly. There are high-risk jobs where an employee may be responsible for a customer’s life or an asset’s safety; there are industries and sectors such as education and commerce that require utmost caution. There can be instances in cab services where a cab driver may behave inappropriately with a customer or over-speed the car.
Let us study one of the case studies where Mettl’s dark personality tool – MDPI – helped clients assess an individual’s dark personality traits:
One of the UAE’s biggest cab service providers used Mettl’s MDPI to streamline its talent pool and improve its service standards. Mettl’s Dark Personality Inventory (MDPI) contains six dark traits that identify dark personality constructs in potential hires and existing employees. The company employed MDPI to identify candidates with prominent levels of dark traits, which increased their propensity to display undesirable behavior toward the customer. The personality tool provided insights on how each dark trait would trigger different behavior by the cab driver toward the customer.
Personality tests are cost-effective and can be implemented easily. A reliable personality test can provide information about a person within hours, which an organization may take several months to ascertain. These assessments reduce or diminish your chances of bad hires, providing a good ROI. A bad hire is not just a costly investment but can also significantly hamper the productivity and morale of your other employees.
A personality test helps HRs gain deeper insight into how an employee can be groomed for future roles by highlighting their potential personality traits. For instance, if an individual shows high levels of presence of mind, critical thinking abilities, stress managing abilities, etc. She/he can be put in a strategic leadership role.
The advantages of personality tests don’t end here. In fact, they can also be used to gauge employee agility, their preferred mode of learning, and how they respond to change, etc. All these data insights can be effectively used to make the right people decisions in organizational planning, promotions and appraisals, leadership development, etc.
The world of personality assessment is crowded with tests and questionnaires, most of which are not valid. An organization must ensure it has trained professionals who are able to distinguish between authentic and incompetent tests. Some of the problems with personality tests are listed below:
There are several personality assessment tools on the marketplace that claim effective test results. However, such assertions may be a trifle far-fetched. An imperfect personality test may deliver misleading results, such as the wrong personality profiling of the candidate, hampering the employer’s hiring decision in recruiting the best fit for the job role.
Mercer | Mettl’s suite of personality assessment tools provides high reliability and validity of the assessment results. Mettl’s popular personality tools such as Mettl’s Personality Inventory (MPI), Mettl’s Personality Profiler(MPP), Mettl’s Motivation Inventory(MMI) and Mettl’s Personality Map(MPM) are some of the best data-backed, reliable and valid tools that evaluate critical work-relevant personality traits. They use scaling methodologies such as semantic differential item format to reduce the chances of respondents faking ‘good’ responses, improving the assessment’s usefulness. Likert scale is another rating scale that evaluates a candidate’s attitudes or opinions. The respondents are asked to rate items on a level of agreement with this scale.
Not every job profile requires similar personality traits. It is important for a personality test to be flexible enough while maintaining its reliability and validity to be customized to different job roles and requirements.
For instance, a candidate with a persuasive personality may be a good fit for a sales role. However, the same skill is not important for a digital marketing role. There is no one-personality-test-fits-all situation. Every organization has its own set of traits and competencies that they require its employees to have, and thus personality tests need to be customized accordingly.
Many personality tests have substandard content, resulting in unclear questions. Ultimately, that affects the reliability of results attained. It is important to ensure and meet the experts who would be designing the content for your personality tests.
Personality assessments require experienced content researchers to frame reliable personality tests. Hence, companies must select the right people and impart proper training to draft reliable personality tests.
Often, test-takers respond in a socially desirable manner rather than exhibiting their true personality traits. They can tweak their responses to score good results desired by the organization, misleading recruiters from making rational decisions. It is important for organizations to choose a personality test that considers these things and works around them.
Many job seekers fail to attempt the personality test because of nervousness, the lack of first-hand experience or undue pressure owing to the lack of time. Personality assessments often do not consider certain factors, such as the cultural background or the language barrier, leading to missing out on valuable talent.
A tool like Mettl’s Personality Inventory can be used to map the prescribed competency framework to the role in consideration to address the challenges of cultural and language barriers in personality tests. It allows organizations to customize their configuration and scoring to fit their specific needs and provide reports designed to facilitate data-backed talent decisions.
Listed above are all objective personality test advantages and disadvantages. Organizations and HRs should choose personality tests carefully as they would be relying on them for many significant decisions related to hiring and development.
While many organizations use different methods to conduct personality assessments, Mercer | Mettl evaluates four key aspects of human personality, including positive traits, dark personality traits, cognitive ability and preferences, motivation and values.
Mercer | Mettl offers valid and reliable assessment tools for personality assessments, customized to evaluate a candidate’s personality traits according to the organization and job requirements:
Mettl Personality Profiler/Mettl Personality Inventory is based on the ‘Big Five’ personality traits. These tools are innovative and data-backed personality assessments that evaluate critical work-relevant personality traits.
Mettl Dark Personality Inventory is based on six dark traits and aims to measure negative personality constructs in potential hires and existing employees.
Mettl Motivation Inventory is a comprehensive test of motivation that offers insights into a person’s drive and motivation to perform and excel at work effectively.
Mettl Personality Map is a comprehensive personality assessment, which measures 28 personality facets critical for work–related outcomes. It has been standardized on the global population.
Mettl Cognitive Ability Tests measure core brain function of memory, attention, speed and visualization.
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:
Employers use personality tests for employment because of the many advantages of personality tests, ranging from helping recruiters make effective hiring decisions to developing the right kind of people for future roles. The benefits of personality tests can be leveraged by recruiters at all stages of the employee cycle. Personality tests offer recruiters the confidence that the right person is being chosen to do the desired job.
The purpose of a personality assessment is listed below:
The advantages of personality inventory are:
A personality test reveals core aspects of a human personality – the bright side, values, work preferences and style, and the dark side. It also reveals a candidate’s fitment in the company culture. The candidate possessing the required personality traits is suitable for the job role.
A recruiter uses a personality assessment to gauge useful insights into how candidates behave in a work environment and help predict job performance. The data gathered from the personality test helps them hire the right candidate and improves the teams’ coordination, work relationships, overall effectiveness and productivity.
Some of the problems with personality tests are unreliable personality tools on the market, inaccurate test results, nervous candidates due to language and cultural barriers, expensive personality tools and time-consuming assessments.
While personality tests are effective pre-employment tools, they can also be bad. Some personality tests are not scientifically validated and reliable and claim to provide accurate descriptions of human personalities. However, they don’t. Therefore, it is best to opt for professionally experienced organizations to conduct personality tests.
Some of the advantages and disadvantages of the personality test in psychology are listed below:
Originally published November 3 2020, Updated March 3 2021
Working in the content marketing industry for 6 years, Surbhi has written interesting and creative content pieces on Digital Marketing, Technology, Human resource, Accounting software, Home decor etc. She shares her knowledge on several web-platforms like Digital Vidya, Pulse, and Social Media platforms. A mother of one daughter, she loves to spend time with family and pursue her creative stints such as sketching and singing.
Personality assessments are a method of identifying candidates whose characteristics match the role and organization’s requirements. Personality assessments help HRs make effective people decisions by placing people in positions suited to their disposition.