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The Advantages and Disadvantages Of A Personality Test

Talent Assessment | 8 Min Read

The Advantages and Disadvantages Of A Personality Test

General Take On Personality Test

According to Forbes, 71% of employers use pre-employment personality testing to recruit the right cultural fit.

Employees are a company’s greatest asset - they’re your competitive advantage.

Anne M. Mulcahy
former CEO, Xerox Corporation

Most employers are increasingly embracing advanced tools such as personality tests to make hiring decisions and build top-quality workforces. The personality test assessment helps recruiters identify the candidate’s required personality traits, motivation, values, and work preferences for a specific job role.

In today’s competitive landscape, where many candidates are vying for the same position, it is important to select the right fit for the job. Personality assessments are a great way to filter candidates that showcase the right personality traits required for a particular job role.

 


Let's Have A Look At The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Personality Inventory

 

Advantages of Personality Tests


The advantages of personality inventory 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’s understand some of the benefits of personality tests:

Understand Candidates Better:

Personality assessment helps employers to 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. A personality inventory helps talent acquisition experts narrow down the candidate search smoothly.

Faster Recruitment Process:

It lends speed and convenience to a recruitment process. It is an online mode of assessment, and the right candidates can be filtered, reducing unwanted interviews. The time consumed in hiring candidates is saved as the personality test results can be achieved in real-time.

Eliminates Bias:

It removes the chances of unconscious bias in selecting the candidates for the job role. The recruiters make fair decisions by considering applicants based on the required 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.

Gain Deep Insight Into A Candidate’s Potential:

A personality test helps recruiters gain deeper insight into how the candidates might fit into a company work culture and perform in specific job scenarios. The interviewer has limited time to review candidates in a face-to-face interview or while going through a CV. ‘The Big Five Personality Factor’ model is a popular personality assessment tool that helps recruiters find the best fit for the organization. The five derivatives of the model- Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion/Introversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism (OCEAN) aids employers in aligning the best team with the required personality characteristics. Personality-filtered candidates contribute to the company’s success and growth.

Spot The Dark Personality Traits:

Employers can detect dark personality traits such as Opportunism, Self-Obsession, Insensitivity, Temperamental, Impulsiveness, and Thrill-Seeking from the personality assessment 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’s study one of the case studies on cab services where Mettl’s 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 high 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.

Cost-Effective:

The personality tests are cost-effective and can be implemented easily. A reliable personality test can provide information about a person within hours, what an organization may take several months to ascertain. These assessments reduce or diminish your chances of bad hires, providing a good ROI. While a good cultural-fit candidate is an asset to an organization, a bad hire can be costly and impact other employees’ productivity and morale.

 

Disadvantages of Personality Tests


The world of
personality assessments is crowded with tests and questionnaires, most of which are not valid. An organization must ensure it has trained professionals, able to distinguish between authentic and incompetent tests. Some of the problems with personality tests are listed down:

Unreliable Personality Tools In The Market:

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 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.

Job-specific Results:

The results obtained from the personality test does not validate a good or bad personality. The assessment evaluates the personality traits required for the job role. A candidate with a pleasing personality and fluent communication skills will be the best pick for customer-facing job roles such as customer executive, receptionist, hotel manager, personality groomer. However, a candidate with the knack for writing engaging content and story-telling may be an excellent choice for a content writer’s role. This is how a recruiter streamlines the hiring process and shortlists candidates accordingly.

Bad Quality Content:

The questions included in the personality test are likely to be substandard as the content researchers hired by companies to design personality test questionnaires may not have the requisite knowledge and training to formulate authentic questions. These 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.

Misleading Responses:

Standard personality assessment is readily available, and the candidates in need of the job may mark options in the test suitable for the required job role rather than exhibiting their personalities. They can tweak their responses to score good results desired by the organization, misleading recruiters from making rational decisions. Hence, companies must ask candidates to answer questions honestly and judiciously. A manipulative personality test can land candidates in the wrong job positions.

Nervous Candidates:

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 candidate should review the advantages and disadvantages of taking a personality test to derive the maximum value and best results. You can employ Mettl’s Personality Tools to map the required job role using Mettl’s Competency Framework to address the challenges of cultural and language barriers in personality tests. It is built to allow users to customize their configuration and scoring to fit their specific needs and provide reports designed to facilitate organizational decision-makers’ hiring decisions. 

Hence, these are some of the advantages and disadvantages of personality tests. Talent acquisition experts and individuals can read them carefully before opting for personality tests to screen candidates closely or understanding them better.

 


Importance Of Personality Tests In The Workplace

Let’s understand the importance of a personality test in the workplace in detail:

 

  • A pre-employment personality test helps build a cohesive team as recruiters can identify personalities that can fit into the team perfectly and perform work effectively.
  • A personality test helps recruiters identify cultural and role-fit candidates that can adapt to the work environment easily and follow the company’s code of conduct judiciously.
  • It helps recruiters identify candidates that have dark personality traits such as temperament, impulsiveness, insensitivity, self-obsessed that can hamper the work culture and employee safety.

 


Uses of Personality Test

  • Personality assessment enables the recruiter to make effective hiring decisions. It helps them look beyond the candidate’s information on paper, such as education and work experience.The test also provides employers with the essential clues on the candidate’s workplace behavior and the type of questions to ask during the interview.
  • It aids employers in building the best team. Personality tests help team leaders in navigating resources that can contribute to the team effectively and efficiently. Team members who do not match the required personality attributes are not part of the team. The assessments are a reliable predictor of job performance and help employees improve their weak areas.  
  • Personality tests help candidates self-reflect better and improve on their shortcomings if any. Individuals with enhanced self-awareness are able to execute job functions better and adapt to the work environment easily.

 


The Mercer | Mettl Way

While many organizations use different methods to conduct personality assessments, Mercer | Mettl evaluates human personality in four aspects, including positive traits, dark personality traits, cognitive ability, and preferences, motivation and values. Mercer | Mettl offers valid and reliable assessment tools for personality assessments, individually designed to evaluate a candidate’s personality traits. Each personality tool is explained below:

 

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.

 


FAQs

Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:

 

What is the purpose of a personality assessment?


The purpose of a personality assessment are listed below:

  • Personality test helps the hiring managers to assess the suitable fit for the company based on personality assessment results. 
  • It helps recruiters decide which questions to ask when interviewing potential candidates.
  • It helps detect interpersonal characteristics required for specific job roles.

 

What are the advantages of personality inventory?

 

  • It helps people learn about their personality types and attributes.
  • It reveals the candidate’s personality traits such as work preferences, motivation, strengths, and weaknesses and attitudes. 

 

What does the personality test reveal?


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.

 

Why would someone use a personality assessment?


A recruiter uses a personality assessment to gauge useful insights on 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.

 

What are the drawbacks of personality inventory?


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.

 

What is the benefit of a personality test in the psychological assessment?


The benefits of a personality test in the psychological assessment are to gauge a candidate’s personality attributes such as openness to experiences, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, neuroticism and behavioral patterns such as attitudes, motivation, work preferences, adaptability, etc.

 

What are the advantages of personality?


The benefits of a personality are to identify a candidate’s likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, values, intent, interactions, people skills, etc.

 

Why are personality tests bad?


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.

 

What are the advantages of personality test psychology?


Some of the advantages of personality test psychology are understanding candidates better, faster recruitment process, eliminating unconscious bias, cost-effectiveness, spotting dark personality traits, and gaining deep insight into a candidate’s potential.

 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of personality tests in psychology?


Some of the advantages and disadvantages of the personality test in psychology are listed down:

Advantages

  • Personality test enables recruiters to understand candidates better and their fitment in the company culture.
  • It removes the chances of unconscious bias in selecting the candidates for the job role. The recruiters make fair decisions by considering applicants based on the required competencies. A candidate possessing the requisite skill sets is considered the best fit for the job role.

Disadvantages 

  • 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. 
  • The results obtained from the personality test does not validate a good or bad personality. The assessment evaluates the personality traits required for the job role.

Originally published November 3 2020, Updated November 3 2020

Surbhi Sharma

Written by

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.

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