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The Advantages and Disadvantages Of A Personality Test

Talent Assessment | 8 Min Read

The advantages and disadvantages of personality tests

Introduction

In recent years, organizations have increasingly embraced advanced tools such as personality tests to enhance their hiring decisions and build top-performing teams. Personality tests offer a multitude of benefits, providing recruiters with valuable insights into an individual’s personality traits, motivations, values, and work preferences pertaining to a specific job role. This ensures that candidates are not just suitable for the position but are an ideal fit.

Selecting the right fit for the job has become incredibly important in today’s landscape, and the advantages of using personality tests in the hiring process are manifold. Not only do they prove to be a

highly effective way to filter candidates at the initial screening stage, but the same information can also be leveraged throughout employees’ career trajectories.

 


Advantages and disadvantages of personality tests for employment

 

Advantages of personality assessments

 

Here is a look at various advantages of personality tests for employment

 

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Provides insights about critical traits

Objective personality assessments help employers identify the required personality traits of potential candidates. They enable recruiters to efficiently sift through a pool of applicants, selecting those who possess the specific personality traits required for a particular job role. For example, consider the scenario where recruiters are actively seeking a business analyst. In this case, recruiters will prioritize personality traits such as analytical thinking, inquisitiveness, rapid problem-solving abilities, determination, strong verbal communication skills, empathy, and the capacity to maintain composure under pressure. Talent acquisition experts can leverage the advantages of these personality tests to streamline the hiring process and recruit better.

Expedites the recruitment process

Personality assessments lend speed and convenience to a recruitment process. The time consumed in hiring candidates is saved as the personality test results can be achieved in near real-time. These tests can be administered online, and suitable candidates can seamlessly proceed to the next round, reducing unwanted interviews.

Eliminates bias

A key advantage of using personality tests is the significant decrease in the chances of unconscious bias when selecting candidates for the job role. Recruiters can make fair decisions by considering applicants based on their scores in the required personality competencies. The personality assessment evaluates candidates on various parameters and provides transparent results to assess them on the same scale for recruitment.

Helps identify dark personality traits

Employers can detect dark personality traits, such as opportunism, self-obsession, insensitivity, temperament, and impulsiveness, from the personality test and make recruitment decisions accordingly.

Is cost-effective

Personality tests are cost-effective and can be implemented quickly. A reliable personality assessment provides information about an applicant within hours and reduces or diminishes the chances of bad hires, providing a good return on investment (ROI). A bad hire is not just a costly investment but can also significantly hamper the productivity and morale of other employees.

Helps assess future potential

A personality test helps HRs gain deeper insight into how employees can be developed for future roles by highlighting their personality traits. For instance, if an individual shows high levels of presence of mind, critical thinking abilities, and stress-managing skills. They can be put in a strategic leadership role.

 

Disadvantages of personality assessments

 

The world of personality assessment is crowded with tests and questionnaires, most of which fail to assess candidates properly. An organization must ensure its personality assessments are sourced from a company that provides authentic and competent tests. Some of the problems with personality tests are listed below:

 

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A dearth of quality assessments

Several personality assessments on the marketplace claim effective test results. However, such assertions may not be true. 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 popular personality tools, such as Mercer | Mettl’s Personality Inventory (MPI) and Mercer | Mettl’s Personality Profiler (MPP), 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.

The need for organization-specific customization

Many tests may feature similar personality traits, but every job requires different personality traits in candidates. Therefore, a personality test must be flexible enough to maintain 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 vital 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 it requires its employees to have, and thus, personality tests for hiring need to be customized accordingly.

Substandard quality of the assessment

Many personality tests do not meet the desired quality, resulting in unclear questions. Ultimately, that affects the reliability of results attained. Personality assessments require experienced content researchers to frame reliable personality tests. Hence, companies must select the right organization with the needed resources for assessment creation.

Chances of misleading responses

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. Organizations must choose a personality test that considers this and works around it.

Pressure on the candidate

Many job seekers do not 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 overlook certain factors, such as the cultural background or the language barrier, leading to the loss of valuable talent.

For instance, Mercer | Mettl’s Personality Profiler Test can be used to map the prescribed competency framework to the role in consideration while addressing the challenges of cultural and language barriers in personality tests. The test allows organizations to customize the configuration and scoring to fit their specific needs and provide reports designed to facilitate data-backed talent decisions.

 


Importance of personality tests

Personality tests are a vital tool for making informed decisions when it comes to hiring and employee development decisions. These assessments provide a structured framework that gives a glimpse of into the candidate’s psyche.

Here are some reasons why personality tests are important:

  • A personality assessment administered during screening helps recruiters find candidates who can fit into the team perfectly and perform work effectively.
  • A personality test helps recruiters identify cultural and role-fit candidates who can adapt to the work environment easily and follow the company’s code of conduct judiciously.
  • Personality assessments also help recruiters recognize candidates with dark personality traits, such as temperament, impulsiveness, insensitivity and self-obsession.
  • Personality assessments are essential from the perspective of high-potential identification, leadership development, promotions, etc.

 


How Mercer | Mettl can help

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.

 

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Some popular personality tests on offer by Mercer | Mettl are:

 


Conclusion

While personality tests may have some disadvantages, the benefits outweigh them. As discussed, personality assessments can be used to gauge employee agility, their preferred mode of learning, 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, and leadership development.

 


FAQs

Why do employers use personality tests for employment?

What is the purpose of a personality assessment?

What are the advantages of personality inventory?

What does a personality test reveal?

Why would someone use a personality assessment?

What are the drawbacks of personality inventory?

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

Originally published November 3 2020, Updated September 24 2023

Written by

Vaishali has been working as a content creator at Mercer | Mettl since 2022. Her deep understanding and hands-on experience in curating content for education and B2B companies help her find innovative solutions for key business content requirements. She uses her expertise, creative writing style, and industry knowledge to improve brand communications.

About This Topic

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.

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