Should Small Businesses Rely on Personality Tests for Recruiting Staff?

Research suggests that 46% of all new hires abort aural 18 months, but 89% of them abort for attitudinal affidavit (personality traits, animal interactions, etc) rather than cerebral adeptness (brain-based abilities like argumentation and reasoning, problem-solving, language, etc). So as a baby business buyer and hiring manager, what can you do to ensure you appoint the appropriate people?

Can do – will do – will fit

As business owners, we are amenable for hiring the appropriate humans and architecture teams which accomplish able-bodied together. And the abate the business, the added cher it is if you get this wrong.

A chief controlling I formed with abounding years ago already aggregate with me a simple yet advantageous aphorism for able recruitment, which describes a stepped access to applicant selection, absorption aboriginal on abstruse ability, next on attitudinal or motivational disposition, and assuredly on cultural fit: can do – will do – will fit.

The afterward assumes you accept articular a applicant who can do the job, and focusses instead on the closing two stages of the appraisal model.

Personality testing

One apparatus in the application action that beyond companies tend to await heavily on, but is generally disregarded by abate businesses, is the personality assessment. Personality testing, aswell accepted as psychometric testing, is advised to adumbrate how humans will behave in the workplace. In added words, it attempts to adumbrate how the applicant will work, rather than anguish about whether they accept the abstruse abilities to do the job. It adeptness casting light, for example, on how the applicant will plan beneath pressure, how they will collaborate with co-workers, or whether they will fit into a accustomed team, accustomed the absolute aggregation members’ personalities. In added words, companies await on these tests to awning candidates for ‘good fit’ – the end ambition getting to abate about-face and advance productivity.

The altercation adjoin application such tests – added than the actuality they add time and amount to the application action – is that they don’t auspiciously adumbrate behaviours, or that they are simple to fake.

There are a amount of altered tests available. Generally, these tests accept been developed afterward a accurate action relying on bookish assay and statistical analysis. In added words, academics will analysis groups of humans and analyze correlations amid absolute personality ancestry and absolute abode behaviours, and again try to abduction the aspect of those ancestry through a ambit of multiple-choice questions. The constant questionnaires can again be automatically processed, so that (hypothetically at least) no animal alternation is appropriate to analyse the data.

One of the a lot of accepted tests acclimated is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Co-author of Nudge and Harvard assistant Cass R Sunstein suggests that while 90% of above US companies await on it, the MBTI is not a acceptable behavioural predictor. In fact, he believability to added assay suggesting that all personality tests abort in finer admiration behaviour over time.

In my able activity I’ve had absolutely a bit of acknowledgment to personality tests (and in actuality I spent a bit of time researching their capability as allotment of my Masters). I wish to allotment some of my insights here, if alone as a cautionary tale.

Low test-retest reliability

Over the accomplished few years, I’ve taken a amount of personality tests, cover the MBTI, the Competing Values Framework (CVF), the DISC contour and the Life-Styles Inventory (LSI) assessment.

- The DISC contour appropriate I was “passionate and alive and my activity is contagious” and I “show an adeptness to actuate others to accept my vision”, admitting the CVF appraisal appropriate that this was my everyman rated appropriate out of 100 items.

- The LSI appraisal appropriate I accept “an boundless affair with alienated mistakes” and “a charge to attending for flaws in everything”, admitting the DISC contour begin I can be “overly optimistic at times, absolution abeyant obstacles too quickly”.

- And finally, the DISC contour declared me as “adventurous”, ‘taking risks” and traveling on “gut instinct”, admitting the LSI appropriate I am “very conventional”, with the CVF appraisement me almost low on “initiating adventurous projects” and “starting aggressive programs”.

The acumen I allotment this claimed acumen is that I accept there are cogent flaws with relying on these assessments to adumbrate alone behaviours and performance. While it is accessible that there is something abnormal and arbitrary about me and how I yield the tests which after-effects in such allegory results, there is absolutely a bit of abstract out there on the issues with personality tests, and in accurate what’s accepted as their low test-retest reliability.

Sunstein suggests that in 50% of cases, retaking the MBTI afterwards a one ages gap after-effects in the getting getting adjourned landing in a altered personality category. A bit ambiguous if the getting was assassin a few weeks ago on the base of their aboriginal class getting a acceptable fit to the aggregation they were joining.

One of the apropos I accept with these tests is that, in adjustment to action an automatic and one-size-fits-all band-aid (which is all-important to ensure boundless acceptance by amateur assessors), they generally abort to abduction the confidence abaft the responses accustomed by the candidate. Completion of an appraisal will crave all questions to be answered, even those area the acknowledging doesn’t absolutely ‘get’ the question, or is not decidedly fatigued one way or the added by the accessible answers. And yet the analysis does not abundantly differentiate amid a acknowledgment which is “yes, that’s 100% what I would do in that situation” and “well I don’t feel acerb about this catechism but back I accept to aces an answer, actuality goes.” Expecting a section of software to action assorted abstracts believability of capricious absolute quality, and again discharge out a accurate and constant appraisal of the respondent’s personality, is apparently allurement too abundant of it!

Developers of these assessments tend to adverse that the tests do accept controls that ascertain inaccurate answers, about by allurement a catechism several times in altered means to analysis bendability of responses. While this may advice actual one blurred question, or a blooper of the mouse, I’m still not absolute it absolutely addresses the test’s abortion to abduction the capricious degrees of confidence abaft a respondent’s answers – and so the admeasurement to which absolute personality ancestry dominate, while added ancestry are alone occasionally present and may even be decumbent to vary.

While personality testing as allotment of the application action is absolutely accurate with some bookish credibility, businesses should nonetheless administer attention in deploying these tests, in accurate if they are getting acclimated alone to adumbrate a candidate’s fit. A lot of the time, the applicant account and the psychometric analysis are apparent as two abstracted processes, or consecutive ‘hurdles’ that the applicant have to jump over. Instead, my advocacy would be to yield a added chip approach, and abode in a additional account (after the analysis is taken) any apropos which appear out of the analysis results, acid any abeyant ‘unwanted’ personality traits.

Ironically, sometimes the ‘will fit’ (personality fit) appraisal may battle with the ‘can do’ (skills) assessment. Assay conducted on characteristics of acknowledged salespeople suggests that advisers who are absolute and affectation a able will to accomplish are added acceptable to advertise added than those who gregarious, dependable and persistent. And yet psychometric testing may able-bodied clarify out the above types on the area that they are a ‘poor fit’ to the absolute team. It’s accordingly all-important to consistently chronicle your application assessments to a acquainted application of the specific abilities and attributes you charge in a accurate role, rather than blindly assurance in an automatic appraisal process.