The tests I’m talking about are the psychological or personality tests recruiters are using to hire! They’ve been around for decades but as each year passes, personality tests are becoming more accurate, cheaper, and thus, more frequently used by companies.
Why are recruiters turning to the personality test?
The hiring process is a long and tiresome one, and more, it’s costly and not very time efficient. On average, a single job may get up to 150 applications, and if we’re talking about companies like Google and Facebook, that number could rise to at least 400! With over 400 job applications in your hands to fill one job, where does one start?
Though personality tests are only a mere factor in the hiring process (other factors of course include CV, experience, interview performance and recommendations), they allow the hiring manager to make a more informed decision when it comes to adding a new face to the team.
These tests do not only measure the applicant’s skills, but how the applicant would react in certain situations. For example, how does the candidate respond to stress? How do they handle an unpleasant colleague? Is the candidate social? What is most important to them in their life? How do they handle conflict? These questions give the recruiter and company a better understanding of the kind of person they will hire; how will this person fit in with the team, the company goal and importantly, how their presence will affect the current environment.
Are they fair?
In the attempt to be unbiased, many companies who require psychological or personality tests outsource an external company to deliver the exam. This way, there is no discrimination or chance to favour one applicant over another.
Test takers, be honest! Many applicants will try to “cheat” on these tests; answering in a way that they think fits the company or positively answering all questions. But these tests are smart and they’re able to follow patterns and pick up on false answers. They’ll even throw in a trick question to see if the candidate’s paying attention.
Of course, no matter how honest a candidate responds, the tests will never be 100% accurate. Rather than define an applicant, they give the recruiter a deeper knowledge and a well-rounded view of the person they may be hiring.
Many recruiters disagree on the order in which one should hire and where to include the tests. Some believe that the tests should be administered before a CV is even seen to reduce the candidate pool and pick only the most suitable candidates. Others believe that the tests should be given in the middle of the hiring process, getting to personally know the candidate before dismissing their application.
Either way the test is given they never have the last word on hiring. They are simply another tool in order for recruiters to make smarter hiring decisions to avoid high turn-over rates, employee dissatisfaction and character and environmental conflicts in the future.