How Helpful are Personality Tests in Talent Acquisition?

Foreseeing the future success of a candidate is often a high-stakes game.

A good judgment at the onset of recruitment can mean all the difference between an increase in productivity or retention and wasted recruitment and onboarding dollars.

To predict whether an applicant is likely to thrive in their organization, companies turn to psychological assessment tests in hopes of strengthening the validity and accuracy of their talent acquisition processes.

According to studies, certain types of tests prove useful in gaining valuable insight into a candidate’s ability to solve problems, use reason, and fare in a position.

While these studies disagree when it comes to the extent of accuracy, many experts claim that cognitive ability tests tend to be the most accurate predictor of success compared to other types of pre-employment tests. Cognitive ability tests refer to assessments that measure an applicant’s capacity to mentally comprehend, process, and manipulate information.

Do personality exams, then, prevent bias in recruitment? Do these assessments assist companies in selecting the most viable candidates?

Do the Tests Prove Helpful?

Psychological assessment tests are not an exact science, and they may not deliver accurate results all the time. While these tests are far from foolproof, there are benefits to utilizing personality-based and behavioral assessments:

Confirm your impressions or bring issues to the surface.

It’s not uncommon to encounter polished candidates who come prepared with anecdotes that attest to their ability to thrive in stressful environments. While there may be some truth to these stories, they may not tell the entire story. Perhaps they can meet tight deadlines, but they may also be quick to anger when under pressure. A candidate’s IQ may be off the charts, but they may be lacking in the Emotional Intelligence department. A personality assessment may bring these concerns to the surface or confirm any hunch of negative behavior.

Find a cultural fit.

Spotting a poor cultural fit can be a challenge, especially with screenings done over the phone. The issue becomes trickier when a company defines its culture in clichéd or non-specific terms that make it easy for almost any candidate to make the cut. An assessment test can reveal red flags that may otherwise be unapparent in a conversation.

Some Things to Remember

Again, personality exams are certainly not foolproof. To benefit from personality tests, companies need to supplement the assessment with a structured interview process. All candidates must be asked the same questions to allow interviewers to score candidate responses and draw comparisons across applicants.

Hire the Right People for Your Team

Make the right decisions when it comes to talent acquisition with help from BDeWees Consulting. We are home to a team of senior and associate level consultants who assist your business through guidance and high-level support across all aspects of the HR program, including recruitment and talent management. Our services are especially valuable to businesses that are undergoing organizational changes or exploring growth opportunities.

Contact us to learn more about the services we offer.