Using Personality Assessments to Optimize the Hiring Process

The vetting process at elite companies like Apple, Facebook, and KPMG is notorious for weird, slightly uncomfortable personal questions and quirky riddles with no direct answer. These assessments are an important part of the hiring process. Everyone applying for jobs at top companies has technical skills. However, personality assessments test the applicant’s disposition and thought process.

Why exactly should HR put so much emphasis on a prospect’s personality during the hiring process?

A personality assessment gives you the inside scoop about a prospective employee. This is the stuff that no one will tell you, least of all the unemployed person sitting in front of you trying to get a job.


Trust, But Verify

People tend to hide their personalities during interviews and put on a front. Everyone is putting their best foot forward to get a job, and people who look great on paper may not fit the role they are applying for. Personality assessments tell HR things that the carefully crafted persona of your prospect may not.

There is always more than one person with the technical expertise suited to your open position. Which of these candidates will fit most snugly within your company culture? Hiring an immensely talented but extremely introverted executive does not work for PR, for example. The personality test can help tell if a person is an introvert faking it at the interview. You can see what it will be like working with this person (without hiring a dud and wasting money on onboarding). Because if your job is worth having, people will fake it at the interview.

Save Time

Thanks to the Internet, you can always reach more candidates than you need for your positions. Who has the time to interview dozens of people? There has to be something outside of technical expertise to weed out the bad prospects. The personality assessment narrows down that field.

You know your company culture but don’t know the person sitting before you. The personality assessment will tell you if a match is without a two-hour interview. These two hours are time that could be spent on the business! Narrow down the pool to your top three or four candidates, and use an assessment to determine the best for your role. If you need a tie-breaker, leave it to a final in-depth interview to determine the ultimate winner.

Lower Your Turnover Rate

Personality assessments can help identify the people with the same long-term goals as your company, reducing turnover and improving continuity within your team.

Ask yourself, “Long term, am I going to be able to get along with this person? Am I going to be happy with how they act and operate?” Beyond personal feelings, these are important questions to answer through your vetting process. Let’s get into why you need to ask these questions below.

Save Money and Improve Your Hiring ROI

Higher turnover rates mean more money is spent on the hiring process. Every new hire, successful or not, requires a lot of investment during the onboarding phase, for training and navigating the company’s learning curve. New employees also need time to navigate office politics. These politics are vital, and you know it. Now is not the time to pretend we live in a purely statistical world. You have to WORK with this person. They have to be a fit, and good fits save money.

If a company makes a mistake with a new hire, these costs are sunk. You lose the overhead, insurance, turnover and unemployment costs. Larger companies may be able to handle the turnover financially, but smaller businesses probably can’t. Even if you can, it’s unnecessary.

Personality assessments are affordable, and a good investment. Weeding out a bad hire for $30 is far better than spending thousands on onboarding, training, and insurance after firing someone.

Reduce Human Error in HR

Even HR is subject to human bias and error in the hiring process. Personality assessments are objective evaluations, so you never have to worry about bias.

Assessments also help to quantify soft skills in prospects. If you ask five HR reps how to process “integrity” or “longevity,” you will get five different answers. The assessment gives you a standard to base opinions on and even attach a monetary figure to.

Assessing Your Existing Employees in Real Time

Employees are not robots! They change – gaining skills and developing good and bad habits over time. Personality assessments help you keep up with these changes, so you can implement needed training programs or make changes in personnel. Say you’re hiring a DPO officer, there’s a list of qualifications they must match, and the personality assessment can help.

Perhaps your new position is meant for one of your current employees. Forget dealing with ads and new people – do you already have the talent in-house? Find out! An assessment can be your tool to verify your home talent.

Assessments Tailored for a Role

Different assessments can be used as evaluations for specific roles. HR may not understand the specifics of IT, but a personality assessment created for an IT specialist comes from an educated perspective. Put simply, an assessment may ask better questions than your HR rep if your HR rep has no experience with IT.

Diversify Your Workforce

Assessments can help you determine cognitive abilities, but only to an extent. There are always language barriers between cultures, and your hiring process may be global. If you determine a potential hire is not a primary English speaker and your test is in English, you may have to disregard the verbal portions of the test.

There are few downsides, if any, to including a personality assessment in your hiring process. Assessments are not a magic bullet, but you gain a greater perspective. If you are focused on your bottom line, this is a way to quantify more of the process, save time and money, and optimize the hiring process into a more efficient one.

For best results, present the test nonchalantly – as if it is a normal part of your process (because it is). And, consider this: If a candidate hesitates to or resists a simple personality assessment, it may be a red flag!

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