All You Need to Know about Personality Tests for Employment or Development

Personality Assessments


It has become quite common over the last 15 years for employers to use personality tests as part of their recruitment process, and also to improve their training and development of existing employees. There are many things that can be tested by personality tests that are not completely evident in the way a person responds in an interview or while performing their jobs, but assessing particular personality traits can help an employer to choose a candidate that is better suited to a particular role than others. They are even able to identify character traits that may put a person in line for future management development and leadership.

A lot of people feel a little put off when they are faced with personality tests during the recruitment process as they are fearful that their characteristics or personalities may put prospective employers off, but they really need to be seen as tools that support the recruitment or development processes of an employer. In addition to this, you may have a certain perception of a particular job and apply for it, but if you misunderstand what is required and your personality is not suited to that particular position, you may end up being miserable in that position. The employer then also stands a chance of losing unhappy employees, which can cost companies a lot of money.

The recruitment process overall takes a lot of time and resources and finding the correct fit for the position is very important – both for the employer and the applicant. If the employer has a better idea of the communication style, the character, perceptions, characterisations, likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, they are able to find better candidates for particular positions. In addition to this, if they can gauge the leadership potential of an existing or new employee, they can apply the correct forms of development to increase and improve these skills over time. This means that employers are able to cultivate leadership for the future of the company.

Another benefit of personality tests is that they can shorten the recruitment process quite radically and save on travelling costs. With so many people applying for positions nowadays, it is possible to decrease the pool of applicants by starting with online personality testing. This means not only that the employer will almost immediately have an idea of whom to interview, but also that the applicant does not spend unnecessary funds to attend interviews, only to find out that they are not suited to the position. Once a pool of viable candidates is determined via personality tests, the employer can then focus on interviewing only these people, instead of spending time and money on unsuitable applicants.

What Personality Tests Are Not

It is easy to be put off by the word “test”, but it is not so much a test as an assessment of possibilities. The tests are not there to judge applicants and there are no right or wrong answers. There is no pass or fail, just a gauge of certain personality traits to determine a good fit for the job, the company and the team.

When personality tests that are applied within a work environment with existing employees, the test results are usually discussed at length with the test candidate, which can also teach people a lot about themselves and how they work. It is, however, not a magic wand that can be waved to reveal everything about anybody and how they will function across the board in every situation. It is merely an assessment. Because all humans are different and multifaceted, there may be different answers, and some may be more informative than others.

How Are Personality Tests Designed?

There are a number of standard tests that are regularly applied, having stood the test of time and proven themselves to be valuable in the workplace, such as the Myers Briggs Type Inventory Test. Other tests can be specifically developed by experts to gauge certain personality traits and abilities for a particular job or leadership function. It is, however, essential that the correct tests are applied in their correct capacities. Should a custom test be designed for a particular company, it is imperative that the test is designed by an expert in the field.

At FWA Organisational Development, we have worked with personality tests, organisational development, teach coaching and many other aspects of human behaviour in the workplace, and we possess all the skill and expertise to apply personality tests in many different contexts. If you are curious to learn more about our personality tests and how they can help your business to develop existing employees better or choose the right candidate, give us a call today.

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