Can pre-employment personality testing help you prevent a costly hiring mistake? Sadly, the answer is no according to Bob Cortlett, founding member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the HR Examiner.
In an article, click here, he outlines some reasons why he thinks they are not effective. Below is a summary of his comments:
- Personality tests are useless at predicting future job performance
- There is almost no relationship between scores on a personality test and KSAs (e.g., teamwork, conflict resolution, intelligence, learning ability, analyzing, planning skills, and so forth).
- When you try to predict someone’s job success by looking at their personality traits, you are confusing correlation with causation. You confuse the difference between readily observable traits, and the traits that actually make a difference.
- When there’s a test to fall back on, managers inevitably step back from responsibility and surrender to the test, instead of asking the tougher questions.
- No test will save you from the hard work of developing an intelligent hiring process.
We think that the best predictor of future job performance is to investigate how someone has performed in the past. People will typically not change their behavior. It is important to find out if they have exhibited dangerous behavior in the past, have not performed well for prior employers, and are under the current influence of illegal drugs. I know there may be challenges to these three areas. And, I would be glad to discuss them in more detail. We have seen how these activities have helped clients avoid those who may hurt your associates, clients and your reputation.
Earlier this year we wrote a blog post about the importance of a job description before conducting background investigations. For all the reasons listed there and many more, a job description is a crucial employee management tool. The job description should be a clear presentation of job duties, provide the benchmark for deciding what violations in a person’s background act as a disqualifier for further consideration, and a barometer of job performance. It is the foundation for employee management from pre-hiring to hiring to termination.
Developing a timely and relevant job description is simple, just not easy. We provide our clients and other valuable business associates access to a service called HR360. Take a quick two minute tour of the HR360 web site with this video and then, if you would like a free subscription just write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
So, what do you think about personality tests?