There are basically two types of people in this world: people think there are two types of people in this world, and others who don’t.
Isabel Myers and Katharine, the investors of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), were the former. They created the most popular personality test to date, with around 2 million people taking it each year. It divides every individual into one of the 16 personality types outlined by the inventors.
It is used to assess students, partners, soldiers, employees, and even partners. Even universities and Fortune 500 companies use them. The MBTI test has become so popular that it shines a light on the increasing use of free personality tests on potential employees.
For example, in 2015, Amtrak required that thousands of applicants for jobs take their cultural fit assessment test online, which is used to measure personality traits. They wanted to test the potential candidates based on customer awareness, safety consciousness, collaboration ability, and integrity. They wanted individuals that were the “right fit” for their workforce. Work personality tests are becoming increasingly common during the hiring process.
The Emergence of Personality Tests
Experts have found that around 60% of workers take workplace assessments via such tests. This has turned into a $500 million industry that has grown by 10% in the past few years. 22% of employers use it to test job applicants while others use them for career development decisions.
The thing is, there are thousands of free personality tests available, but not all of them are as reputable as the MTBI. Some can even result in legal trouble for employers since they may discriminate based on mental illnesses, lived experiences, race, gender, and more. HR professionals need to make sure that the work personality tests they are using are right for the company and are a reliable assessment method.
Companies need to make sure that they aren’t only relying on personality tests to make their decision and use a holistic approach when it comes to hiring. Free personality tests are just one variable among many that helps make a hiring decision. You also need to look at a potential employee’s education, experience, conduct, and references.
How Are Personality Tests Useful?
Work personality tests can be quite useful in evaluating recent graduates too. They don’t have a lot of work experience to look at, so it can really help HR departments narrow down the traits they are looking for.
What Do the Critics Say?
Critics of work personality tests maintain that organizations may be losing out on great individuals if they begin to reject candidates for not having ‘optimum’ personalities. If you only hire individuals based on the test, you may lose out on creativity, inclusivity, diversity, and a unique point of view.
While free personality tests can be a great way to learn a little more about yourself, they aren’t reliable enough to base every major decision on. Companies need to use work personality tests as just one part of the assessment process.