Can You Find The Right Employees Through Tests?

Posted on November 22, 2011.

With more candidates looking for jobs than ever, how do you know you have the right person for the job? One way that is getting more use in the workplace is personality and values testing.  There are several things you should think about before you go down that path, however.

First, you really need to know what you are testing for.  Do you have a job description that breaks down the job functions by the specific skills and experience needed?

Do you know the laws in your state and what you can test for and at what part of the hiring process you can do it?

Which tests can be useful for you? When I started researching this, I had personal experience with a few of the more common personality and values-based tests like the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) and the Gallup StrengthsFinder.  I had also been introduced to the Core Values Index (CVI) and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter which is based on the MBTI. Through my research I also came across the California Psychological Inventory (CPI).

While I personally like the StrengthsFinder, I was disappointed to see that there is no way to make that available to prehires, unless you want to hire Gallup as a consultant, and they focus on companies with a thousand or more employees.

I also found out that the MBTI is not recommended as a tool for hiring and in fact, the Myers Briggs organization finds it unethical to use the tool in that way.

So when looking for a hiring aid only two of those from my research, the CVI and the CPI, are the only ones that are commonly used in the hiring process. Both have case studies on the web showing the usefulness of using the tests in the hiring process. Generally companies employ consultants or coaches who can assist with the generation of the job profile you are hiring for, as well as the administration and review of the test results. For some small businesses that may make it cost prohibitive.

Integrating a test into your hiring process requires effort up front to make sure you really know what you are hiring for, and what kind of skills and behaviors a person will need to get the job done. Whether or not you decide to test, you will benefit from developing a specific skill-based job description to help you with your interviewing. 

If anyone has experience with these or other hiring tools, we would love to hear about your experience!