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3 Myths About The Power Of Personality Assessments

Venessa Vasilakeris Jul 20, 2017 7:52:00 AM

80% of Fortune 100 companies rely on assessments to select and develop their talent and to build better teams. If you’re thinking about hiring with assessments, then you’re probably already are aware of this – you’ve read the research and you know that assessments add value. But even with the research done on how helpful assessments can be, there’s no shortage of opinions out there on the merits and flaws of assessments. Here are 3 of the biggest myths about using personality assessments that we’ve come across in recent months – and some information about why they’re inaccurate:

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1. Candidates will falsify their responses

It’s natural for candidates to want to present themselves in the best possible light – but any well designed assessment out there has already taken that into consideration. A properly designed assessment will have ways of detecting and preventing this. It’s also important that candidates are invited to take the assessment with adequate instruction. Candidates should understand that there are no “right” or “wrong” answers. It’s a good idea to let candidates know this before they take the assessment, if your assessment tool doesn’t automatically include that information in the instructions they receive.

2. They don’t predict how candidates will perform in a specific role

This is true for some assessments. Certain assessments are designed mainly to provide self-awareness and personal insight. There's certainly an application for such assessments, but if you're planning on hiring with assessments, then those aren’t the tools for you. If you want an assessment that can help you make better hires, you need something job-specific, like McQuaig. Personality assessments specific for on-the-job success go beyond personal development and typically relate back to a job profile that’s been created in the system. This way, when a candidate completes an assessment, you have a comprehensive overview of how they stack up against the job profile, indicating how each candidate may perform in the role they’ve applied for. Use this information to help guide your interview. And remember – assessments should never be used to “screen out” candidates. Instead, they offer valuable information that can be used to conduct more insightful interviews.

3. Interviews are more effective – I’ll know when I meet the right person

This myth is probably less common among HR folks and more common among the rest of us who interview. We have this feeling that we can determine everything we need to know from an interview – by just sitting down and having a chat. It’s a powerful trap that even more seasoned interviewers can fall into; we trust our gut feeling. The problem with this? When we look at how effective this method is objectively, it turns out it’s frighteningly unreliable. It turns out unstructured interviews are just 14% effective at predicting on-the-job success. Personality assessments on their own, in fact, are more successful than an unstructured interview – and if you pair a job-specific assessment with a structured interview, you’ll increase your chance of success a heck of a lot. The results of the assessment will also help you immensely in structuring your interview, which cuts down on prep time, and also ensures you’re asking the right questions.

Assessments are an important part of a robust hiring strategy. If you’re using job-specific assessments, conducting structured behavioural interviews, and doing detailed reference checks, you can bet on your batting average for successful hiring is going to increase dramatically!

Topics: Employee Assessment, Using Assessments

Venessa Vasilakeris

Written by Venessa Vasilakeris

Venessa Vasilakeris is a Senior Solutions Expert working with McQuaig’s Solutions and Implementation team. She works with her clients to create customized recruiting, retention and development strategies using the McQuaig System and helps companies make smarter and more effective hiring decisions, measurably reduce turnover and increase staff productivity.