Using Personality Assessments in the Selection Process

Some recent statistics in an Inc magazine article claim that 1 in 10 applicants admit that they lie on their resumes.  In a separate study, 50% of recruiters  verified that they find significant discrepancies on resumes they have received.  I was a bit shocked by those statistics, so I did a little search on the web to see what else I could find out.  In the first page of my search, I found “10 Ways to Lie Legally on Your Resume”, and a claim that over “50% of people lie on their resumes” in another source.  This is probably the reason why many companies are seeking out additional tools, like personality assessments, to find out more reliable information about candidates.

Also, reported in additional sources is that over 33% of companies are currently buying testing services from about 2200 test providers.  There is a broad range of test types and a variety of factors that can be measured with these types of tools.  Your results will be only as good as the provider and the testing product you decide to use.  Some general guidelines to consider in using assessment during the selection process:

  1. Use only assessments that are non-discriminatory, valid and reliable for selection purposes.  Some tests should be used only for development or team building.  These include styles inventories, which bucket people within particular preferences, like the MBTI, or which assign person’s preferences to color groups, or measure styles or types.  These types of inventories should not be used during the selection process.
  2. Every individual who reaches a particular stage within the selection process should be given the assessment tool.  Place the assessment further along within the process to ensure that sufficient other information has been gathered which can be used IN ADDITION to the assessment results for decision making.  No more than 20% of the hiring decision should be made based solely on the assessment results.  Too much reliance on test results by hiring managers should be avoided.
  3. Develop selection standards within your own environment using the assessment tool and a sufficient population (at least 60 people) to produce valid criteria.  Do not simply test high performers.  This is a very unprofessional practice sometimes recommended by test providers.
  4. Use a structured interview process in conjunction with assessment to investigate the individual’s prior experiences and successes on the job.  Prior success is the best predictor of future success.
  5. Have the candidate interviewed by more than one person and use the assessment results to guide the interview during the process.  The assessment is a tool which provides reliable information about the candidate in order to investigate the individual’s true potentials.  It should not be used as a pass fail step in the process.
  6. Discuss each candidate’s merits after the interviews and assessment process is complete to ensure that balanced decision making occurs when selecting finalists.
  7. Don’t advise remaining candidates until the recommended candidate is on the job.  Many times, good candidates may have several offers and will accept these offers, only to continue to search for their ideal position before actually beginning work. Get a signed employment contract if at all possible when the candidate accepts the position.

If you follow these steps as you incorporate assessments in your selection process, you will be able to significantly enhance the quality of your new hires.  For more information about ECI’s selection process and the ECI Behavioral Insight, give us a call or visit our website.