When hiring, does a psychometric or personality test matter?

As the latest personality test, the Enneagram, circulates just like the Myers Briggs did years before, the question surfaces for hiring: should a personality or psychometric test matter? These business executives and managers share their experiences with these tests and why they believe the test should or shouldn’t matter below.
Brendan Brown

Brendan Brown

Founder of .

No, They Oversimplify Individuals And Can’t Capture Complex Nuances For Good Fits

I understand the foundation of the emerging trend – using psychometric tests in the hiring process. I mean, who doesn’t want to use all the resources to find the right fit for their teams? But I’ve learned through firsthand experience that they may not be the key to successful hiring.

Let me explain why.

I’ve attended several psychological courses to refine my leadership skills; therefore, I know a thing or two about ways to succeed in the hiring process.

I founded my company in 2012, and back then, I used psychometric or personality tests in the process of hiring. I used the MBTI and some other tests that aimed to assess intelligence, skills, and personality traits. Yet, over time, I discovered that relying solely on these tests did not lead to the outcomes I desired.

These tests indeed provided some insights into an applicant’s character. However, they could never capture the complex nuances that make up a successful employee. Personality tests tend to oversimplify individuals and place them into rigid categories, neglecting the dynamic nature of human behavior.

What were the main challenges?

First, I encountered candidates who seemed to have cracked the code. They had become adept at navigating these tests, understanding how to present themselves in a way that aligned with what they believed the company was seeking.

Secondly, I observed that some candidates became overly stressed during the testing phase. The timed questions and perceived significance of the tests created an artificial pressure that didn’t necessarily correspond to the actual demands of the job.

That’s what made me recognize the need for a more holistic approach to hiring. While psychometric and personality tests provide some valuable insights, they should not be the sole basis for decision-making. Now, I believe that fostering an inclusive and diverse hiring process, where candidates are given opportunities to showcase their talents beyond test scores, can lead to more innovative and well-rounded teams.

These Tests Can Be Useful, But Shouldn’t Be The Only Factor

Psychometric and personality tests can be a useful tool when hiring an applicant, as they can provide insight into the applicant’s aptitude, skills, and personality. However, they should not be the sole factor when making a hiring decision. It is important to remember that psychometric and personality tests are not a perfect science and can be subject to bias. Therefore, it is important to consider other factors, such as the applicant’s experience, qualifications, and references.

In addition to psychometric and personality tests, employers should also consider the applicant’s soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving. These skills are often difficult to assess through psychometric and personality tests and can be better evaluated through interviews and other methods.

Overall, psychometric and personality tests can be a useful tool when hiring an applicant, but should not be the only factor considered. It is important to consider the applicant’s experience, qualifications, references, and soft skills in order to make an informed hiring decision.

Billy Parker

Billy Parker

Director of .
Genevieve McMullen

Genevieve McMullen

People, Culture & Operations Manager at .

No, Employers Will Miss Great Applicants

No, psychometric or personality tests should not matter when hiring an applicant, and employers are going to miss out on a lot of great applications if they put this into practice.

While these tests are great for getting to know your preferred working style and preferences on a personal level, they should be taken with a grain of salt. There are so many factors that come into play to make them unreliable during hiring.

For example:

    ● How you felt on the day you took the test
    ● Life circumstances in and around the taking of the test
    ● Level of confidence and experience during the test

It’s also relatively easy for a candidate to choose results that match the job description or the company and will likely throw more doubts into the mix than positive outcomes.

Yes, Tests Provide Unique And Effective Perceptions Of People

In my opinion, a psychometric or personality test matters a lot when hiring an applicant. Those types of tests simply provide a unique and effective perception of a person. The information one gets from psychometric or personality tests is not available anywhere else. There are no other ways to attain that information about a person. They are becoming more and more common, and I believe they are very important in the process of hiring an applicant.

Mirna Vuksan

Mirna Vuksan

Head of Marketing at .

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