If you are applying for jobs, or if you are a member of the human resources team at a company, then you have likely at some point encountered a career personality assessment. Of all of the career assessment tools used by businesses to aide them in their hiring decisions, personality assessments are perhaps the most popular. The main reason is that this type of assessment provides companies with invaluable information about job candidates which can increase their chances of hiring the right person for the job.
What is a career personality assessment?
A career personality assessment is a tool (usually a questionnaire or survey) that provides information about a person’s personality traits, including their preferences, their motivations, and their communication style.
Career personality assessments come in a variety of formats. Some ask candidates to rate themselves on various scales (such as introversion versus extraversion), some ask them to answer questions about their preferences, and some ask them to select from a list the adjectives that best describe them as individuals. Most often, these tests are based on uncovering an individual’s personality type, and the results are thought to be good predictors of how well an individual will fit in with a particular company and succeed at a particular job. For example, someone who is an introvert may not fare well in a position that requires a lot of networking and social interaction, while someone who is an extravert might be miserable working alone.
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What are the benefits of using a career personality assessment?
The main benefit, for individuals and companies alike, is the ability to better match people to their ideal jobs. This increases the chances that the individuals will succeed and be happy in their positions, as well as the chances that they will stay in those positions, thus freeing the company from having to hire again soon.
But the benefits don’t stop there. The results of personality tests can also help managers deal more effectively with their staff and communicate with people in the way that is likely to be most effective. They can also be used to predict whether individuals will engage in undesirable job behaviors (like theft), and whether they are likely to be reliable and trustworthy in positions of responsibility and power.
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Are there any disadvantages to using career personality assessments?
There are a few potential risks. The largest one is legality—although it is perfectly legal for employers to use personality tests in most cases, there may be risks if the assessments are used in any way that is discriminatory or that infringes on a person’s privacy or civil rights. If you are a hiring manager who will be administering or otherwise using career personality assessments, make sure you know the laws governing this practice.
Another risk (and it really isn’t as much a risk as just something to be aware of) is that the results may change over time. While personality doesn’t usually change overnight, it also is not set in stone, so companies should avoid making too many assumptions based on the results of the tests.
Finally, there are many different theories about personality types. Before using a specific career personality assessment to make any hiring decisions, hiring managers should be well informed about exactly what those assessments were intended to measure and how valid that measurement is.
Overall, the benefits significantly outweigh the risks, which is why career personality assessments are so widely used. If you are a job seeker, research the major career personality assessment to learn more about what your results say about you. If you are a human resources professional, explore how career personality assessments can help you make better hiring decisions for your company.
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