“When you meet somebody for the first time, you’re not meeting them. You’re meeting their representative.” – Chris Rock
Businesses struggle every day to hire and retain top talent. Making professional matches is as much an art as it is a science, and even the strongest minds in HR, recruiting, and management must sometimes learn from mistakes.
In their quest to find the best candidates, many top companies use a variety of personality and integrity tests to screen applicants during their interview processes. There’s an ongoing debate around this practice, with strong arguments and research supporting either side. Should you consider implementing this sort of testing for potential new hires, it’s important to know the pros and cons.
– You’re in good company. According to a recent survey, more than 40% of Fortune 100 companies use some form of personality testing as part of their recruiting and onboarding procedures.
– It can get results. Studies have shown that retail businesses who used integrity testing in hiring reported a 50% reduction in inventory loss. Long-term results for some other forms of testing are less clear, but anything that weeds out clearly unqualified applicants obviously saves time for HR, and money for the company.
– It can eliminate biases. Individual interviewers may be biased toward candidates they personally like, or, worse, make decisions based on unconscious cultural biases. By establishing measurements that are more objective, at least theoretically, testing can correct for this tendency.
– It can be fun. Startups such as Knack offer gamified versions of some employment-related tests, which can infuse a spirit of play into your hiring process. Some companies also test current employees after they’re hired, which can be a part of an employer-employee feedback loop that improves conditions at work.
-It’s a good communication tool. Learning more about ourselves and our colleagues is a great step towards better communication and connection.
– Tests themselves can be biased. Tests reflect the values and biases of their creators. Interpreting results requires training and judgment. Placing value on certain personality traits will always be controversial. Proceed with caution, research, and awareness.
– Potential new hires can “game” the tests. The main thing a test measures is how adept the subject is at taking the test. People who are determined to get hired, despite any reasons why they shouldn’t, can find ways to manipulate their results.
–Testing can entrench a fixed mindset. “Growth mindset” refers to the attitude that perceived weaknesses present opportunities for improvement. According psychology professor Art Markman, there is a significant risk in testing if it carries the message that skills and characteristics are innate or that people are fixed entities, hardwired from birth for success or failure. Employees deserve the chance to improve over time through their own initiative, which is easier if they don’t think of themselves as fixed data points on a scale.
With decades of experience as creative recruiters, we know hiring is easier when you don’t have to do it alone. Contact Artisan Creative today and leverage our expertise to make your next great match!
We hope you’ve enjoyed the 481st issue of our a.blog.