A Harvard University study found that for every dismissal based on failure to perform, there are two dismissals due to personality and communication problems. With the high costs of employee turnover, it’s no surprise companies are turning to personality and behavioral assessments to help evaluate job candidates, build teams and resolve workplace conflicts.
You don’t get hired for a job because of your skills. You get chosen for an interview because your resume and maybe a prescreening phone call confirm that you have the desired credentials for the job. But every other candidate interviewed will also have those skills.
So the hiring decision almost invariably comes down to personality. Which candidate did the hiring manager like the most? Which one is a better fit with the team and the company culture? That’s who gets hired.
It’s also why people get fired. One of the most common reasons people are let go comes down to personality. Most employment relationships come to an end over some form of personality clash between an employee and a manager or a staff member’s fit with the overall team. That’s because teams evolve.
Staff come and go, people are promoted, new managers are brought in, and organizations are restructured. The job your personality got you hired for could have a completely different vibe six months or a year down the road.
Desired characteristics vary by position. If you’re applying for a sales floor manager job at a furniture store, for example, you would be asked to complete an online assessment gauging your talents, traits, attitudes and behaviors related to assisting and helping clients find their perfect wardrobe or bedside table. Your results would then be bench-marked against profiles and test results of the stores’ best performers to help judge how you would fit into the organization. Once you are hired, this same information helps your employers understand and maximize your talents specific to the role you have and they will continue to work on developing your self-awareness throughout your career to help create an environment that ensures success.
Hundreds of companies use testing to take advantage of existing staff strengths and avoid personality-based conflicts. And though there are a myriad of test instruments to choose from, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) remains the standard-bearer of all personality assessments. According to its publishers, Myers-Briggs is used by roughly nine out of 10 Fortune 100 companies and is administered to more than 2.5 million employees a year.
Developed 60 years ago based on the theories of psychoanalyst Carl Jung, the MBTI endures because it does a great job of improving team relations by pointing out differences between how personality “types” perceive and process information. MBTI is a pre-employment screening service offered by Uphando – contact us to find out more!
What should you do when your boss or prospective employer asks you to take a personality assessment? Experts advise answering the questions truthfully, not the way you think the company wants you to respond. There is often a validity factor built in where many questions are asked solely to determine whether the subject is answering truthfully and consistently.
Even if you do fool the test, you’ll only wind up in a job or assignment that doesn’t fit or will make you — and those around you — miserable. When people feel the need to act unnaturally, they waste energy, experience stress and become unhappy and less productive. People are at their best when they’re doing work that draws on their natural strengths and allows them to be themselves.