Testing Talent specialise in providing personality tests primarily for organisations. We do though also provide specialist personality profiles for Career Guidance for students or individuals seeking guidance on a career change. As Chartered Occupational Psychologists we are able to offer assessments of individuals from a wide range of international and reputable test publishers. We pride ourselves on not being ‘tied’ to any one test publisher and in doing so can offer expert advice on appropriate assessments.
Personality tests as they are commonly referred to, (although they are in fact questionnaires), provide employers with an additional insight into potential candidates’ or current employees work behaviours, that they will find difficult to obtain using only the traditional interview. Before using personality tests in recruitment or developing existing employees it is important to understand the type of test and also some of the basics in choosing a test. Essential there are two different types of personality tests – ‘Type’ based and ‘Trait’ based. It is important for organisations wishing to avail of testing to ensure they know which is suitable for their needs and that the test is used in accordance with the test publishers purposes. The following will provides information to consider prior to choosing a test. Please read on.
Type or Trait Personality Tests – Which one to choose?
Most organisations will have heard of Myers Briggs – this is a ‘Type’ profile and essentially means that test-takers are forced to choose between psychological opposites – ‘extroversion and introversion’ or ‘thinking and feeling’. Another popular Type profile is DISC or often referred to as the ‘Colours Test’ is a similar approach, both of which are based on Jungian theory. Whilst they have some merits from a development aspect for example, in team building, improving communications or building better relationships they DO NOT predict how well someone will do in a particular job. With over 20 years experience it is unfortunately fairly common to find ‘Type’ profiles being used in recruitment contexts. This is not their intended purpose nor would we ever recommend that anyone use them for this purpose.
A ‘Trait’ based test allows the organisation to determine the test takers probability of being successful in a job role. Organisations today often wish to know whether or not individuals are Analytical | Sociable | Assertive | Adaptable | Conscientious and so forth. Trait based tests provide this type of information. From a theoretical perspective Trait tests have been designed around the Big 5 Personality Model of Openness | Conscientiousness | Extroversion | Agreeableness | Neuroticism, of the test-taker. Some refinements in the use of language has taken place over many years with different test publishers but essentially they reflect the Big 5 Model. A sixth factor that is currently receiving much research is that of ‘Humility’ particularly in ‘leadership’ contexts. To understand which type of test is suitable for your requirements contact us and we will be happy to assist | Click here to Contact Us | We would also suggest that prior to choosing a personality test organisations seek information on the following:
Are Personality Tests Reliable
It is important for the organisation to check the reliability of the test they wish to use. ‘Reliability’ ensures the accuracy of the test. Some technical issues to think about in relation to ‘Reliability’ is how well do the questions within the assessment correlate with each other – internal consistency? Another important factor relates to ‘test-retest reliability’ – do the scores from the same assessment completed on separate occasions correlate with each other. Is there a ‘parallel form reliability’ – how well does one version of the assessment correlate with another similar version. An assessment cannot be valid unless it is ‘Reliable’.
Are Personality Tests Valid
‘Validity’ ensures that the test is working fairly and measuring what was intended. The single most important question that any organisation should ask – is there criterion-related validity evidence? In other words, how well does the assessment correlate with relevant work performance – the single most important technical property of any assessment. Is the content valid – how does the assessment sample the area of performance and how appropriate is the content. Does the assessment correlate with other similar assessments – is there construct validity? Finally is there face validity – does the assessment seem relevant to the candidates taking the assessment?
Technical Questions on Personality Tests
Other ‘technical’ questions to think about relate to is the assessment ‘fair’ to minority groups? Are there ‘Norm’ groups or benchmarks available for the personality test. Are there case studies of the assessment being used successfully in a similar work context? Personality test are a particularly useful tool in assessing an individual’s motives, talents, preferred work culture and competency potential. When professionally used they provide particularly useful information about the individual. There are many different test publishers on the market. This is increasing with globalization. With hundreds of Personality Tests available it is important to ensure that they have been independently reviewed by reputable trade associations such as in the UK the Psychological Testing Centre – www.psychtesting.org.uk | Another organisation worthy of checking is the Buros Centre for Testing – www.buros.org Testing Talent only use tests that have been independently reviewed.
At this stage of reading this information you are probably becoming somewhat confused. Many people are. With our expert knowledge we are in a position to be able to guide you through the maze of information in a straight forward manner and to advise you on the most suitable products for your needs.
With the misuse of Type Personality Tests in recruitment we are happy to provide a no obligation and independent review of Myers Briggs or DISC please contact us.
Benefits of Personality Tests
With the huge increase in computerisation over the recent past, online testing is now relatively common. This has reduced significantly the cost of using psychometric testing. For most businesses this means that availing of psychometric testing need not be expensive or complicated.
Personality questionnaires therefore can help and benefit employers to:
- understand the motives, preferences, needs and talents of their employees and job applicants
- place individuals in positions best suited to their style and the organisation’s style
- identify areas where individuals might benefit from further development
- Whilst candidates are asked to complete the questionnaire honestly there is always the potential that a candidate will ‘fake’ their responses. To counteract this well designed questionnaires have a number of response checks built in to validate the consistency of responses – referred to as the ‘Social Desirability Scale’.
- Depending on the questionnaire completion times for candidates vary between 10 – 45 minutes.
- Identifying for example high performing sales people can significantly increase profits.
Psychometric testing considers aptitudes and skills. For further information | click here.
Personality Tests | What Testing Talent Offers Organisations
As independent Chartered Occupational Psychologists we offer organisations an in-depth insight into how assessing an individual’s personality can illustrate those ‘hidden’ areas particularly difficult to detect using only the traditional interview. With over 20 years experience we have an excellent insight into the types of personality tests that will identify those individuals most likely to succeed in the workplace. This is particularly important for high profile and important positions for the organisation.
Work Personality Tests
We use a wide range of personality tests to identify those individuals with the ability to engage with clients, customers and colleagues. Dependent on the job requirements we will recommend a product from our range of test publishers to ensure that the report highlights those aspects were the individual has strengths as well as areas they need to develop further. In recruitment contexts where there is likely to be a large number of applicants we offer a range of ‘behavioural profiles’ adopted from personality test research that also provide considerable information on the traits of individuals. This is a cost effective approach yet one which we have used most successfully for many organisations.
Sales Personality Tests
With the development of many new personality tests we offer a wide range of alternatives. One area which has seen considerable growth is in identifying successful ‘Sales’ staff. At Testing Talent we are particularly adept at identifying those individuals with the ‘personality’ to be successful. Our experience tells us that many sales people are excellent at telling new employers how good they are. In many cases we find they are at best ‘average’. In this specialist area we offer a range of personality tests to meet the many needs of organisations. For sample reports and further information on our Sales Personality Tests | Click Here
Emotional Intelligence Personality Tests
Emotional intelligence (EI) is undoubtedly one of the areas that organisations can improve their staff on. Research indicates that it is as important as one’s IQ. Having the ability to really relate to others by understanding your own Emotional Intelligence can really assist in transforming people management skills. Not only that it increases the profits in businesses where people have good emotional intelligence skills.