• Why and How to Use a Personality Test to Recruit?

    HR manager shaking hands with candidate - Personality Test for recruiting - Pearson TalentLens

    Personality tests - an important tool in candidate selection and development

    With the development of remote and hybrid working, the behavioural skills of candidates have become very important. Companies are looking for employees with adaptability, those able to demonstrate autonomy and agility - soft skills that are not always easy to assess. This is why recruiters are choosing to use a number of tests, including test of personality. We explore what are the advantages of this type of test for the company and the candidate? How to use it in the recruitment process? 


    What is a Personality Test?

    A personality test is a test whose objective, through a series of questions, is to analyse the personality of an individual. Frequently used as a recruitment test, it more precisely evaluates the dominant traits of a person's character, their behavioural profile in the professional environment, and, sometimes, their motivations and values.


    Pearson TalentLens Personality Tests

    • SOSIE 2nd Generation: reference tool, it gives indications on the person's personality, values, ​​or sources of motivation.

    All our tests are reliable and comply with ethical rules. Each of them meets specific psychometric criteria, guarantees of their reliability: fidelity, validity, discriminating power. These professional tests can be used by psychologists, and human resources professionals; and some require training to be administered. They come in different formats: statements to classify, quiz, questionnaire.


    The Benefits of Using a Personality Test for Recruitment

    In the context of recruitment, the personality test has many advantages, both for the company and for the candidate.

    Objective Interview

    Personality tests allow you to go beyond the written application and discover personality traits that do not appear on the CV, before or after an interview. Through these types of tools, the evaluation of the personality of a candidate is refined. For example, you could check if an aspect of the personality would not be appropriate for the role, or on an area which you have doubts. 

    Another advantage of having a personality test is to eliminate cognitive biases, which makes recruitment more objective. It avoids recruiting based on simple intuition, which can be misleading. Finally, thanks to standardised tests, candidates are evaluated fairly.

    Give All Candidates a Chance

    With the acceleration of digitalization and the appearance of new professions, certain technical skills (hard skills) quickly become obsolete. As a result, behavioural skills are increasingly valued because they contribute to the performance of the company. In fact, it is essential to be able to evaluate them, which, in addition, has several advantages:

    • Inclusion: Used to measure soft skills, the personality test promotes more inclusive recruitment by giving less qualified candidates a chance. In addition, with more or less equal technical skills (hard skills), the candidate whose soft skills are most in line with the profile of the open position is more likely to be selected.
    • Diversity: A personality questionnaire helps to detect different personality types among candidates, which avoids recruiting clones and makes it possible to build harmonious and rich teams with varied profiles. By understanding what type of psychological profile each candidate belongs to, the recruiter can overcome his prejudices and diversify his recruitments by being more inclusive. This diversity is an essential criterion because it is also a source of innovation and performance for the company.

    Ensure Candidate is in Line with Profile & Values

    If the personality test provides information that helps to objectify the job interview, it also helps to identify the personality profiles that best match the position.

    • The ideal profile for the position: The tests help to identify the candidate's personality based on criteria that are difficult to observe in the interview. For example, in jobs in the social sector, empathy is often a prerequisite, which a personality test is able to identify immediately. Similarly, to recruit a salesperson, the test can help you find the right profile for your company: an outgoing personality type, a dynamic personality, with an aptitude for communication, while being able to listen enough to analyse customer needs.
    • Synergistic values: The fact that a candidate theoretically has the necessary skills to fill a position is not enough to recruit him. Indeed, it is necessary to determine his profile and his personality at work, in order to verify that he corresponds to the company culture and that he will be able to integrate well.

    Data-Driven Talent Decisions

    By identifying the profile that best corresponds to the open role, this type of test reduces the risk of recruitment errors, and the cost they imply for the company. If you are looking for a specific personality type, tests before the interview will save time during the candidate screening stage. You can then complete follow the tests with a discussion on the results, particularly focusing on certain dominant traits of the candidate's personality.

    Improve candidate experience

    Taking a personality test also has certain advantages for the individual applying. Indeed, the report allows him to get to know himself better, even to discover character traits that he did not suspect. Sometimes the result is stunning for a candidate, as it can accurately reflect their personality and confirms what the person already knows. Knowing themselves well allows the candidate to work on how to present themselves and, if they join the company, to pay attention to their “weaknesses”.


    How to Integrate it Into Your Recruitment Process?

    Recruiters can use the personality test in two ways:

    • Before the interview: the personality test facilitates the pre-selection of applications since it provides additional information to refine the initial analysis of CVs. This step is particularly recommended for volume recruitments because it saves time. If the test results correspond to the profile sought, the recruiter can rely on the report, during the interview, to deepen the dimensions of the candidate's personality.
    • After the interview: the recruiter uses this type of test to refine his judgment and complete his first impression, to better understand the personality of the candidate and therefore confirm or invalidate the personality elements put forward previously. When the personality test is carried out after the first interview, it is often followed by a second interview during which the recruiter presents the results and uses them to encourage the candidate to develop certain personality traits.

    Inform the Candidate

    Organizations using assessments for recruitment should follow best practice guidelines set out by responsible bodies such as the British Psychological Society. Candidates should be informed of the nature of the test, how their results will be used and who will have access, and how long their results will be retained for. Any tests should also be delivered by an appropriate professional with the relevant training for the test being offered.

    Provide Feedback

    Test results should be kept confidential within the company but passed on to the candidate. In practice, they are generally communicated during a feedback interview and are accompanied by a report containing a personality assessment. A tool for dialogue between the candidate and the recruiter, the personality test also represents an aid to assessment and recruitment. Thus, if the company decides to retain a candidate despite certain weak points regarding the position sought, it can inform future onboarding and coaching plans.


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