Personality assessments and recruitment: friend or foe?

Craig Fields | with 0 Comments

Personality assessments and recruitment: friend or foe?

The other day I was reviewing an article titled, “CEO or Project Engineer: Value of Behavioral Assessments.” In the article, Carol Metzner argues that, when used accurately and appropriately, behavioral and personality assessments can be valuable interview tools. While reading, I thought about the many different assessments I’ve taken over the course of my relatively brief career. I can remember some of them vividly.
I remember sitting in a room to complete an assessment that seemed to take forever. As the day wore on and the walls began to look more and more like white padding, I struggled to keep my focus on the task at hand.  I remember looking at page after page full of shapes and figures, trying to decipher the pattern they followed from diagram to diagram.
By the time I had completed the assessment, my mind was a blur. I never actually questioned why I had to take these assessments, but I definitely wondered how analyzing shapes and patterns could determine how successful I’d be in a human resource role.
Looking back, I now understand the importance of these personality assessments. In today’s job market, where talent is plentiful, Human Resources professionals are judging applicants more and more based on their alignment with an organization’s corporate values and beliefs. I’ve heard time after time to “hire for attitude.” Now, after almost 15 years in human resources, I really do think that hiring someone based on their personal values and goals rather than their skillsets and knowledge has a greater influence on that individual’s success and how he/she impacts the organization as a whole.
Behavior assessments can play a strong role in identifying how an individual will fit into an organization. Sure, it’s impossible to use a standardized set of questions to fully gauge how someone will fit into the role, your team, or your organization, but it’s a good start. Successfully integration reaches well beyond assessments and interviews – it’s up to the organization to make new team members feel immediately welcomed and appreciated, and to help them understand and embrace their function as part of the larger whole. Screening and interviewing can certainly help determine best fit, but it’s the steps that follow that truly determine a new employee’s success within an organization.
After reading Metzner’s article, I’m inspired to increase our utilization of behavioral assessments at MSA. Currently, we rely on HR professionals and future supervisors to ask the right questions to make sure the person sitting across the table will be the best addition to their team and our organization. What do you think? Are behavioral assessments the right move? 

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