When considering using any personality assessment as a decision-making tool in hiring, managers need to step back and ask themselves one basic question before giving it to a potential employee: Is this test predictive of future job performance?
In the case of the most common assessment, 4-Qs, the answer is probably not. A 4-Q assessment is one where the results classify you as some combination of four different options labeled as letters, numbers, colors, animals, etc.
These tests tend to be highly transparent, enabling a test taker to manipulate the results in a way that they feel will be viewed favorably by the administrator. Also, since they are designed to measure “states” as opposed to “traits”, there is a significant chance that the results will change over time as the individual’s context changes.
This begs the question: How can an individual’s assessment results be used to predict future job performance? The strongest personality assessments to use in a hiring context are ones that: - Measure stable traits that will not tend to change once the candidate has been on the job. - Are normative in nature, which allows you to compare one candidate’s scores against another’s to determine which individual possess more (or less) of a particular trait. - Have a “candidness” scale so you understand how likely it is that the results accurately portray the test-taker. - Have high reliability and have been shown to be valid predictors of job performance. Even when using a tool that meets the criteria outlined above, personality tests are most effective when combined with other measures with higher predictive validity, such as integrity or cognitive ability.