How do you choose the right personality test?
Reading Time of Article: 7 min
The internet is full of psychometric tests and especially personality tests. So how do you choose the right one from this plethora of tools? Personality tests are commonly used in France: one in every two executives sat tests when they were last recruited, and for one in every four recruitment processes, the test was a personality inventory, according to an APEC survey (2013 Executive Sourcing survey carried out in 2012/2013).
The Fundamentals of Professional Tests
A personality inventory should measure certain criteria scientifically and produce similar results for the same person over time. The first aspects to consider is reliability. We therefore recommend using a tool based on research. You are entitled as part of this to know what theories the results are based on. Don’t be afraid to ask the publisher of the test for evidence of scientific validity and for an update of their validity research.
Companies’ Major Objectives
A personality inventory is a tool supporting strategic targets. Therefore, you need to define your requirements in terms of assessing needs. Will the personality test be used in recruitment or in internal mobility processes? What is your target population? What is the volume? Who is likely to use the test (HR team, operational managers, senior management, etc.). In terms of budget, we recommend making a significant financial investment taking into account training, implementation, etc. Watch out for extra costs, however, based on the volume of tests administered, the language used or the type of assessment you wish to use. Be aware about allowing time for certification. A professional test requires training of one to three days to ensure you understand how to administer it and give accurate feedback to the candidates. Remember that a test will also give an organisation a common vocabulary. Managers can also be certified. Autonomy with regard to using the platform can also be a key factor. It’s easier to be able to administer tests and view the results if you’re not dependent on a supplier. Some platforms go as far as offering white label accounts so you can insert your own logo and colours. Also from a technical point of view, employer and candidate accounts are generally configured by your supplier to authorise or limit access to certain features.
The Applicant’s Experience
On the technical side, the user experience should also be taken into account. The more user-friendly and intuitive the platform is for candidates, the easier it will be for anyone to take the test. You could even take the test yourself to assess its relevance, but also the time it takes to sit (10 to 90 minutes depending on the personality inventory chosen). Finally, candidates must be able to understand the results! The Aubry Act in 1992 made it mandatory for recruiters to tell candidates what kind of test they are sitting. However, candidates can opt not to sit a test. For the record, candidates can access any information held on them (CNIL requirements). They can also ask for feedback or for their results to be destroyed.
Best-Known Personality Inventories
The most common tests are the PAPI (Personality and Preference Inventory) and the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator), as they are used at an international scope. Remember that the MBTI is designed to provide guidance and does not suit recruiting process. The DISC profile from Success Insights is also used extensively. The team approach of TMS (Team Management Systems) looks at the complementary skills of employee profiles obtained with DISC. Watch out for newcomers to the field who appear to be using targeted marketing strategies. Remember that a test is above all a tool supporting communication. A personality is always complex, results cannot bring enough information in order.
 APEC is the French Association for Executives’ employment
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