Why we use personality tests at work
research shows that 76% of companies with more than 100 employees rely on assessment tools such as aptitude and personality tests for external recruitment, and this number is expected to increase in the coming years.
Employers may turn to personality tests for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s an efficient way to better understand your employees. You can tap into people’s natural strengths and develop a better understanding of their individual styles and teamwork dynamics.
Personality tests can also give executives an idea of how well a candidate would fit into a specific position or work environment. This is particularly important to us human ventures, as we look closely at personality traits to identify high-EQ founders who will be able to inspire growth in their teams and themselves. We even built one proprietary founder rating tool that we use in our venture studio.
Whether you’re a CEO trying to find the right test for your company or an employee trying to get familiar with it, here’s a quick breakdown of the most commonly used personality tests in the workplace.
While some experts dispute the science behind it, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the world’s most widely used psychological tool. It was created by mother-daughter duo Isabel Myers and Katherine Briggs, who were intrigued Carl Jung’s theories on personality types. MBTI identifies people with one of 16 personality types, determined by their rank along with four different scales.
These scales include:
- Extraversion (E) – Introversion (I): Determines whether someone draws energy from the outer world of people and experiences (extravert) or from the inner world of reflection and thoughts (introvert).
- Perception (S) – Intuition (N): Refers to how people collect information. Sensors tend to look at their immediate surroundings – what they see, feel and hear. Intuitives tend to focus on possibilities and what could be.
- Think (T) – Feel (F): Refines how people make decisions. Thinking people tend to listen to facts and objective logic. Emotional people attach more importance to values and emotions.
- Judging (J) – Perceiving (P): How people approach the outside world. Judgmental individuals prefer to live in a planned and organized way, while perceptive individuals enjoy spontaneity.
The test consists of a series of questions that are answered on a scale from agree to disagree. The results can provide insights into a person’s likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, career preferences, and compatibility.
The Enneagram offers nine different personality types (referred to as Type 1, Type 2, etc.). Although everyone contains some of all nine types, one type serves as the basis. These guys all have their own healthy and unhealthy attributes that come up in times of stress and security. There are two wings for each basic type, also known as the types that sit next to yours. Most people have a dominant wing that adds important, sometimes contrasting, elements to their overall personality.
In addition to the wings, there is also a set of arrows connecting different numbers. These are intended to represent what personality types and traits a person takes on when they are in a state of integration (security) or disintegration (stress).
The Enneagram is designed to help people understand why they behave the way they do based on the core fears and desires that drive each type. Founder Coach and Enneagram Expert Josh Lavine calls it “night vision goggles for your inner world.” While your type doesn’t change, your traits and behaviors often change based on how stressed or secure you’re feeling at any given time. The beauty of the Enneagram is that it’s not only a way to learn more about your inner world, but also a powerful way to quickly understand the motivations of others, making it what Josh calls an “empathy accelerator.”
The big 5
The big 5 is one of the most widely accepted personality tests in the scientific community and is based on the premise that human personality can be measured by five main dimensions, each distinct and independent of the other.
- openness refers to openness to experience. People who score high on openness tend to be more creative, abstract thinkers.
- conscientiousness refers to a person’s goal orientation and persistence. Seniors are more organized and looking for long-term success.
- extraversion ranks a person’s response to the outside world and social stimulation.
- compatibility examines how a person prioritizes their own needs versus the needs of others.
- neuroticism measures a person’s likelihood of reacting negatively to stressful situations.
The difference between The Big 5 and the other ratings is that it is a trait model and not a type model. Scientists see the trait model as a more evidence-based finding, but fans of the Enneagram might argue that traits only tell you how others perceive you on the outside, not what makes you tick on the inside.
The bottom line is that relationships are the foundation of collaboration and success at work, and the key to understanding them starts with understanding yourself.
Businesses can only grow as fast as the teams that lead them. Leaders who support the personal growth of their employees will benefit from better engagement, better performance and better collaboration.
Heather Hartnett is CEO and General Partner at human ventures.
https://www.fastcompany.com/90738776/these-3-personality-tests-still-have-value-in-the-workplace?partner=feedburner&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=feedburner+fastcompany&utm_content=feedburner Why we use personality tests at work