Personality assessments are commonplace in today’s recruitment processes, as potential employers look to understand how closely a candidate fits their role and organisation. A high quality personality questionnaire adds real value to a selection process by delivering insight into the work style and preferences of an individual. But with the popularity of these tools comes a variety of myths surrounding their use.
By Ludovic Herbil, Product Solutions Manager, Cubiks France
Cubiks France recently invited clients to a round table event exploring personality questionnaires. Participants enjoyed a lively discussion on the myths and realities surrounding the use of personality assessments.
French insurance provider MGEN has been using Cubiks’ PAPI personality questionnaire for around ten years. Dominique Gilsanz, Human Resources Head at MGEN says that PAPI enables HR to better assess what motivates candidates, as well as making interviews more rigorous. At MGEN, using the personality assessment means recruiters can look beyond an individual’s technical skills, and gain information that helps with onboarding and internal advancement once employees are hired.
Sandrine Ginet, in charge of Management Practices and Assessment at automotive group PSA has also been using PAPI for some time. She says that applying a personality assessment during assessment and development centres and interviews reinforces the exploration of the behavioural skills essential to PSA Group’s strategic positions.
Together with a diverse group of personality questionnaire users, these Cubiks clients helped dispel some of the myths around using these assessments.
Candidates may be tempted to orientate their answers in relation to the position that they’re aiming for. However, a well-designed personality assessment will limit the effect of such behaviour. It is also important to remind candidates that after they take part in the questionnaire, they will experience an interview during which their responses will be validated and explored in more depth.
When the assessment results are discussed with participants during a feedback interview, they offer participants a useful opportunity to look into their strengths and areas for development. These conversations help candidates, as well as employers, identify their sources of motivation at work; insight that is valuable to anyone – whether they are chosen for the role in question or not.
Most personality questionnaires take candidates less than an hour to complete. And for employers, they are generally a huge time saver, as the results allow interviewers to focus more effectively on what’s important for a role when talking to candidates. In turn, this means that a well-informed decision can be made more quickly, as recruiters can easily access all the information they need.
A personality questionnaire is very different to other assessments such as ability tests. There are no good or bad answers, and as such there should be no way to pass or fail. This is why we don’t call it a ‘test’. Rather, it is an inventory of a person’s preferences and motivations in the workplace. The results indicate the extent to which an individual’s profile fits with an organisation, team, or role, but this should always be discussed in an interview to get a better understanding of their level of fit.
It could be argued that this is true. However, the initial cost attached to acquiring an assessment is a strategic investment for any organisation. There are a number of reasons for this; these questionnaires make the assessment process fairer, more objective and more credible. Most importantly, the insight gained from a personality questionnaire enables recruiters to make better hiring choices and thus avoid the significant costs associated with hiring the wrong person.
Ludovic has been working in HR for 8 years. He loves that working to support people’s career development brings a new challenge every day. Ludovic enjoys interacting with a diverse range of clients across sectors and all over the world.