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[3-Part Series] The Psychology Behind Personality Assessments And Pre-Employment Screening Tools (Part 1) 

[3-Part Series] The Psychology Behind Personality Assessments and Pre-Employment Screening Tools (Part 1) 

As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, more hiring managers are turning to pre-employment assessments as a way of narrowing down suitable candidates.  One recent study suggests that every corporate job opening attracts an average of 250 resumes. 

But what’s the psychology behind these assessments and do they actually help to recruit a high performing employee?  

According to the American Management Association, 70% of hiring managers use pre-employment assessments at some point during the hiring process. 

While many assessments are based on in-depth psychological research, the results are usually just a quick way to demonstrate a specific set of attributes and personality traits. Most pre-employment screening tools and personality tests will not demonstrate a candidate’s fit to a role.

Using Work Style Assessments, which are based on strong psychological research and objective data, you’ll be able to efficiently and accurately find out which candidates are best suited to any given role.  

The psychology behind pre-employment screening tools

Pre-employment screening tools are intended to be a bias-free and standardized way of gathering data on candidates during the hiring process. 

Some pre-employment assessments may be more focused on aptitude, perhaps to measure a person’s problem-solving skills or general intelligence. Other screening tools may focus on competencies like literacy and numeracy. 

These kinds of pre-employment assessments may give you a general overview of a candidate’s capabilities but will not provide you with an insight as to how a candidate will fit a role. 

Most candidates will realize the importance of scoring well and invest time into practicing assessments beforehand. While a potential candidate may be able to score well on the day of the assessment, their success may not translate into performing well on the job.

What can pre-employment screening tools reveal about a potential employee?

Pre-employment screening tools are normally used to identify a candidate’s strengths, weaknesses,  and motivations. Some pre-employment assessments may focus on how candidates might relate to other employees, their leadership skills or how they may adapt their patterns of behavior to collaborate with other team members. Some assessments may be able to identify if a person prefers to work as part of a team or as an individual.

A pre-employment test might be able to highlight a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses while giving a general overview of their approach to work. However, a pre-employment test will not be able to demonstrate to an employer if a candidate is the right fit for a specific role.

What’s the psychology behind personality assessments?

Personality assessments are used to define and objectively interpret a participant’s unique set of personality traits and qualities.

Many of the more well-known assessments, such as the Myers Briggs Test, are based on the research and theories of psychologist Dr. Carl Jung, known for his extensive research into personality.  Working out if a candidate relies on intuition or judgment as well as thoughts or feelings are a few of the traits the Myers Briggs Test seeks to identify. 

While personality tests may give employers a general picture of a participant’s character,

many candidates will find it fairly easy to identify which responses have positive or negative connotations attached to them.

For example, someone applying for a role which requires plenty of teamwork may indicate that they are an extrovert with good communication skills when the reality might not be true. 

Personality assessments often give candidates the impression that there are more or less favorable answers. When assessments like the Myers Briggs Test are only made up of ‘closed responses’, as opposed to open-ended ones, it is easier for candidates to figure out which responses will be most pleasing to the hiring manager.

What can a personality assessment reveal about a candidate?

Employers normally use assessments to understand a candidate’s unique set of characteristics. Personality tests may just measure one or two qualities on a scale, for example how extroverted or introverted a person may be. Other assessments may delve deeper into a candidate’s personality and test more personality attributes, providing a more complete picture.

While personality assessments are designed to reveal a person’s unique characteristics, they will not demonstrate to an employer how a candidate will respond in the workplace or if the potential employee is a good fit for the role. Personality assessments will just give a general overview of a person’s characteristics.

What’s the psychology behind Work Style Assessments? 

Work Style Assessments are grounded in foundational psychology. Our team of organizational psychologists has constructed the deltPRO assessments from scratch to provide accurate and objective data that can be easily utilized in the hiring process.

The Work StyleAssessment is based on the analytical psychology of Dr. Carl Jung, known for founding our modern understanding of personality.

Although the Work Style Assessments are not in any way a personality test, they were created using key elements from different Jungian personality assessments. Using research linked to Dr Jung’s theories, questions were modified to exclusively focus on work style preferences.

Many personality assessments often make individuals feel that there are right and wrong answers. Candidates often answer questions in a way to reflect well on themselves as opposed to offering the most truthful responses. In this way, personality assessments are easy to falsify.

 The Work Style Assessment is designed so that there are no ‘correct’ answers. Work Style Assessment questions were created so that all possible responses are neutral, so candidates feel comfortable answering honestly.

Using a strong psychological background, assessments are 100% focused on work and effectively demonstrate to employers’ a candidate’s Work Style

Work Style Assessments were designed to give hiring managers objective data to prioritize how well candidates match the Work Style that the role requires. 

Data is free from unintended bias meaning that you can continue the screening process confident in the knowledge that it has been objective.

Work Style Assessments are suitable for use in any industry and in any type of role, from entry-level to C-suite.

How do the Work Style Assessments effectively narrow down a pool of candidates?

Using the Position Assessment, you will be able to figure out the Work Style of your ideal employee that will be a good fit for the role. Prior to reaching the interview stage, candidates will complete the Work Style  Assessment.

Taking less than eight minutes to complete, candidates won’t get testing fatigue from the efficient and easy to navigate assessment.

Advanced algorithms will then identify the candidates with the most suitable Work Style for the role. This information will then be sent to you in a detailed Match Report.

Once equipped with a well-informed shortlist, you’ll be able to further screen applicants and continue the hiring process.

Utilizing the Work Style Assessments will result in more successful hires that lead to a more positive and productive workplace. Employing people who are a good fit for the role will save your business time and valuable resources. 

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