Pre-Hire Personality Tests are on the Rise

employment screening, pre-employment, background checkSome employers are requiring employment candidates or new hires to complete personality and ability assessment tests—and the trend seems to be on the rise.

Pre-screening potential employees for their personality traits—along with their credit histories and backgrounds—is gaining popularity, as employers ramp up for hiring in an economy that still requires keeping costs down. Few firms can afford to invest in hiring and training new employees, only to have them not work out. They may want to be sure they’re hiring someone with the particular traits they need, or to avoid those traits that could mean a bad hire.

Hiring the right person with the right personality and abilities reduces turnover and the associated costs, which are estimated to be up to one year’s salary for certain professional positions.

Some employers wait until they’ve hired an employee to conduct the test, so they can match them to the tasks they’re well suited for. Others use them to screen candidates before hiring. They don’t move forward with the interviewing process unless an applicant has achieved a minimum test score.

Personality and ability tests benefit employees, too. They can reveal strengths, weaknesses and preferences they might not have known they had. For example, an applicant who is not well suited to customer service tasks likely fail in that position. Or a new employee may discover that they do their job better when they have sufficient planning time. Making that part of their workday can help them succeed.

Personality and ability assessments can improve how employees work together, as well. Sharing results, such as “Bill is communicator,” “Jane is a problem solver,” or “Michelle is a planner” can help everyone adjust their work style make things work more smoothly.

When hiring new employees, be sure to conduct proper background screening. The best pre-employment screening process includes employee background checks, employee credit checks, and criminal background checks. You’ll know you’re hiring safe when you screen employees before offering a position.


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