The time has gone when candidates were evaluated on the basis of an only resume, personal interview, and good references. The assessment criteria have flourished by leaps and bounds over the years.
Today, organizations believe in a more scientific and logical approach to assess the personality of a candidate. Personality is broadly described as differences in behavior, emotional patterns, and feelings of a person. Behavioral patterns can be inherited as well as acquired. Personality does not change from one day to another though the changes are limited and small and may occur due to experiences that are life-changing. Personality is carried by a person everywhere. It affects our thinking, behavior, and feelings.
Due to this, we are able to deal with the challenges in our life easier. In short, we can say it is a mirror of what we do and what we see.
Characteristics of Personality:
Here are some of the components of personality that helps us in understanding its psychology:
· Consistency: In different situations, we tend to express our behavior or act in a similar manner which makes personality consistent and organized.
· Expressions: Personality can be influenced by environment, feelings, thoughts, social situations, relationships or an emergency.
· Actions: Our personality determines how we react to people and things in our environment. From our personal preferences to other aspects of our lives, everything is affected by our personality.
History Of Personality Testing:
The history of personality tests dates back to the 18thand 19th century. It originated from the military where they wanted to eradicate candidates with mental and behavioral disorders. The first formal objective personality test began with Woodworth’s Personal Data Sheet (WPDS) in 1919.
It was developed in reply to military requirements where soldiers were vulnerable to nervous breakdowns at the time of World War 1. Many personality tests were developed later on for industrial use where they screened out undesirable candidates.
Human personality is not only limited to psychological measurement. There are two major theories that help us in understanding measuring methods more clearly and analytically.
The Meyers- Briggs Type Indicator is a self-help assessment test that indicates how human beings apprehend and make decisions according to different psychological preferences. It was constructed by two Americans, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myer, based on Carl Jung’s theory. The motive of this inventory is to make Jung’s theory useful and knowledgeable in the life of people. Its emphasis on individuals who share similar characteristics. In order to locate how individuals experience the world Freud made four decisions:
1. Introversion or Extroversion
2. Sensation or Intuition
3. Thinking or Feeling
4. Judging or Perceiving
Truly speaking some people all around the world have criticized this test. According to them, it doesn’t have a scientific base. Another basic reason missing from MBTI is that it is not extensive.
· Trait Theory:
This theory is also known as dispositional theory. Traits are the characteristics of a person. This theory deals with the measurement of traits i.e. the habitual patterns of behavior, thought, and emotion. All these are the constituents of human personality. It is one of the significant Personality Testing Tool used in recruitment, also known as OCEAN theory. Allport identified three main types of traits: Central, Cardinal, and Secondary. Traits can be basically divided into five factors:
1. Extraversion: It is a trait that illustrates how outgoing and social a person is. Such a person is very lively and participates fully in social gatherings.
2. Openness to Experience: It includes the mental depth of a person, his experiences such as appreciation of art, active imagination, preference for variety and aesthetic sensitivity. A person who scores high in openness has a more active thought process and power of tackling the problem by different techniques.
3. Conscientiousness: It reflects the desire of a person to perform the task well and helps in evaluating the leadership qualities that an individual possesses. Such type of person plans a project to last detail in a very accurate manner.
4. Neuroticism: It shows a contrast between the behavior of a nervous and contrast person. Those who are self-confident are optimistic and react in a calm manner under stressed situations while under- confident persons are pessimistic.
5. Agreeableness: It indicates the ability to show compassion and co-operation. This personality trait shows how cordial and friendly a person is at the workplace as such a person can deal with all situations in an efficient manner.
Personality Tests for Employment:
Many companies use personality tests for recruitment. It is a unique way to gain insight into a candidate’s working style and select them on the basis of their skills, values, and personality. Following are some reasons which explain the significance of personality tests in the hiring process:
· Lower costs:
Cost of non- performing candidate is a liability to the organization in terms of both time and money. Through this scientific approach, one can determine the ability of a candidate to fit in accordance with the company’s goals which is profitable in the long run.
· Criteria of Selection:
Well customized personality test improves the chances of selecting the right person for a particular role. It is also a fair assessment that helps to identify whether a candidate is the right fit or not and employers can compare the results of potential employees for a perfect match.
· Screening out the candidates:
These assessments for screening out the candidates effectively improve the selection process. It screens out the unrequired candidates which make it easier for employers to focus only on skillful and promising profiles. Therefore, it is one of the required evaluations through which the likelihood of selecting the right candidate increases.
Personality tests are helpful in gaining confidence and give us a chance to know where we stand in life. These tests are also useful in recruiting people and provide us with an insight into the human psyche. It helps the recruiter in squeezing out the best in an individual which yields a strong network of high performing candidates within the organization. Overall, they are useful for job placement, understanding yourself and social interactions.