Move Over Skills Testing! Personality profiling is here to stay

By Team Hireology,
May 6, 2013

Statistics show that 70% of mis-hires are the result of poor ‘fit’ rather than lack of skill or ability. In fact, it’s common for hiring managers to express frustrations such as ‘He just wasn’t motivated,’ or ‘She really wasn’t a culture match,’ after letting their employee go. This poses a problem for companies who hire for past experience or skill-set. While top businesses used to focus on the knowledge, skills or abilities the candidate had acquired over the years, there seems to be a gradual shift towards hiring for personality, self-awareness, aptitude for learning, and culture fit.

This shift in job ‘qualifications’ bears disruptive implications: For candidates, it means that no amount of reading or preparation can aid you in your interviews. Testing also becomes more ambiguous because the ‘right’ answers can seem somewhat intangible. For organizations, the change poses a serious question about the validity of skills testing, and standard behavioral interview questions, as they might not really be capable of distinguishing who will and won’t work out, once hired. In fact, hiring processes that rely on the standard KSAO-focused job analysis run the risk of being too technical because they often gloss over the emotional characteristics needed in order to perform at a high level.

In order to evaluate these ‘intangibles,’ an increasing amount of businesses are replacing skills testing and knowledge-based assessments with personality tests, aptitude testing, and 360 degree evaluations.  The standard behavioral interview questions are being replaced with attitude-focused questions such as, ‘On a scale from 1-10, how lucky would you say you are?’ and ‘What would you say is the biggest misconception people have of you?’

And, businesses aren’t the only ones catching on: Because of the growing demand for self-aware, motivated talent, business schools now screen for these characteristics. This recent Wall Street Journal article elaborates on the ’emotional’ phenomenon, citing that these tests are becoming the new standard. If colleges want their graduates to solidify jobs in savvy businesses, they certainly ought to ensure that their students have the propensity to pass the test.

Read more about pre-employment testing in this whitepaper.


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