Report On Are Personality Tests Good Predictors Of Employee Performance?
The positive aspect about personality tests is that they are believed by many as effective in assessing the cognitive abilities of potential job aspirants. Even as many cognitive measurement tools used in personality tests successfully predict job success of applicants, the prediction more often goes wrong since job success highly depends on the personality of human beings. No doubt, personality tests help employers to review the detailed personality profiles of individuals that play a significant role in bringing out the work-based characteristics of individuals ( First name of author, year of publication). In spite of the fact that personality tests can be easily conducted at cheap costs, and the claim of proponents of personality tests that candidates who pass personality tests tend to perform well in certain fields, the possibility of foul play makes personality tests an inefficient tool in predicting the performance of employees at the workplace.
Currently there are more than 2500 personality testing tools available in the market and, phrenology, a popular test that measures the traits of one’s mind by studying the bumps on a person’s head is found to be ineffective by experts based on analyzing the performance of individuals who passed the test (Paul, 2004). Another logical reason why personality tests fail to predict the performance of employees is that the personality tests assume that an individual’s personality is a measurable trait. Conversely, a person’s state of mind varies from time to time depending on his life circumstances and the environment he is in. Interestingly, most of the personality tests are developed by seasoned psychologists who have closely observed human behaviors for many years. They rely on empirical data to compile the test results. One cannot predict the behavior pattern of an individual and how he is going to perform at the workplace in the future that depends on so many factors like his physical condition, mental state and a variety of external factors. In other words, personality tests only give a common opinion about individuals which neither brings out the exact character of an individual, nor his caliber specific to the job position for which he is tested.
A recent study has revealed that popular software companies like Oracle and IBM are spending huge sums to hire consultants to develop their workforces (Reddy, 2015). These consultants, who act as personal life coaches to the employees conduct personality tests to assess their personality type and potential. There are chances of employees hiding their true traits and nature to give fake responses to certain questions to please their superiors, clients and other stakeholders. This means they act as someone else for the sake of safeguarding their job positions. Even though faking oneself to please one’s employer may go well with the corporate giants, such actions do not add value to one’s personality as such. This gradually results in severe mental strains and frustration. In fact, the potential benefits an individual gains through faking in the personality test fail to outweigh the risks associated by leading false lives. Under such circumstances the huge sums invested by the companies in mentoring their workforces fail to achieve the intended results.
More importantly, personality tests give the employees a view that certain inborn traits are weak and are not acceptable at the workplace. This prompts the poor employees to hide their weakness always and work hard to inculcate certain habits acceptable to climb up the corporate ladder with ease. On the other hand, hiding certain personal qualities, say empathy in a foreman that may not be acceptable at the workplace where he is expected to oversee employees who have to work hard to produce more, may alter the person’s personality itself. Thus, personality tests suddenly make human beings, who are by nature friendly and gregarious, robots to produce more and satisfy their employers at the workplace.
Compared to the benefits organizations expect through personality tests, the risks are huge that adversely affect the work-life balance of the employees that significantly affects the future generation as well.
Paul, M. (2004). The Cult of Personality Testing: How Personality Tests Are Leading Us to Miseducate Our Children, Mismanage Our Companies, and Misunderstand Ourselves. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Reddy, K. (2015). 17 reasons why personality tests don’t work. WiseStep. Retrieved form http://content.wisestep.com/reasons-why-personality-tests-dont-work/