When used alongside interviews personality questionnaires may give you an extra piece of insight that might make the difference between a good and bad hire. After all, employing the wrong person is a costly mistake you don’t want to make.

All recruiting involves applicant screening – usually in the form of employment history, pre-hire assessments, and background checks. But, one of the most important determinants of a successful hire is whether the candidate fits in with the culture of an organisation

Recruiters are always looking for ways to better determine if a well-performing applicant has the required character and disposition to perform well in a role and company culture. Personality questionnaires are often used to help steer these decisions.

What are personality questionnaires and why are they important?

We’re not going to sugar coat it. There are some major problems when using personality tests when hiring. In fact, if you’re thinking that personality psychometrics may improve your hiring decisions, you may want to read this first.

However, it’s also extremely difficult to measure how a candidate might operate in a future position using their CV and interview behaviour alone.

Candidates are rarely truly themselves when in an interview and are often out to impress. This doesn’t say much for how they’ll actually operate in the role. Recruiters and hiring professionals need more to work on in order to make effective recruitment decisions. That’s why we recommend companies use personalised, real-life pre-hire assessments instead of personality tests.

But despite evidence to the contrary 91% of companies that use pre-employment testing in the recruitment process also include personality questionnaires in order to make more effective hiring decisions [1].

Personality questionnaires are tools which allow recruitment and hiring professionals to take a deeper look into a candidate’s general outlook, attitude at work, and their suitability in relation to company culture and individual motivations.

7 personality questionnaires to use in recruitment

It’s important to differentiate personality tests according to reliability and results; not all are of equal quality. We’ve done some of the work for you and included 7 of the best here.

The Caliper Profile

The Caliper Profile is an assessment that measures an individual’s personality characteristics and individual motivations in order to predict on-the-job behaviors and potential. 

Validated by nearly 6 decades of research, it measures 22 robust traits and provides insight into the intrinsic motivations that relate to the role.

The assessment data can be utilized throughout the employee lifecycle including: selection, development, promotion, team building, and succession planning.

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an introspective self-report questionnaire indicating differing preferences in how candidates perceive the world and make decisions.

This highlights in which direction an employee’s personality leans in relation to 16 personality types. It is most often used to determine if a candidate would be a good cultural fit within a company but despite its wide use we actually don’t recommend its use in candidate selection. 

Hogan Personality Inventory

The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) describes normal, or bright-side personality – assessing how individuals relate to others when they are at their best.

It gives you valuable insight into how people work, how they lead, and how successful they will be.

This is a useful tool for recruiters as a predictor of job performance, providing insights into how people work and lead.

HEXACO Personality Inventory

HEXACO Personality Inventory is an instrument that assesses the six major dimensions of personality:

  • Honesty-Humility
  • Emotionality
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness (versus Anger)
  • Conscientiousness
  • Openness to Experience

Similar to the previous, this personality questionnaire is great for enabling recruiters to identify candidates who have the right personality disposition to fit in an organisation.

Berke Assessment

The Berke Assessment is a simple personality questionnaire that measures both traits and abilities in connection with personality and problem solving.

Helping over 700 companies make hires, it’s a popular tool for recruiters –  especially many of the Fortune 500s. Although, a business of any size can use the tool.

Employers who are clued up on candidate complexities and want an assessment method that can be tailored to their business needs.

SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ)

Owned by Gartner, this is a well established workplace personality test. It’s over 30 years old and is used routinely for hiring across the world.

This personality questionnaire revolves around the idea that our routine behaviours can have a significant impact on our job performance. It seeks to identify the suitability of an applicant according to such. It’s used at all levels of hiring ladder from graduate, to management and all the way up to leadership.

This is one for recruitment professionals who lean towards the tried and tested. 

The Predictive Index

Utilised by some big players, such as Subway and AutoNation, the Predictive Index is a recruitment tool that digs deep into behavioural science.

It’s a short personality questionnaire, lasting only 10 minutes, so it won’t do any real damage to your application completion rates or other recruitment metrics.

Assessment takers are asked to select the words that describe the way others expect them to act, as well as words that describe them in their own opinion. It gives a fast-paced snapshot of the way they think and work.

It’s a good personality questionnaire for hiring professionals who want fast insights into a candidate’s natural motivations and drivers.

Closing

Personality questionnaires are a helpful way for HR and L&D teams to gain a little extra insight into how people may respond to managers or colleagues, however, you need to be careful when using them in recruitment. It’s critical to keep an eye on which tool is most suited to what you’re trying to achieve. Our guide to pre-hire assessments may help you with this.

So before you choose one of the providers listed above, think carefully about the requirements of the role, and what you’re wanting to achieve when setting the test and check that there aren’t other tools you can use which are more predictive and reliable.