Understanding the Personality Test Industry
In 2012, personality testing is $500 million industry which has been expanding by about 10% per year. There are currently well over 2,500 personality questionnaires on the market and each year dozens of new companies appear with new products. Some of these products are broad-spectrum tests designed to classify basic personality types, some are designed to test candidates for suitability for a particular job and some are designed to test for particular traits – for example, honesty and integrity.

Many of the well established companies who provide tests do operate to the highest ethical and professional standards. However, in 2009 this market should be seen for what it is. One with low barriers to entry and that is very poorly regulated. Anyone can set up a company to develop and sells these tests and can make whatever claims they feel like, secure in the knowledge that they are very unlikely to be challenged. Some of the companies that produce personality tests are very secretive about their methodologies and do not make public crucial information about how their tests were developed or how well they work, claiming that this information is ''proprietary." For some personality tests, ''almost no evidence at all is available beyond assurances that evidence exists," reported a task force appointed by the American Psychological Association. Cheating or Faking is Easy Despite the claims of test producers, it is very easy to cheat. Certainly, most tests contain some so-called impression control questions, designed to catch out candidates who are trying to give an overly good impression. This is one of the areas where the claims of the test producers and common sense are at odds. After all how difficult can it be with a little practice, to spot these questions when most tests consist of less than 150 questions in total.

It is unusual to find someone who has risen to this level from within human resources. Secondly. or lose a career opportunity to someone who's willing to do so. technology or marketing. almost all CEO's and senior board members have a background in finance. .This is supported by a study conducted by the American Psychological Association which found that over 80% of job applicants actually hired after taking a widely used personality test had intentionally manipulated their answers to make themselves look better. where very few staff are not university graduates. It is simply an attempt to understand why so many HR people buy into the accuracy of personality questionnaires on the basis of such poor evidence. most of the jobs in HR. Critics of personality tests would argue that they present people with an unpleasant choice: Lie a little. Common sense would suggest that you should not attempt to influence the results too much as they will probably be seen to conflict with your past achievements and with how you are perceived at the interview. One reason may be that HR personnel tend to see their role as lacking much scientific or technical credibility at a time when these things are perceived to be increasingly important. or personnel departments as they were known until the mid 1980s. are at the administrative level. This is insecurity is made worse by the following factors: Firstly. How much you choose to try and influence the resulting personality profile is something only you can decide. This means that HR rarely has powerful advocates at the top level within organizations. Few HR staff have university degrees compared with IT for example. Are HR Departments Skeptical Enough? The following is not meant to disparage the many dedicated and professional people who work in HR. The best approach is probably to take the time to understand how these tests try to measure your personality and then to make sure that you don't allow any aspects of your personality to be perceived as inappropriate for the job.

Even the most purely motivated HR people probably don’t have a background in psychology. probably unfairly. many HR people have been keen to latch onto something that gives a scientific or technical aspect to the HR function.htm#sthash. Even Popular Tests are Controversial and Best Practice Guidelines for Personality Tests. but also crucially because HR people are. Most will be relying on the salesmen employed by the companies who produce the tests to tell them. How Many Personality Traits Are There?. You may also be interested in: Personality Tests Introduction. Negative Aspects of Personality. Jobs within HR are almost always the first to go. seen as relatively easy to replace. This is partly because the company is no longer recruiting.Thirdly. which means that very few are qualified to make objective judgments about how personality questionnaires should be used. . Your Personality at Work. Can You Beat the Personality Test.psychometric-success. companies invariably see HR as a cost center rather than a profit center.See more at: http://www. Understanding the Personality Test Industry.dpuf . Integrity and Stress. Testing for Honesty. Why You Need to Understand Them. Extraversion and The Big 5 Aspects of Personality. Personality questionnaires do this very well as they are seen to give the notoriously subjective selection process some objective and scientific credibility. Motivation. How Personality Profiles are Used. How They Work.yPzcWF4x. despite platitudes like ‘people are our most important asset’. These factors mean that HR has traditionally been the first department to feel the effects of costcutting when times get tough. Unsurprisingly.

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