The Importance of the Personality Test

Personality tests are becoming more usual in the recruitment process when it comes to dental jobs, especially over the last few years where cultural fit has become more important. Finding the right employee for an advertised position is crucial, especially when the appointment is time sensitive.

It used to be the case that when an individual wanted to apply for a job, all they needed to do was submit a CV, before having a brief interview. If the candidate managed to impress the recruiter during this interview, it was more than likely that they would be given the job. Now, recruiters are using a variety of techniques in order ensure that their next employee is a good fit for the organization. The personality test forms a key part of this process.3

In a recent study, it was found that six out of ten recruiters used a personality test when conducting the recruitment process. This was an increase on the number of recruiters who used this test back in 2010. Why the increase? Well, recruiters have realized that hiring for the right fit at the first time of asking is important for saving time and money, as this would need to be expended if the candidate hired wasn’t a good fit.

Personality tests attempt to measure the candidate’s behavioral traits, which then allows the recruitment professional to see if the behaviors that the candidate exhibits match what they are looking for in order to achieve a good cultural fit. The results of the personality test are compared to the “ideal personality” that the HR team have drawn up. You can see why drawing up the ideal personality at the start is so vitally important.

For example, if the ideal personality for the position was someone who had a fine attention to detail (probably a good characteristic for a dentist), and it was found that the candidate didn’t have this trait, would they be considered a good fit for the position? Probably not. Obviously, finding the perfect candidate would be difficult, so compromises must be made. Sometimes the recruitment professional may highlight three or four key personality traits that they are looking for in a candidate, and attempt to find a candidate that matches these important characteristics.3

One of the most widely used personality tests is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. An example question from this test would be:

“Are you open to changing your opinion after learning new information, or do you stick to your viewpoint regardless?”

When the candidate answers, the answer is assigned a label such as “judging”, and contributes to a personality trait.

As of 2016, 80% of the companies that are listed in the Fortune 500 use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test as part of their personality test in the recruitment process. Small businesses also use this personality test, which shows that it is suitable for both small and large businesses.

As you can see, the personality test and its role in hiring for the right fit is fast becoming a requirement of the recruitment process.