Understanding your employees by implementing personality, skill, and aptitude employment testing can have an enormous impact on your company’s success. An organization that makes quality hiring decisions is more likely to have high productivity and better management throughout the company. Inversely, hiring the wrong people and putting employees in the wrong roles can negatively affect morale, productivity, and can be a waste of time and resources. To aid in the process of hiring and placing fitting employees into your company, HR professionals have been turning to a variety of different assessments, some geared towards pre-employment, to understand their employees better. We will be looking into specific tests and you can decide if administering one of these assessments is best for your company.
Different Types of Employment Testing
There are 3 different types of employment testings that are used to gain insight into an individual: personality, skill, or aptitude.
Personality employment testing provides insight into a candidate’s values, judgments, work preferences, and many other factors. HR professionals are then able to more accurately determine whether or not a candidate’s personality will fit well into the given position, and also if they will fit well into the company’s environment as a whole.
Skill-based employment testing is very straight forward. They help hiring managers and HR professionals test to see if candidates have the required skills to succeed in their roles. They measure basic competencies that are commonly associated with a specific role for a wide variety of jobs. Of course, this test does not factor in an employee or candidate’s ability to learn and grow on the job, so an alternative test is a general intellect or aptitude test.
The aptitude employment testing, or general intellect testing, is a test that measures one’s skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, attention to detail, and their ability to learn and apply new information. A cognitive aptitude test is able to give insight on things that are qualities that are difficult to measure with a skill-based test, or looking at a resume or interview.
Within each category, there are a plethora of different tests. No test is exactly the same and will give you different insights about your employees or hiring candidates. Depending on what your organization needs and what you are looking for in your employees, some employment testing will be better suited for you than others.
Employment Testing Method #1: Personality Assessments
Personality tests are a great place to start for individuals trying to understand themselves better, and for employers trying to understand employees and potential hires better. These thought-provoking tests can give test-takers and administrators insight on how they make decisions, what motivates them, what different environments they may thrive in, how they navigate interactions with others, their emotional intelligence, extroversion or introversion, adaptability, and many more useful insights.
Of course, these tests aren’t magic. They don’t have proven accuracy or scientific validation because they’re mainly psychology-based, but they can still be a good place to start in your path to finding employees that will fit best into your company environment and their specific job.
Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
MBTI, short for Myers Briggs Type Indicator, is a personality inventory that makes sense of psychological types described by Carl G. Jung. They categorize every personality into 16 personalities, each denoted by 4 letters representing where you focus your attention, the way you take in information, how you make decisions, and how you deal with the world. The use of a test as broad as this test is endless. This MBTI system is the most popular in the world and is widely trusted by professionals around the world.
Understanding your employee’s MBTI type can be extremely beneficial for growing and optimizing your employee’s efforts. Managers may use MBTI to determine which employees work well together to assemble a productive team where individual personalities work especially well together, don’t clash, and where their strengths and weaknesses even compliment each other. Understanding employees’ MBTI types can also allow you to better understand what motivates your employees because every type is different and is driven by different values. In general, having every employee be more self-aware about how they focus their attention, how they process information, how they make decisions, or how they handle stress is beneficial for each as an individual and for the organization as a whole. To understand better how each MBTI type prefers different working environments, a Youtube page called ‘Personality Types XYZ‘ has made a video about each type and their ideal work environments based on their values and what drives them.
Employers also often use MBTI tests to see if a candidate’s personality matches that of the job requirements. For example, an HR professional will likely have to demonstrate superb management skills, communication skills, and a planned approach to tasks.
Another popular personality assessment that employers use to evaluate employees and potential hirees is called the DISC personality test. This test factors dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness to predict how your personality interacts with the things around you.
While the DISC personality test tells you useful information about a person’s personality, it is advised by many, including the creators of the product, to not use this test as a pre-employment test, unlike many other personality tests. The reason is that DISC does not assess how your personality is in comparison to others or in comparison to any spectrum. This means that it’s difficult to gauge whether someone will be a good fit for a position solely based on these test results.
The DISC personality test does however provide a common language that employees can use to have a better understanding of themselves and their peers to create a better work environment and adapt their behaviors with others. This assessment can help an employee understand how to better respond to conflicts, how to motivate themselves, how to deal with stress, how to facilitate better teamwork, and manage yourself and your team more effectively by understanding their priorities.
The Enneagram Personality Test
The Enneagram is a psychological classification tool that establishes varying personality types into 9 different types. It offers insight into what drives a person at their subconscious level and what motivates their strategies. Each person may identify somewhat with every type but should resonate strongest for one type which is assigned as their basic personality.
Because The Enneagram allows insight on individuals’ motivations, along with many other things, it can help tremendously in a workplace environment. This test can be used in teams to help manage productivity and to help teammates understand each other better to work more efficiently. You can also use the knowledge gained from these tests to create tailored programs for your employees to help keep them motivated and engaged in the workplace.
The CliftonStrengths Personality Test is widely used by organizations and teams around the world. They’ve captured 20 million users over 50 years. This test helps companies identify and exercise a strength-based approach throughout their company’s culture workflow for better productivity and growth.
The results of the CliftonStrengths Personality test has 34 themes that define the personality of its users. These 34 themes are divided into four categories: Strategic Thinking, Relationship Building, Influencing, and Executing. Insight on each of these core domains helps individuals understand more about their unique strengths and helps explain the way a person naturally thinks, feels, and behaves. It also gives insight into areas where you may need help from others. This leads to more engaging work, more productivity, and a healthier work environment that is tailored to each individual. Organizations can use this to create teams with managers who are able to maximize their team’s strengths.
Overall, personality tests give specific insight into employees or potential employees about their natural behaviors, strengths and weaknesses, motivations, values, and more. It can help organizations see if and where employees can fit best in their company’s environment and how to maximize their efforts. Of course, personality tests do not cover everything you need to know about a person in their work role so other tests such as skill-based tests or aptitude tests should be used.
Employment Testing Method #2: Skill-Based Tests
Skill-based tests are commonly used by employers to determine whether both job candidates and current employees have the required skills to be successful in whatever position they are in or seeking to be in. These tests can measure job-related competencies, whether they are broad ones such as verbal and communication skills, or narrow ones such as a certain computer literacy skill. There are a countless number of individual skills that can be tested by employers through the use of skill-based tests. Here are just a few of them.
Adaface is a skills assessment platform that identifies qualified candidates for software roles. Ada is an AI-powered chatbot that is able to participate in technical chats with the candidates and ask questions to evaluate technical skills. They have a variety of difficulty levels to fit your company’s needs best.
Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST)
This CBST test is a 20-minute test that measures basic skills that cover a wide variety of entry-level jobs. This test is used to predict the performance of jobs where verbal and math skills are required such as customer service, data entry, and more. Like many other skill-based tests, the results indicate how many answers an individual got correct in the form of a percentile. This percentile is ranked in accordance with a relative performance metric and also to other test takers. This allows employers to see where they stand as a candidate in regards to the standard and others as well.
The eSkills test covers a wide range of topics for employers to take advantage of. They are able to use this one platform to test a variety of different candidates in different roles including computer proficiency, sales, customer service, information technology, and engineering/mechanical aptitude. eSkill tests are perfect for employers who are looking for specific and measurable skills. eSkills allows a very comprehensive and customizable experience to suit and organizations needs
One thing to note about skills tests, in general, is that they judge candidates based on a specific skill and fail to factor in many of the other qualities that may make that candidate valuable. These tests do not take into account that the skill that they lack can be learned quickly by that individual. Remember that these assessments are just one tool to aid in the process of finding the right fit for your company but should not be the only thing relied on to find a quality candidate. Tests such as aptitude tests and personality tests can help fill in the gap that skill-based assessments inherently have.
Employment Testing Method #3: Aptitude Tests
What if a candidate or employee does not have the required skills that they would need for the job. Does that mean they aren’t fit for the position? Not necessarily. Companies can miss out on stand out employees who have yet to learn a specific skill by relying solely on skill-based test requirements. That is why intellect based aptitude tests exist. These aptitude tests measure not the specific skill level of individuals, but their ability to learn, solve problems, and apply new information. Rather than testing a specific skill, an aptitude test measures your competency and potential to succeed. There are many different types of Aptitude tests but here are a few of the most popular aptitude tests that employers use and look for in their own employees.
A cognitive aptitude test is a general predictor of overall job performance. It measures critical thinking, problem-solving, and learning capabilities. This test usually tests a cross-section of the candidate’s potential and if the candidates perform highly, can show their well-roundedness as an individual. It is a good test to determine whether or not a candidate can not only learn but also perform well at the task at hand. This is one of the most commonly used tests. Other aptitude tests, as shown below, focus on more specific things and are geared towards specific roles that require specific mental capabilities.
An abstract reasoning aptitude test is an assessment that employers may use to identify whether their employee or job candidate has a strong ability to identify patterns and use their skills to determine how to best solve a problem. Tests like this will work well for jobs that require individuals to think quickly and accurately such as auditing.
A verbal reasoning aptitude test allows employers to understand whether a candidate has a strong ability to understand complex verbal information and can apply that information accurately. They test your understanding and comprehension skills by being presented with passages to interpret as an example. Performing well on this test shows employers that the candidate is capable of representing the company intelligently and professionally.
A critical thinking aptitude test can be used to determine how well an individual is able to reason through an argument logically and objectively. Tests might require you to assess a certain situation, recognize assumptions, create a hypothesis, and evaluate the argument. This type of test can be used by employers who are seeking to find candidates who are required to assess case by case situations and use their knowledge in a logical manner.
Diagrammatic reasoning aptitude tests are commonly used by employers to determine a person’s ability to solve complex problems. This is usually applied to high-level roles where strong skills of logical reasoning and problem-solving are needed. Individuals who perform well in a diagrammatic reasoning test are often able to distinguish patterns in diagrams or images, therefore proving their quick-thinking skills. Positions where this type of testing may be useful is for jobs such as management consulting, or engineering, for example.
A spatial reasoning test is one that requires individuals to mentally draw conclusions about images or objects based on limited information. This test looks for candidates’ ability to manipulate 2d and 3d objects, identify patterns between shapes and objects, and visualize changes. For example, they will be good at determining what an object will look like when rotated or rearranged. This type of test is most important for roles where employees have to visualize things such as design or engineering.
Should you perform Employment Testing now?
There are countless resources to aid employers in both understanding their employees and potential hirees better. The employees who make up an organization are a vital part of the success of a company so both finding the right people, and understanding how to optimize their efforts, is important. It not only creates a productive environment for employees to grow and succeed, but for them to also have a happy and healthy experience at your company.
To understand more about your employees and job candidates, you can use personality tests, skill-based tests, and aptitude tests, or even a combination of them. Whatever your organization’s goal is, and whatever insights you are looking to gain, there are so many different tests and tools available to guide you, many more than just the ones listed above. All it takes is finding the right one to fit your company’s needs.