If you’ve interviewed for a job or interviewed someone for a job, then you’re probably familiar with a profile assessment.
Sometimes referred to as “personality assessments”, these tests are intended to give prospective employers a good gauge on whether or not someone is the best fit for a job (or at least a better fit than someone else).
The problem with these tests is context. While a good support measure, a profile assessment should not be the determining factor in whether or not someone gets hired. There are simply too many inaccuracies or potential outcomes that could backfire.
This article identifies some of the specific concerns with hiring based on profile assessments. Here’s an excerpt:
For example, an analysis of top/bottom performers revels that top performers have conceptual thinking capabilities. They can review complex data and see patterns that allow them to quickly formulate strategies. It might stand to reason that the stronger this ability, the better the outcome. But consider this:
- When abstract thinkers arrive at a solution based on their analysis of complex or abstract data, their often macro-level conclusion(s) confuse or lose others whose thought process relies on concrete or linear data. The possibility of miscommunication becomes even more acute when decisions and execution must happen quickly.
- Companies in their quest to future top talent often seek out and hire conceptual thinkers into entry-level positions. Many times, these entry level positions do not require conceptual thinking or problem solving. The result can be intellectual boredom that drives these individuals to other companies whose entry-level jobs support conceptual problem solving. To compensate, some companies assign these prospective top talents to special assignments where their unique skills are valued.
- Another potential dilemma can arise when other personality factors are not considered. If complex reasoning and analysis are combined with high creativity and strong outside-the-box thinking, wide bands of possible solutions and ideas abound. A potential outcome is that none are picked.
Definitely read the whole article for more insight into the dangers (but also value) of a profile assessment, and let me know what YOUR experiences have been when implementing these kinds of tests into the hiring process!