SHRM Poll: Most Employers Don’t Use Personality Tests

By SHRM Online staff Jan 4, 2012

Even though many HR professionals say that personality tests can be good predictors for job-related behavior, most organizations are choosing not to use the tests when hiring and promoting employees, according to a recent poll conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Approximately 80 percent of the 495 HR professionals surveyed for the poll reported that their organizations did not use personality tests in hiring or job promotions. About 2 percent of the respondents said that they were uncertain if their organizations used the tests.

Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of poll respondents indicated that personality tests can be useful in predicting job-related behavior and organizational fit.

About 90 of the respondents (18 percent) said that their employers used the tests when hiring or promoting workers. According to these respondents, their organizations used the personality tests most often when hiring or promoting for manager-level positions.

Among poll participants whose organizations use personality tests, 56 percent reported that the tests were used for mid-level manager jobs, 45 percent indicated that the tests were used for executive-level positions, and 43 percent reported the tests were administered for entry-level jobs that are exempt from overtime pay.

Most respondents (56 percent) whose organizations use the tests offer the tests online and allow job candidates to take the tests at their convenience. Approximately 36 percent of the respondents reported that the tests were administered in person at their organization’s offices. Among the respondents that required the tests to be taken in person, 20 percent reported that the test takers were proctored and monitored closely, while 16 percent reported that the test takers were not monitored.​​​


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