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Personality And Psychological Assessments In The Hiring Process

Personality and Psychological Assessments in the Hiring Process

Recruiters and HR have used personality and psychological assessments for decades, and two of the leading assessment tools used are DiSC and Culture Index. We have been using assessments for 15 years and have found that while they add value to the hiring process, they should not be used to make the hiring decision.

DiSC is designed to help individuals and team members better understand their behavioural style. Is a new hire going to be Decisive, Interactive, Stabilizing or Cautious? DiSC may help explain preference towards behaviours and give managers and owners insight into how a new employee may react to different scenarios.

I’ve included one of my old DiSC assessments for reference. It’s a basic one delivered through Tony Robbins. Culture Index looks at Autonomy, Social Ability, Pace, Conformity, Logic, Ingenuity and Energy Units. The index is designed to improve the predictability of job success and is widely used by small and medium-sized companies as part of their selection process.

Coaches and consultants often charge between $50 and $500 to do an assessment, but unlike those delivered by organizational psychologists, they may not have years of training to deliver and interpret assessments, and so we have to ask some serious questions. Can they show a better hiring outcome between a control group hired using the assessment, and an alternative screening step? 

Now, both DiSC and Culture Index walk a fine line between being an important part of the hiring process (through coaches and vendors, incidentally), while not being used as a final selection tool. Perhaps they are aware of certain conflicts between their tools and hiring policies. Issues such as disadvantaging candidates whose first language is not English are just the tip of the iceberg when using these assessments.

Yet dozens of employers use DiSC and Culture index as the first step in their hiring process. One has to wonder, are they measuring the success of these tools in creating better hires? And, who are they weeding out? Assessments of skills, knowledge and communication through hands-on tests and assessments can be invaluable, but if people are motivated enough, usually their personality is not an obstacle to becoming a top performer.

Kael Campbell is President and Lead Recruiter of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions, a company providing recruitment services in mining, equipment and plant maintenance, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. When he is not recruiting, Kael spends as much time as possible with family in the great outdoors and on the water. He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Vancouver Island. We have a wide variety of services to help you find the best employees. See how we can help on our Recruiting Solutions page.