The History and Application of Personality Testing in the Workplace

1963 Words Nov 2nd, 2013 8 Pages
We’ve all had some experience with personality testing in one way or another. Since the beginning of the twentieth century personality testing and psychological assessments have been a staple in the recruitment and selection processes in all manner of position. Be it high level executives down to janitors, no candidate is immune to what has become a trusted and normal practice in recruiting. There is currently a long-standing debate among HR professionals and sociologists alike regarding the effectiveness and relevance of testing and its application in making hiring decisions. In order to understand the effectiveness or lack thereof in regards to personality testing one must take a holistic approach and understand the …show more content…
Given the widespread use of the test, one would assume that it’s regarded as an accurate and trusted method for accurately screening employees. Therein lays the issue. There is much debate as to the validity of the measure and whether or not the results of testing display any positive correlation with what the test claims to measure. Many of the critics point to the relatively low cost of the testing. When faced with paring down a large list of candidates, personality testing is seen as a cheap way to identify prospective candidates without wasting the resources and time involved in other more reliable testing measures. A company can simply send a candidate a hyperlink to a personality test, obtain the results, and eliminate candidates that don’t fall into employer selected MBTI groups. The desire to save money and streamline the recruiting process is understandable; however there are many scientific and ethical issues that follow with the use of MBTI or other personality testing as means by which to make employment decisions. Critics of MBTI first point to the fact that the test has little to no scientific validity, pointing out that the field of psychology dismisses the MBTI as an irrelevant testing method. It’s also worth noting that neither Myers nor Briggs had any type of formal training in sociology or psychology. They created the test based off of their independent research into the theories of Carl Jung. The primary

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