Personality testing is increasingly popular due to the importance of understanding how an employee or job candidate will behave. Since poor performance has been usually related to behavioural issues, measuring job behaviour is essential. However, most personality tests are very general, usually measuring only 5-10 personality factors which are used for every job.
In contrast, Harrison Assessments’ award winning suitability assessment is designed to measure engagement, motivation, interpersonal skills and retention factors related to specific jobs. The 20 minute Smart Questionnaire™ measures 175 factors, but only a sub-set of about 30-40 factors are relevant to analyse suitability for a specific job. However, for any job there will be a different mix of factors with research based weighting associated with each.
Why is job-specific suitability testing so important? The 5-10 factors measured by most personality tests are not sufficient for a wide variety of jobs.
For example, technical jobs typically require employees to be detail-oriented, and systematic. Sales positions typically require employees to be convincing, self-confident, and self-motivated. Customer service positions typically require employees to be efficient, helpful, warm and positive. Management positions typically require a leader to be strategic, resourceful, and inter-personally skilled.
Even within the same job type, the required behaviours can be quite different. For example, some management positions are operational in nature and emphasize behaviours such as following structure, being organized, and enforcing rules. Other management positions are entrepreneurial in nature, and emphasize behaviours such as creativity, initiative, collaboration, adaptability, and personal drive.
Sales positions can also greatly vary. Some sales positions require systematically hunting for new customers and persisting with cold calls. Other sales positions focus on building client relationships, upselling, or efficiently servicing the customer.
In addition, each job has a different set of “derailers” or personal characteristics that can obstruct one’s success. It defies logic to suggest that one set of 5-10 personality factors calibrated in the same way for every job could be effective in predicting or developing job specific success.