5 Things Leaders Should Consider Before Using Personality Tests

2023_Week 4 - Live
"…An assessment cannot create community or psychological safety. It's important to create opportunities for colleagues to connect and learn about each other."

Last week I co-hosted an audio event with Ama Nyame-Mensah, Ph.D., focused on personality tests and how assessments can be used in hiring, coaching, and development.

Thank you, Indra A. BooksJaki Wasike-SihanyaNadia SalehPushkraj DeshpandeArnold Buoro, and Magriet Mouton, for your contributions.

(Click here to listen to the conversation)

Here are some considerations leaders should keep in mind when selecting and leveraging assessments:

  1. Assessments are tools made by humans. A group of people (with biases and specific intentions) come together to decide how to define a particular personality attribute or what proficiency in a skill 'looks like.'
  2. Be clear on WHY you use the assessment and what you hope the test will help you decide. Assessments should be ONE tiny part of a set of tools you use to make decisions, and you should also consider the legal implications of employing them.
  3. No ONE test will help you find or hire the best employee or develop them. Using a test is not a one-and-done thing. You have to create space to engage, debrief and help the test taker leverage the results.
  4. Follow up on the impact of giving the assessment and share the intention with test takers. Get feedback from applicants or employees that have taken the test. If you use assessments as part of your hiring process, make sure you are clear about the intended use of the results and the length of time it will take. 
  5. How the assessment is administered will impact the results. Assessments are not fool-proof, and depending on how the test is proctored, a test-taker can select answers based on how they feel they should show up. An assessment will not determine whether someone will be motivated or successful long-term in a role.

(Skip to [23:49] to listen to an experience of how personality assessments can put you in a box)

(Skip to [45:28] to hear a case study of how an assessment can be used to constructively put teams together).

How do you use assessments and tests in your organization or work? What else should leaders keep in mind about using them? Let me know by commenting below.

P.S. Click here to join our next audio event, where we will be discussing quiet quitting.

P.P.S. My podcast, The Open Door Conversations, is re-launching next week. Make sure you subscribe here.


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