Personality Testing for Employees

I have previously written about the importance of hiring the right employees.  We have all had the employee who we complain about behind their back.  So, hiring the right person at the outset is crucial.  We go through a lengthy process in hiring, which includes personality testing.  I used to hire people based on “gut” instinct.  Did I like the person?  I learned the hard way, as I am sure you have, that our “gut” can be wrong.  Some people can ace an in-person interview, some people can have an impeccable resume.   But will they be a good fit at your firm?



As I said, I am a big fan of personality tests.  The free ones are decent, they will give you an idea of who you are hiring, even if your “gut” is wrong.  There are some expensive tests, which I pay for because they are worth it in my opinion.  But, there are some reasonably priced tests which I make all potential hires take. 


Of course, I screen resumes. There are some people, based on their resumes alone, will never make it at your firm.  There are some applicants, whose resume may be decent, but after a ten-minute phone interview, you know they are not the right fit.  But for those who pass the resume and phone interview stage, what differentiates them?


Before I invite someone for in person interview, I always make them take a simple, inexpensive test.  It costs $30 and has helped me weed out applicants who are worth my time to interview.  Assuming someone has the right qualifications on a resume, and has a decent personality in a phone interview, the next salient question should be, “what are their strengths?”  You need to know what are people innately good at?   If their strengths do not fit what you need, you should look elsewhere.


For example, I have great ideas, but I lack in implantation.  I do not want to hire people who are dreamers or strategic thinkers.  These are great attributes, but I need people who are doers, implementers, people who can follow my processes.  Perhaps you need someone who can adapt well to your general direction as opposed to someone who does exactly what you say, and how you say you want it done.  These are different strengths.


I make all potential hires, who pass the resume and phone interview, take the Clifton StrengthsFinder test.  It’s $30.  You should take it yourself.  Of course, it will come as no surprise when you read the results, it will be completely obvious to you what are your strengths.  But when you are hiring someone you don’t know, it is helpful to know ahead of time what are their strengths.


Keep in mind, this test does not screen out people’s weaknesses, but you should be able to exclude potential hires based on what their strengths are NOT.   There is a skill in hiring the right people, or so universities offering MBA’s in human resources tell us. All joking aside, hiring the right people is important.  After the time you have invested so far, spend $30 to make sure their strengths fit with what you are looking to hire.