Perfecting Employee Personality Tests
Ever wonder why someone got the job? Important decisions on who to hire and who to promote are often based on personality tests.
But typical tests, created by applied psychologists, have historically adopted a narrow view in measuring personality, which can lead organizations to choose manipulators and egoists over more suitable candidates.
As the Canada Research Chair in Integrative Perspectives on Personality, Brian Connelly is investigating better testing methods that avoid these pitfalls and pave the way for making accurate, data-driven predictions about who has the best chance to succeed and fit in. This can save companies millions in retention and hiring costs every year.
Fascinated by the question of who is the best judge of personality—oneself or others—Connelly believes observer-based personality ratings are a promising strategy to help weed out bias and fakery, which are vulnerabilities of standard self-assessments.
In this method, the standard tests will be aided by ratings from observers who know the individual well, such as coworkers or close acquaintances, to create a more complete and balanced picture of the job seeker or employee.
This work, along with a stronger understanding of where traits, reputations, and identities come from and how they relate to important organizational outcomes, will redefine how we think about and use personality information to make career-changing decisions for people in the workplace.