Screening, Assessment, Interviewing

Testing Do’s and Don’ts for the Hiring Process

Not to alarm you, but don’t take choosing a personality test lightly when hiring. There are many services that boast a quick and easy way to profile a job candidate with personality testing. However, taking these shortcuts can result in bad hires that have a negative impact on your bottom line and won’t benefit you or your workforce, says the co-author of a new book.

“Some personality testing services simply deliver a test score and guidelines. Others provide a superficial level of analysis that is not much to go on,” says Dana Borowka, co-author with his wife, Ellen Borowka, of the book Cracking the Business Code (CreateSpace, 2014) and principle of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC. “What hiring managers really need is an in-depth analysis of the test in the context of the job description and the candidate’s résumé.”

According to the book, today there are around 2,500 cognitive and personality tests on the market. “So how do you decide which one to use?” asks Borowka. “An organization risks lawsuits if it fails to do proper due diligence in test selection. That’s because there are a multitude of assessments available out there, and the industry is totally unregulated.”

Based on research, there are some clear dictates of what to do and what not to do have emerged. The authors have developed these testing dos and don’ts when it comes to shortcuts:

  • Don’t use a basic personality screening that takes 20 minutes or less.
  • Don’t skip a phone interview.
  • Don’t try to shorten multiple face-to-face interviews.
  • Don’t skip background and reference checks, and never skip financial background checks when appropriate for the position.
  • Don’t skip giving someone homework during the interviewing process.
  • Do use in-depth work style and personality assessments.
  • Do look for red flags in the results concerning behavioral issues.
  • Do use testing to identify how team members are likely to interact.
  • Do use testing to ensure you have the right people in the right positions.
  • Do use a trained professional to review the testing results with you.

“The testing procedure that a company follows can send a message to candidates that the company leaders are serious about who they hire,” says Borowka. “Successful people want to work with other successful people. In many cases, the candidate may accept a position from the organization they perceive to be more thoughtful during the hiring process.”