The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article today about the rise in the use of personality tests by employers. It seems that their use has grown to somewhere in the 60 – 70% range from 30% to 40% just five years ago. Personality testing is now a $500 million a year industry growing at a 10% – 15% rate annually. There also seems to be some debate about their effectiveness.
It just so happens that next week I am going to talk with someone about a job. An interview even, though I prefer to think of it as a meeting. As part of the process they asked that I take something called the Predictive Index, or PI for short.
So I took it. It took less than five minutes. I really had not put much credence in these types of tools so I was shocked how accurate the results were. They are below.
Lance is a distinctly independent and individualistic person, strong-minded and determined. Venturesome, he will “stick his neck out” and take responsibility for risks when he believes he is right. He finds the challenge of new problems and new ventures stimulating and responds to them with action. He has a lot of confidence in himself, his own knowledge, ability and decisions.
Lance is an ingenious and innovative problem-solver and troubleshooter. He has an actively inquiring mind, a lively interest in the technical aspects of his work, and a need to know and learn more about the systems, techniques, facts, and concepts involved in it. He will drive hard to get things done his own way, and quickly. A self-starter, he initiates, makes decisions, and assumes responsibility for them. He has a strong competitive drive, is ambitious, and will drive himself hard to achieve his goals. His sense of urgency and impatience for results will put pressure on others as well as on himself.
In expressing himself, he is direct, factual, outspoken, and frank. His approach to others is authoritative,telling, and, if he encounters resistance or competition, aggressive. Always concerned with timely results, he deals with ambiguous situations briskly and firmly.
Because Lance has a broad focus on goals and results, he prefers to delegate details to others. Quick and fairly accurate in handling details himself, he becomes very impatient and less accurate in doing work which requires routine and repetitive handling of details at a slow or systematic pace.
While never a big user of personality tests in hiring practices my perception of the accuracy of this assessment has me thinking perhaps they could be quite useful and provides a little insight into why their use is growing so rapidly. Would be interested to know what hiring assessment tools you find valuable.