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3 Mistakes that Companies Make with Personality Assessments

Many companies use personality assessments as a tool for evaluating and developing their people. Personality assessments can help you understand how someone sees the world and interacts with others. These tests can also provide insights into the type of role and environment in which someone will be happiest and most productive at work.

When used correctly, personality assessments can lead to better hiring decisions, and they can also improve communication and productivity in the workplace. However, there are some common mistakes that companies make when using these tools. This article highlights the three biggest mistakes.

1. Being secretive about the results

Years ago, one of my client companies was merging with one of their competitors. As part of the merger, executives from the two organizations were asked to participate in an extensive assessment process. This process included in-person interviews, in addition to personality assessments that were conducted online. Even though the individual results from the personality assessments could easily have been shared, the client insisted that candidates not have access to their individual results.

Imagine that you were one of the executives being assessed. How would you have felt about not having access to your results on the personality assessment? This decision surely eroded trust within the organization and added even more anxiety to a process that was already very uncomfortable for the executives.

Don’t make the mistake of being secretive. If your company believes in the value of a personality assessment, then you should be willing to have a conversation with someone about their results.

2. Only giving personality assessments to subordinates

I once interviewed for a position with a company that included a personality assessment in their interview process. Soon after completing my assessment online, the hiring manager for the position forwarded me my results. We also discussed the findings.

This was certainly better than hiding my results from me. However, it was insufficient that we only discussed my results, especially since I ended up accepting the job and working for the company. The hiring manager should also have shared his personality assessment results with me.

There are two sides to a supervisor-subordinate relationship at work. What good is it for a supervisor to understand a subordinate’s personality if the subordinate doesn’t understand the supervisor’s personality?

Don’t limit personality assessments to certain employees. If your company really wants to maximize the value of these tests, then everyone at your company should take them, and supervisors should share their results with their subordinates too.

3. Only using personality assessments before someone is hired

As discussed, I ended up working for the individual mentioned above that had me take a personality assessment during the interview process. While we discussed the results from my test before he made me an offer, we never discussed the results of my test after I started working for him. The same was true for everyone else that he hired.

He only used personality assessments as a way to weed people out during the interview process. Then, once someone started working for him, he forgot about whatever insights the test had revealed.

Don’t limit personality assessments to the hiring process. If your company really wants to maximize the value of these tests, then they should also be used as a tool for improving communication and productivity after someone is hired.

What are the best personality assessments to use at work?

There are many personality assessments that your company could choose from. Here are three assessments (in alphabetical order) that are very popular and well-respected:

  • DISC Assessment– This assessment measures how someone ranks in four areas of behavior- Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C).
  • Hogan Assessments (HPI, HDS, and MVPI)– The Hogan Personality Index (HPI) describes how someone relates to others when at their best, while the Hogan Development Survey (HDS) describes how someone relates to others when not at their best. The Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI) describes what motivates someone to succeed and the type of role or environment in which someone will be most productive.
  • The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)– This assessment measures how someone ranks on four dimensions- extroversion vs. introversion (E vs. I), sensing vs. intuition (S vs. N), thinking vs. feeling (T vs. F), and judging vs. perceiving (J vs. P).

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About the author: As the Founder of Stronger Talent, Pete Leibman recruits exceptional leaders for innovative sports, fitness, and wellness companies. Throughout his career, Pete has helped clients recruit exceptional leaders at the Board, C-Suite, Senior Vice President, Vice President, General Manager, Managing Director, and Director levels. Pete’s work has been featured on Fox News, CBS Radio, and, and he is the author of two books and over 250 articles on career management, peak performance, and executive recruiting.

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