The current labor market is fierce as employers feel the pressure to attract, engage and retain top talent. The time it takes to recruit and hire counts but it is important to select the most suitable candidate for the job. Finding the right cultural fit is important enough that many business owners have implemented personality tests in their recruiting process to help build quality teams.

Personality tests reveal a candidate’s character traits, motivation, values and work preferences for a specific job role. However, the same information can be used throughout employees’ careers to identify new roles, development opportunities and improve retention efforts.

Pre-Employment Assessment 

Company culture is vital. During the pre-employment period, personality tests are practical tools employers can use to identify candidates who may or may not align with the company’s values. Employers know the type of candidate it wants to recruit for specific positions in their company and a test can show if they feature those character traits.

Some pre-employment tests, like the Predictive Index (PI) assessment can predict how a candidate will perform on a certain job. In some cases, knowing about a person’s strengths and weaknesses can be more beneficial than a candidate’s resume.

The Five-Factor Model test is a pre-employment test which can help employers determine the best candidate. This test focuses on the five most studied personality traits – conscientious, likeable, unconventional, extroverted and stable – so employers can gain personal insight and generate more meaningful interview questions.

This exercise is useful for employers who would like to help ensure a new hire may be a long-term fit for a company. More long-term hires translate to a lessening need for new employees, reducing the added expenses of training and on-boarding.

Employment Personality Tests 

The usefulness of personality tests transcends the hiring process. Current employees can take personality tests to help employers identify future leaders and to form high-functioning teams. While outspoken leaders are easily identified, personality tests help companies discover more employees with an aptitude for leadership. Armed with this information, employers may create opportunities for employees to reach their potential.

Employers can implement personality tests to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each employee at every level, helping them understand an employees’ motives, conflicts and strengths. This information can lead employers to create balanced workgroups. And managers equipped with this information can tailor their leadership styles to boost employee morale and engagement. 

A variety of personality tests can be used to assess employees’ potential, such as the CliftonStrengths, DiSC and Strength Deployment Inventory tests. Employers may determine their end goal and select the personality test accordingly. When used as a development tool, personality tests can lead to greater job satisfaction and higher employee retention.


Personality tests can improve the hiring process and help employers home in on the best candidate. However, there is the potential to rely too heavily on the assessments and not trust the current recruiting process. 

Any new tool needs evaluation. A few things to consider include costs and if the length or style of the test dissuades job candidates from completing the process. The positive benefits can outweigh negative effects. Proper research on each test and vendor helps ensure the assessment fits the company. This tool, among others in a company’s HR toolbox, may prove beneficial to find the right candidate and further develop and retain current staff. 

Jill Chapman

Jill Chapman is a senior performance consultant with Insperity, a leading provider of human resources and business performance solutions. For more information about Insperity, call 800-465-3800 or visit