For a hiring manager or business owner, hiring the right fit for your team can really make a huge difference in your ability to grow and thrive as a business. And in today’s hiring landscape, it can be easy to get caught up in the hundreds of resumes in your in-box and multiple rounds of interviews. After a while, they all start to run together. This is where personality assessments can look really appealing to you as a hiring manager. The idea of giving everyone an online test that would instantly tell you whether they were a good fit for the role or your team personality-wise sounds like a huge time saver. But today, I wanted to go over some of the downfalls of using a personality assessment in your hiring process and why you might be better off using other methods to determine whether someone is a good fit.

It’s of Limited Value

I want to start off with the elephant in the room. Every personality assessment is make-believe. It’s about correlation, not causation. The tests consist of a series of different questions that have statistically been tied to certain behaviors and the test creators then created a model to explain those behaviors. You can’t tell if someone is introverted or extroverted just by a series of questions. We are complex beings who may be a little bit of both, or exhibit certain behaviors in certain environments. An employee’s behaviors may even vary from company to company or position to position. The answers and models will vary from test to test, and there is no consensus on what is or isn’t a pattern of behavior. Could it be useful? Sure. But it could also mislead you to hire or not hire an individual without a true basis in reality. And for your staff, it can feel like just another management fad.

It Could Put You In the Legal Hot Seat

Another often overlooked area of concern is that personality assessments could put you in legal trouble if you aren’t careful. If you hire or fire someone over the results of a personality test, you could not only put yourself in legal trouble but you could also miss out on a really great employee. Because, after all, there is a lot of nuance to it and there are lots of abilities and personality traits that are not captured by these personality assessments.

A Path Forward

So, given everything covered, should you use a personality assessment tool with your team? It’s up to you. If you take the results with a grain of salt and understand that it is just one tool in your toolbox to understand your team and new hires better, it can be worth exploring. If you feel like you will take the results too literally and make important management decisions because of them, it is best to skip the tests and spend your energy getting to know your team and developing relationships with them the old-fashioned way. Or better yet, do both and watch your team and your business grow.