Finding a new hire for your team is a process, and one that takes a lot of careful consideration and planning. And for many business owners, the idea of doing a personality assessment prior to hiring someone sounds like a great way to screen a candidate for a culture fit without going through the work of onboarding and training only to find out later the candidate is a bad fit. So today, I wanted to go over some of the reasons why you might want to consider doing personality assessments on your existing team members as well as new hires.

A Word of Caution

Before we dive into the pros of doing a personality assessment, I want to share a word of caution here. Every test out there basically consists of a series of questions, and those questions, when asked over a large body of people, have been correlated with these types of personality characteristics, which show up in their behaviors. The thing to understand about these types of tests is that they determine correlation, not causation. Specifically, a personality assessment is nothing more than how Netflix can say that there’s an 82 percent chance that you’ll like a given movie based on how you’ve rated other movies. It’s using statistics to find correlation. So before you take personality test results to heart, remember that the information provided is useful, but we have to probe and dig deeper. We can’t just accept on their face that these things are actually true.

Why It Matters

Next, let’s look at why you would want to do a personality test in the first place. What does your business stand to gain from knowing these things about its employees? Can they help you succeed as a manager? Yes, personality assessments can help you better understand yourself, your tendencies, your strengths, and your weaknesses. It can also help you understand your staff and get a better understanding of what makes them tick. What are their default behaviors? What comes naturally to them? What do they have to work really hard to do?

Next, it can improve how we as a team work together. How do we collaborate? How do we understand one another so we can get more accomplished? How do we leverage the strengths of Jodie while guiding for her weaknesses, and get the best from Celeste while guiding her away from her weaknesses, and work together more effectively because of those things?

You can also use personality assessments as a bit of a warning system–specifically, when there is a potential that there might be a mismatch of people you’re asking to work together or a mismatch of a person for a particular responsibility.

And lastly, personality tests can help you be a better manager and a leader because the better insight you have into your team, the more effectively you can manage them. It can give you some tools that you might not have considered before.

Final Thoughts

A personality assessment isn’t a substitute for a solid hiring process and taking the time to get to know everyone on your team and developing a relationship with them, but it can be used as a tool to get a better understanding of how you yourself think as a leader, and how your team fits into the bigger picture to help fuel growth in your company.