When selecting an online personality test, it’s important to know what they measure, & how to use them effectively.

Most business people are familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (commonly known as MBTI or the Myers Briggs personality test) and the DISC profile (or DISC personality test).  These, like most personality assessments, are used for a variety of recruitment and development functions and can be very effective if used correctly.  But, like the Caliper Profile, they can also be ineffective, or even damaging to a business, if used incorrectly.

The key to successfully using a personality test or assessment is to know what it measures and what it is capable of predicting.

The different forms of personality tests

A lot of companies are tempted to purchase low cost assessments that are automated and generic in their behavioural predictions.  These assessments usually take a short amount of time to complete, and provide some interesting insight around preferred ways of operating in the workplace based around personality types.

The big appeal here is that they are easy to use, cost effective and provide an instantaneous response.

The risk however, is that they are also easy to misuse, and have their limitations in what they can predict and how relevant they can be to each business.

Take a sales role for example – a computer generated DISC report does not address the intricacies of the particular sales process that your business needs.  It can provide some broad insight as to a person’s sales potential, but drilling down in to the complexity of a position is something that DISC, albeit a great assessment tool, simply can’t do.

Whereas most assessments will measure an individual on four categories or personality types, the Caliper Profile is trait based.  It typically takes someone about an hour to complete, and measures 22 personality traits as well as an Abstract Reasoning component.  This means more depth, more accuracy and a far more detailed insight in to a person’s strengths and development areas.

Yes, other assessments may cost less, but they can put your recruitment or talent management process, and ultimately your business outcomes, at risk if you use them incorrectly.  Their ability to accurately predict performance specific to a role, and measure elements relevant to your business needs is often hindered by their ease of access and lack of depth.

Conversely, the Caliper Profile is a high quality, in-depth, assessment tool that measures candidates against both your position description, and the kind of person you’re looking for. In a sales recruitment process, knowing whether a candidate is ‘good at sales’ isn’t good enough, they need to have the potential to sell your product, to your prospects, in your office.

So which personality test should you use?

When considering which personality test to use in your business, it’s important to first evaluate what kind of outcomes you want.  If you’re looking for some information that will help colleagues understand each other better and operate more effectively, the DISC personality test and Myers Briggs personality test are perfect solutions.

But if your recruitment or development decisions require a more detailed analysis that can measure against specific roles or training needs, the Caliper Profile is the assessment for the job.