Companies Test For Compatibility

Discussion
Jul 22, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

It’s happened. A resume comes in and the job applicant looks like a perfect fit for a company’s needs. Interviews are conducted and everyone agrees this is the right person to hire. The person comes to work and within days, weeks, months, it becomes apparent to all that a mistake has been made. The new hire is not the right person for the job because of their temperament or other personality-related issues.

A report in the July issue of CFO Magazine, says employers are turning to various forms of personality testing, including handwriting analysis, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessments, etc., “to ensure that the hires they make are a good fit — not only with the job description, but also with the people with whom they’ll be working.”

Steve Gravenkemper, manager of the assessment and organizational development practice at the accounting and consulting firm of Plante & Moran, in Southfield, Michigan says the need for personality testing is clear because mistakes in hiring can be expensive. According to Mr. Gravenkemper, hiring the wrong person can cost a company anywhere from 30 to 150 percent of the employee’s salary.

Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on using personality testing as part of the evaluation in hiring employees?

Many people working on the floor of stores simply do not have the people skills to be in the business. We’ve often wondered, as we’re sure others have,
how did a particular person ever get hired in the first place?

The piece in CFO Magazine does point out that there are equal employment opportunity associated risks to companies that use personality testing in
evaluating potential employees. Target was sued in 1991 for asking questions about religion and sexual preference that some felt invaded their privacy.

George Anderson – Moderator

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