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Monday, September 3, 2012

Personality Assessment for Selection?

Last week, I talked about the need to balance assessing Skill vs. Will in making selection decisions.  One way people assess will is through personality assessment.  There a tons of instruments out there, and if you want a high level overview of personality assessment for selection and want to be put to sleep all at once, you can read one of my papers from graduate school on the topic or view the presentation.

If you need to stay awake and want the to-the-point version about using personality tests in selection, particularly for leadership selection here it is:

1. Don't use personality assessments alone in making selection decisions.
2. See if the personality traits the assessment tests for are job related, and not only job related, but valid predictors of successful job performance.  For example, it has been shown that extraversion is linked to success in sales positions, particularly those that are commission based.
3.  Personality assessments can help you determine cultural fit and compatibility with other team members in selecting individuals for the right position.  

For leadership here is the skinny on the research out there:
            "Selecting leaders has been examined using personality predictors to predict leadership emergence and effectiveness.  Judge and colleagues (2002), found that extraversion (correlation of .31), neuroticism (-.24), openness (.24) and conscientiousness (.28) are valid predictors of leadership performance.  In addition, considering all of the Big Five personality traits in one model has been shown to add predictive validity when examining leadership, with a multiple correlation of .48 being reported (Judge et al, 2002)" *

If that sounds like blah, blah, blah to you, then the bottom line is leaders are usually outgoing, not crazy, open to new experiences, and hard working.  If selection instruments assess for these things, they may be helpful in picking leaders. 

Oh, and don't use the Inkblot for selection.  Research shows it doesn't help you select the right people. 

*Judge, T.A., Bono, J.E., Ilies, T., & Gerhardt, M.W. (2002). Personality and leadership: A qualitative and quantitative review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 765-780

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