Study: Online personality tests may be flawed, especially for young applicants
- A new study shows a possible connection between online personality tests in job applications and a decline in young job seekers in entry-level positions. JobsFirstNYC, a youth workforce program, released "Online but Disconnected: Young Adults' Experiences with Online Job Applications," which documents the effect personality evaluations have on young applicants in the pre-employment process.
- According to employment and training organizations, fewer young applicants under 21 are being hired for entry-level jobs, and personality tests are the likely cause. Employers routinely use flawed personality tests to screen millions of applicants a year when more reliable assessment tools are available, the study says.
- Many job applications for entry-level positions in the retail and hospitality industries may be unsuitable for young job seekers. The study also claims that many of the personality tests that New York City retail stores, hotels and restaurants use could violate applicants' civil rights.
Employers might want to trade in personality tests for immersive assessments. Personality assessments focus on traits, which are identified with a particular job. For example, an outgoing person is thought of as having the best personality to succeed in a sales position, even if that may not be true in every case. Applicants can fake personality assessments by pretending to have the traits associated with a job.
Immersive assessments, on the other hand, focus on what the job requires, with the purpose of aligning applicants with job openings. Users of immersive assessments say these types of evaluations should answer three questions for recruiters: 1) Are recruiters attracting the right kinds of candidates?; 2) Are candidates having favorable experiences taking the assessment?; and 3) Can the assessment reliably predict candidates' future success in a job?