The Profilers – personality testing for prospective employees

The Profilers – personality testing for prospective employees – Brief Article

Peter Rebhahn

For a new generation of job seekers, a polished resume may not be enough. They may need a winning personality, literally.

More and more employers these days are asking job candidates to take personality tests as part of the hiring process; in fact, personality testing is now a $400 million industry, according to an estimate by the Association of Test Publishers. The reason is simple, says industrial psychologist Robert Troutwine, Ph.D. “No company would hire without interviewing, but most do a very poor job of it,” he says, especially for entry-level jobs.

There are around 2,500 personality test publishers in the industry, and each puts out its own brand of survey. Troutwine’s own 40-question “Evaluation of Service Potential” (ESP) test estimates candidates’ performance potential with questions such as, “When faced with a problem do you: a) Get the supervisor involved or b) Try to solve it on your own, even though you might not have all the information?” The ESP then evaluates a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses based on their answers, using both an internal scale–which rates how well a candidate’s personality traits match job requirements–and an external scale, which measures people skills.

No matter how you slice it, employers score, Troutwine says. Corporations that administer the test online can screen out candidates who don’t match job profiles. And the lucky ones they select for interviews are far more likely to be performers than slackers.

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