personality tests

As organizations are made of people, understanding the personality types of everyone involved in the organization helps in defining your culture. Often, high-performing employees may not be the best fit in an organization owing to cultural differences. Therefore, employers have long been using personality tests to determine how a new hire can fit into the organization culture.

While these tests were once used commonly by large corporations, today organizations of all sizes are resorting to these to help them make decisions. Not all executives agree with this though.

Some managers consider personality tests to be overrated and use them only to understand relationship dynamics but not to make hiring decisions. Nevertheless, these tests offer invaluable insights into the personalities of your team members, and understanding each other is of paramount importance in an era of remote work.

As teams of today are larger and not restricted geographically, building a collaborative environment requires more effort. As a part of these efforts, personality tests can be used to group individuals that complement and support each other along the journey.

These tests are easy to conduct with many tools available digitally. There are also different types of personality tests and determining the right one for your team is critical. As each personality test is unique and offers different insights, you must also consider having your team take multiple personality tests.

Here are the top 10 personality tests you must consider in 2022:

Myer-Briggs Personality Test or MBTI

Developed in 1945, this is the most popular type of personality test on this list. It is widely used by large corporations across the world to determine the cultural fit of their employees. It is based on the theory that humans react and experience the world in four primary psychological behaviours i.e introversion or extraversion, sensation, thinking, and judging. And these four reactions are grouped into 16 personality types that have four-letter acronyms. The test proceeds with a series of questions and participants choose to what extent they agree or disagree with a statement about them. Each personality type has its strengths and weaknesses. The MBTI is also used for determining career types and compatibility between people.

DiSC Personality Test

This is another popular personality assessment tool. It is used beyond work in informal environments too. It measures four areas of human behaviours i.e dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. In this test, participants choose a word that is more likely to resonate with their personality. The test results assign a DiSC graph to every participant and each quadrant gives insights into the participant’s behaviour and reactions to those traits.

Big 5 Personality Test

This test isn’t developed by a single person and is rather the result of the research of many Psychologists. This test focuses on five traits with the acronym OCEAN i.e Openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. It is widely used by employers and is one of the easiest tests to take. The test assigns a percentage to each trait based on the responses. Some researchers suggest taking this test multiple times to narrow down the personality type.

HEXACO Model for Personality Structure and Inventory

This test focuses on 6 traits of individuals i.e Honesty/humility, Emotional Stability, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness. There are two versions of the test available with one being a longer version and one being a short one when there is less time. The test presents various statements to the participants which they rate from ‘Strongly Agree’ to ‘Strongly Disagree’. Based on the responses, the test assigns a percentage to each trait. The traits are further narrowed down into greed, self-esteem, anxiety, etc. As the test gives deep insights into one’s personality it is not only great for employers but also for social scenarios and psychologists.

Belbin Team Roles

The Belbin team roles is one of the unique tests on this list as it has two parts. The first part is based on self-perceived responses and the second one is based on observer assessments. Once individuals complete the first part of the test, a report is generated and those well known to the participant share their feedback on the report. This helps in avoiding bias as participants often have insecure tendencies to present themselves better in these tests. Also, unlike other tests, the Belbin test is more focused on workplace scenarios. The test identifies individuals within 9 team roles i.e resource investigator, team worker, plant, monitor evaluator, shaper, implementer, coordinator, specialist, and complete finisher. You can have all of your team members take the Belbin test before assigning team roles and responsibilities.

Character Strengths Test

This was formerly known as the ‘Values in Action Inventory’. The test is based on the premise that humans primarily possess 24-character strength but they possess each strength to a different degree. The test asks participants to respond to sample statements with responses such as ‘very much like me’ or ‘very much unlikely to be me’. Based on the responses it summarises the personality report one that sheds light on the percentage of each strength the individual possesses. Kindness, humour, and honesty are some examples of strengths. It is commonly used in the field of positive psychology to help individuals build on their strengths. You can use this test to identify the strengths of your team members.

Enneagram Personality Test

Rather than a test an Enneagram is a model of a personality in psychology that connects to nine personality types. The personality types in this model are reformer, helper, achiever, individualist, investigator, loyalist, enthusiast, challenger, and peacemaker. Similar to other tests this also asks participants a set of questions or statements and how they relate to the statement. The test results are in the form of a diagram containing triangles representing how each personality type reacts to situations. One unique advantage of the Enneagram model is being able to understand the fears, motivations, and traps of each personality. It is widely used in both business and spiritual contexts.

The Birkman Method

The Birkman’s test delves into how a person’s personality impacts their social and professional needs. It is a very comprehensive test and is used by large companies such as Coca-Cola in their hiring process. It has 298 questions and is divided into 3 parts. The first two parts have 125 questions each and the third one has 48 questions. The first two parts focus on perceptions of self and others. The third part has multiple choice questions about interests. It takes about 30-40 min to complete the test. The official Birkman website offers over 40 different reports of the test to help understand various aspects of a personality. In general, the reports have four major aspects i.e motivation, self-perception, social perception, and mindset. It provides many deep insights into what drives a person in a professional setting. You can use it to understand your team dynamics in detail and motivate them.

Rorschach Inkblot Test

This is a quirky and fun test to do and is often recommended to be done in person. The participants are presented with an inkblot and asked what they see. Based on the responses, a psychologist analyses the participants’ personalities. There are some versions of this test available online too. You can have your team do it at one of your team building sessions for some fun and interesting conversations.

16 Personality Factors

This is often confused with the MBTI test but it is not. It was developed by British Psychologist Raymond Cattell. It has 185 questions with statements where the participants can choose from 5 responses from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Based on the responses psychological factors such as dominance, warmth, reasoning, liveliness, social consciousness, etc are assessed on a scale of 1 to 4. It is used by corporates and mental health professionals but is not very popular now.

Personality tests are surely a great way to understand your team members deeper and create a culture. They can help in creating better employee retention and engagement activities. But caution must be exercised while using these tools. These tests do not predict job performance and they cannot be relied upon heavily for hiring decisions. They also do not give complete insights about an individual’s personality and are only one data point out of many. Most importantly, sometimes these tests might lead to biases and limit diversity if you try to hire people with similar personalities. Use them to know more about your team members and to build a social fabric. Before you use them define your organizational culture. Use them sparingly for team building, motivation, employee retention, and conflict management.