Understanding Your Employees On A Deeper Level

personality testsDoing personality tests in the hiring process is a concept that gets more and more popular. You want to know who you´re letting into your company right? Also, there is only so much insight you can get from a few hours of interviewing, however with a personality test you can complement that info and get to know your future employees on a much deeper level.

The objective of personality tests in the hiring process is to get insights on the candidate´s behavior in certain situations. With the outcome of a personality test, you have an increased ability to forecast possible attitudes and behavior that could influence the candidate´s success or failure in your company. Also, with personality tests, the risk of bad hires tends to decrease.

In addition, as the name already indicates, with personality tests, you get unique insights on the type of personality that the candidate has. The ideal situation for a well-functioning team would be to have a mix of certain personality types and with those tests you can avoid have a too dominant presence of a certain type which will impact the success of the team. For example, if you hire a very dominant person for a team that already has some dominant personalities, there might be discussions (and even fights) each day because each one wants to be the leader. This will negatively impact the team´s output and the work atmosphere.

There are a lot of personality tests available in the market, but the personality types that come out as a result are usually four and can be compared to the below examples:

  • Myers-Briggs Test:
    • Extroverted or introverted
    • Sensing or Intuitive
    • Thinking or Feeling
    • Judging or Perceiving
  • DISC profiling:
    • Dominant
    • Influencing
    • Steady
    • Compliant
  • Personality Plus:
    • Choleric (“Do it my way”)
    • Sanguine (“Do it the fun way”)
    • Melancholy (“Do it the right way”)
    • Phlegmatic (“Why do it at all?”)


Where, testing potential new employees is already a well-known practice, more and more employers start to test their current employees as well. Because, all above mentioned benefits about knowing your employees on a deeper level and knowing what type of workers you have on your team, definitely also apply to the people you already have in your company. Especially if you look at teams, if you only test the new additions you still won´t have the complete overview of what you already have in the team which will also make the testing in the hiring process much less effective.

So by also testing your current workforce you can support each person´s individual strengths and create effective teams. Besides, by knowing your employees on a deeper level through their personality type, you can adjust your approach to them accordingly. If you know that their personality type responds better to a specific leadership and communication style, you can modify how you manage them and thereby get better results from each of them. For example, if one of your team members responds best when going straight to the point, directness and not wasting time, if you need to get something done from them you can go straight to what you need. However, maybe his / her direct colleague gets intimidated by such a direct approach and needs more chit/chat and context before getting to the actual task.

An additional benefit of understanding what type of personalities you have on the work floor, is that you can apply this knowledge in your personal life as well. If you know what type of personalities your partner, children, family, and friends are, you will know how to relate to them better and what ways of communicating will be most effective because their personality responds best to them. Once you start getting a deeper level of understanding of your employees and the people around you, it becomes actually quite addictive to profile people in personality types!

Does your company use personality tests and if so, which ones do you work with?


Photo credit: albertogp123 via VisualHunt / CC BY

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