In a report published in the University of Pennsylvania’s Journal of Labor and Employment Law, Susan J. Stabilet, a professor of law at St. John’s University, outlined a variety of issues—from flawed test results to possible discrimination—surrounding personality tests in the workplace.The Use of Personality Tests as a hiring Tool: is the Benefit Worth the Cost?[PDF), por Susan J. Stabilet:
Here are the three most relevant reasons you might want to steer clear of this hiring trend:
1. It can screen out great candidates. The idea is to figure out if someone’s personality “fits” a specific job position or not, but Stabilet says that although this may work for some professions, it won’t work for most of them. For example, if someone is applying for a firefighter position, the employer wants to know if that person has the potential of breaking down during an emergency. In other professions, however, it can be more difficult to determine the most efficient personality for the specific job. For example, what personality makes someone a good computer programmer? This is difficult to answer.
Additionally, the tests will likely give those with “mainstream” personality types a more positive reading, while creative, think-outside-the-box candidates “who may potentially become leaders and do extraordinary things for an employer may be weeded out,” Stabilet says.
2. Results may be flawed. In these types of tests, there’s always a chance that potential employees may simply respond how they think the employer wants. Therefore, the test results won’t be a true representation of their personalities.
In addition, “what is true of personality traits is also true of emotional states that may be revealed by test questions,” Stabilet explains. “It may be assumed that an unhappy home life will interfere with effectiveness at work, but this has not been generally demonstrated; indeed, some men may throw themselves into their work as a compensation for their frustration at home. Therefore, making assumptions about what emotional states should be sought is dangerous.”
Many of the most popular personality tests weren’t created to be used in the hiring process. For example, the Myers-Briggs test was developed for training and development, not hiring; therefore, its usage to screen candidates is questionable. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality inventory commonly used in organizational settings in private industry, the federal government and the U.S. military.
3. There are privacy risks and the potential for discrimination. Since these questions are usually asked in a way where the significance of the answers are unclear, candidates may reveal ”private thoughts, beliefs and emotions, through his or her responses to questions,” Stabilet says. Companies that decide to administer these tests should keep in mind that employees should be given the choice to opt out.
Experts also fear that these tests may discriminate against certain groups, because candidates will answer questions depending on how comfortable they feel in the situation.
Although the law does not make it illegal for employers to administer personality tests during the hiring process, companies should seriously consider the number of issues, from validity and reliability of these tests to concerns about invasion of privacy and possible discrimination against minorities.
The costs of making bad hiring decisions and the difficulties of getting meaningful information from reference checks of prospective employees have led many employers to use personality tests1 as part of their hiring process. Employers choose from a wide variety of tests in an effort to both weed out job candidates with undesirable traits, such as dishonesty, or tendencies toward violence or tardiness, and to judge the "fit" between the prospective employee and the job by seeking to identify prospective employees possessing personality traits likely to predict success in the job in question. Since the development of the first modem personality tests in the early part of this century, personality assessment has grown to a $400 million-a-year industry. While some employers are convinced that personality tests are akin to astrology and tell no more than an interviewer could learn during a standard interview, other employers swear by them and are convinced that they are hiring better workers as a result of their use.Eu pessoalmente costumava chumbar tanto nos psicotécnicos (nomeadamente nos "psico-") como na entrevistas, logo imagino que qualquer possivel método de recrutamento de pessoal "discrimine" contra mim...
The widespread use of personality tests as a means of determining which employees to hire raises a number of issues, ranging from the validity and reliability of the tests to concerns about invasion of privacy and discrimination against minorities. These issues raise the question whether the benefits of personality tests outweigh the costs of employing them. This article explores that question, considering whether personality tests are effective hiring tools, as well as the privacy and discrimination concerns implicated by their use. Neither of these concerns has been adequately addressed by the law, which does very little to regulate the use of personality tests.
Uma ideia que me ocorre acerca do suposto "perigo" dos testes psicológicos serem enviesados a favor das pessoas mais "normais" - isso provavelmente é mais uma "feature" do que um "bug": vamos imaginar que as pessoas "normais" tendem a ter um desempenho profissional "normal" (salve a redundância), e que as pessoas "estranhas" são mais dadas a ter um desempenho profissional "estranho" (seja para cima ou para baixo, ou talvez eventualmente a mesma pessoa "estranha" tenha um desempenho excepcionalmente bom numas tarefas e excepcionalmente mau em outras); vamos também imaginar que o desempenho de uma equipa de trabalho tende a ser determinado pelo desempenho do trabalhador menos produtivo (o caso mais extremo será um trabalho "linha de montagem" em que cada trabalhador faz uma tarefa e depois passa ao seguinte que faz outra tarefa e assim por diante - nesse caso não haverá dúvida que a velocidade do processo total de trabalho é determinada pela velocidade do trabalhador mais lento; mas penso que, em maior ou menor grau, este principio aplica-se a qualquer grupo de trabalho em que os membros tenham funções diferenciadas e em que seja necessário todas as tarefas serem executadas para o trabalho estar concluído) - nesse cenário faz todo o sentido que as organizações perfiram pessoas "normais": os trabalhadores excepcionalmente maus prejudicam o trabalho e os supostamente excepcionalmente bons pouco ou nenhum benificio adicional trazem.