One of the most common uses of employment tests is in the area of employment. Many employers use personality tests as a means to assess potential job candidates for their suitability, honesty, and loyalty to a future employer. Individual experience and interpretation can skew answers in such as manner as to render these tests unreliable. For instance, a person who is naturally unassertive might view the actions of an assertive person as aggressive, hostile, or angry. Likewise, an assertive person might see the actions of an unassertive person as weakness.
Previously, it was mentioned that seldom do people fall cleanly into one particular personality type of another. Yet, Jung's personality traits have found their way into a number of assessments and tools that are used in numerous situations. Many employers have begun to use personality tests, based on Jung's theories to decide if a candidate is right for a job. This concept is based on the ideas that the personality traits in Jung's categories make people more or less suitable for certain types of jobs. One can see how this might be helpful in assessing whether a certain personality type will be happy for the long-term in a certain position. Personality tests have now become an integral part of the interview process.
The real question surrounding these tests is how much to rely on them in the preemployment screening process. Use of personality tests as part of the pre-screening process have come under scrutiny in recent years. It has been claimed that the tests are intrusive and employers feel that potential employees are more willing to admit faults than they would be in a face-to-face interview (Kanchier, 2007). For these reasons and others, personality tests fell out of favor for some time out of fear of lawsuits. However, they have recently bee reconsidered are and not becoming a routine part of the interview process. The reason for this resurgence in their use is that they can provide information that would not be likely to surface in an interview situation. Employers view the personality tests as an extension of the interview (Kanchier, 2007). The amount of weight that the employer places on the test varies from employer to employer.
One of the more recent trends in the field is the development of assessment centers where assessors must observe a group of potential candidates for their suitability for a certain job. It was found that the quality of the assessment decreased if the assessor had to observe multiple groups at the same time (Melchers, Kleinman, & Prinz, 2010). The effectiveness of group assessment centers has been recently questioned. When one considers the use of Jung's categories and the problems with definition of categories, it could be argued that employment screeners rely on personality tests too much in the early stages of candidate assessment. The need to "process" a high number of candidates creates the potential for tester bias.
The father of personality tests used to screen today's potential employees had its beginnings in Carl Jung's theories on personality categories. As we have seen in this examination of how Jung's theories developed into modern personality tests it was found that personality tests do not always provide an accurate assessment of the person's personality or suitability for the job. The personality tests provides the potential employer with an objective means to assess a future job candidate. These are an excellent tool when used with the traditional job interview. Improvements in personality tests have resolved many of the problems associated with previous versions, such as the ability to detect fakers and scoring that does not allow assessor bias. Jung's original work made the modern personality test possible. This was Jung's key contribution to today's world of human resources. The personality test is not an excellent addition to the arsenal used by human resource professionals to assess potential candidates.
Diamond, S. (1999) "Jung's Angry Genius," by Stephen A. Diamond, originally published in The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal, 17 (4).
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Kancher, C. (2007). Personality Test Back in Favor. California Job Journal. September 23, 2007. Retrieved October 12, 2010 from http://www.jobjournal.com/article_printer.asp?artid=2134
Melchers, K., Kleinmann, M. & Prinz, M. (2010). Do Assessors Have Too Much on their Plates? The Effects of Simultaneously Rating Multiple Assessment Center Candidates on Rating Quality, International Journal of Selection and Assessment. 18 (3): 329-341.
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