Are Personality Tests a Good Predictor of Employee Performance?

In: Business and Management

Submitted By lbell562
Words 2310
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Are Personality Tests a Good Predictor of Employee Performance?

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Personality tests have been around since the Roaring Twenties. Objective personality testing began with Woodworth’s Personal data Sheet in 1917. That test was developed to identify soldiers prone to nervous breakdowns during enemy bombardment in World War I (Gibby & Zickar, 2008). Researchers have come a long way since then and over time endured many controversies and debates. Even in today’s time, we are still debating about whether or not personality tests are good indicators of employee performance. There is much evidence that would indicate yes and/or no, which is one of the reasons why it is still such a popular subject in the Human Resources management. In 1930, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) was developed at a Midwestern mental hospital. Today, this test is administered to an estimated 15 million Americans each year and was originally intended for the mentally ill, but now given to a broad range of normal people, including doctors, psychologists, officers, firefighters, etc. (Paul, 2004). It wasn’t until about the 1940s that personality tests became much more established and commercially accepted (Gibby & Zickar, 2008). In 1940, Isabel Myers created an instrument called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator which is still popular and used today in many companies. The first publication of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test was in 1962 and since then, the test is now given to 2.5 million people each year, and is used by 89 companies in the Fortune 100 (Paul, 2004). According to a 2011 poll from the Society for Human Resource Management, 18 percent of 495 randomly selected HR professionals are using some kind of personality test in the hiring or employee promotion process (Ellin 2012). Over time, and since the social acceptance of…...

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