Better Hiring Decisions with Personality Assessment - Atomic Hire Blog
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Better Hiring Decisions with Personality Assessment6 min read

August 28, 2019 4 min read


Better Hiring Decisions with Personality Assessment6 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Personality profiles are useful to explain and predict attitudes, behaviours and performance at work. For this reason, companies started using personality assessments in order to improve the efficiency, validity and accuracy of the recruitment process.

Although most companies rely on company websites and online job boards as part of their recruitment efforts, less than 10% use recruitment assessments. By including recruitment assessments in the candidate selection process, companies gain a competitive advantage since they are able to identify the best people to join their teams in a more efficient way.

For companies using recruitment assessments for the first time, a Personality Assessment can be a good option because it allows them to attract applicants with particular job-related personalities.


When to Use Personality Assessments?

Personality matters because it predicts and explains the behaviours at work. Most recruiters and hiring managers start the hiring process with candidate searching and matching using only basic information provided by applicants on their CVs. This process doesn’t take into account each candidate’s personality which is an important factor to determine hiring success and long-term satisfaction of employers and employees.

Personality assessments aim to determine the personality profile of a candidate, thus indicating how well they will perform in a certain work environment. In addition to helping determine the fit of a candidate, personality can also influence employee satisfaction, with researchers showing a correlation between personality and burnout, for example.

A personality assessment is recommended to help in screening out applicants that are not a good fit in the early stages of the hiring process. As a result, it allows recruiters to focus on the most promising and potential profiles maximizing their recruitment efforts.

The Dimensions of Personality

It has been many years since Cattell used English trait terms to build his theory of personality. Since then, a number of researchers have proposed an alternative structure based on 5 orthogonal factors which is commonly known as the Big Five Model. The five dimensions being: Conscientiousness, Openness, Stability, Agreeableness and Extraversion. Many studies have tested the validity of this model in regards do job performance prediction and other studies recommended the assessment of an additional dimension of Honesty.

To interpret the results of a personality assessment, it is important to understand conceptually each of the dimensions of personality.


Conscientiousness is a person’s desire to complete duties well and thoroughly. It is synonymous with self-discipline and the willingness to act responsibly and correctly.


Openness to experience is the tendency to embrace novelty, including new ideas, emotions and behaviours.


Emotional stability is how little your internal emotional state affects your behaviour, decisions and interactions with your environment.


Agreeableness is the tendency to create and maintain pleasant relationships with others, even at a cost to the person.


Extraversion is the amount of gratification a person receives from interacting with others. It also predicts comfort and readiness to speak with new people. Introverts prefer internal sources of gratification and so are more comfortable spending time alone.


Honesty is the tendency of a person to behave in a manner consistent with their beliefs and what they tell others. It closely relates to the behaviours of agreeableness but better separates sincere and manipulative intentions.

Benefits of Hiring With Personality Assessment

Incorporating a personality assessment in the recruitment process can increase efficiency and improve the quality of new hires. It also brings other less obvious benefits to the recruiting strategy.

Data-Driven Insights for Better Hiring Decisions

Ideally, hiring decisions should be based on objective data, but that’s not always the case. Unconscious bias and subjective insights often prevail and that’s why recruiters should find ways to ensure they are making the right decisions.

Personality assessment increases the validity of the selection process by providing a structured way to assess significant personality traits of a candidate. By using the personality profile to support the candidate evaluation, recruiters are more likely to hire the right person for the job.

Defining the Perfect Fit 

A personality assessment can help predict the performance of a future employee across a varied range of jobs. The personality traits desirable for a candidate vary according to the industry or team. Before determining the candidate fit, the recruiter needs to understand what is the ideal personality profile for that particular job opening, considering not only the function but also the business and team.

For instance, the ideal candidate for a senior data scientist role might have a very different profile from a junior sales assistant. That is why it is important to understand what dimensions of personality are the most important when defining the ideal candidate profile for each role.

Regardless of the personality dimensions considered to be the most relevant for a particular job, a personality assessment will provide an easy way to compare the scores of the candidates across those dimensions. The results of a personality assessment help not only to assess applicants individually but also to compare them with other candidates applying for the same job. 

Increased Employee Retention

As important as it is to hire the right candidate, is to retain top talent and reduce turnover. By hiring with a personality assessment, it is possible to screen candidates more efficiently and assess whether they will fit in with the role and company culture, thus being more likely to stay with your company. In fact, researchers have demonstrated that some dimensions of personality are correlated with job satisfaction.

Employees that aren’t the right fit for a job will eventually underperform and show lower levels of engagement, being more likely to leave. And as you well know, replacing a bad hire can be very expensive and time-consuming. Assessing personality during the recruitment process will provide data that can help you hire the right people for a position, reducing costs related to hiring and onboarding.


Companies are increasingly adopting recruitment assessments as part of their candidate selection process. In that context, personality assessment is one of the most popular types of assessments since is helps predicting job performance across a wide range of roles and industries.

Using a personality assessment to screen applicants can significantly improve the selection process overall. However, one should keep in mind that this type of assessment alone does not provide a complete picture of a potential candidate and therefore it should be combined with other methods for candidate evaluation. 

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