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What are the downsides of personality tests?

by on
in Hiring,Human Resources

Q. We are thinking about using personality tests to evaluate whether applicants would be friendly and communicate well with our customers. Does using such a test expose us to potential lawsuits?

A. If the personality test has an adverse impact on the employment opportunities of members of a race, color, religion, sex or national-origin group, don’t use it unless it is validated pursuant to the EEOC’s Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures.

Validation is the demonstration of the job-relatedness of a selection procedure. The Uniform Guidelines recognize the same three validity strategies recognized by the American Psychological Association:

  • Criterion-related validity: a statistical demonstration of a relationship between scores on a selection procedure and job performance of a sample of workers.
  • Content validity: a demonstration that the content of a selection procedure is representative of important aspects of performance on the job.
  • Construct validity: a demonstration that (a) a selection procedure measures a construct (something believed to be an underlying human trait or characteristic, such as honesty) and (b) the construct is important for successful job performance.

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