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Many of you have seen today’s (September 30, 2014) Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Are workplace personality tests fair?” http://finance.yahoo.com/news/are-workplace-personality-tests-fair-164715348.html and may have wondered about the assessments Leadership Alliance conducts for your firm. The premise of the article is that personality tests discriminate against individuals who don’t fit the profile and could negatively impact protected classes or individuals with disabilities. So, how does the testing described in the article differ from Leadership Alliance’s process? First, the article was targeting high volume recruiting situations where the testing is used as a first level screen as part of the application process, prior to any interviews. These computer scored tests use algorithms to derive the fit of the applicant to the desired traits of the position. There is no explanation of the results by someone trained in psychological test design and interpretation. Either someone from HR or the hiring manager is left to decipher the testing on their own. Second, Leadership Alliance uses a battery of assessments that measures problem solving, personality, leadership and other attributes important for job success. While we do provide a recommendation on fit for the position, we stress that this is one part of the overall hiring decision, not a go/no go. A good decision incorporates multiple data points and perspectives from various individuals involved in the process, combined in a well-reasoned manner. There is no blanket, mechanical algorithm that puts candidates into predetermined buckets. Instead, human judgment comes into play. Third, many of the tests used by the firms mentioned in the article do not come from the well-respected test publishers used by our firm. The assessments we use have been through rigorous internal review processes and have been updated to remove items that may potentially be discriminatory in nature. For those who want a more detailed explanation of the predictive power of personality testing, here is a link to a white paper on Personality Assessments in hiring from Consulting Psychologists Press https://www.cpp.com/Pdfs/Personality_Assess_Personnel_Selection.pdf Based on the outcome studies we have completed with our clients, we continue to be confident in the ROI of our assessment work. If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call at 314-993-8008.