Are Workplace Personality Tests Fair?

Growing Use of Tests Sparks Scrutiny Amid Questions of Effectiveness and Workplace Discrimination

Workers who apply online at RadioShack Corp. must say if they agree with the statement: “Over the course of the day, I can experience many mood changes.” Lowe’s Cos. asks job seekers if they “believe that others have good intentions.” A test at McDonald’s Corp. said: “If something very bad happens, it takes some time before I feel happy again.”

The use of online personality tests by employers has surged in the past decade as they try to streamline the hiring process, especially for customer-service jobs. Such tests areused to assess the personality, skills, cognitive abilities and other traits of 60% to 70% of prospective workers in the U.S., up from 30% to 40% about five years ago, estimates Josh Bersin, principal of consulting firm Bersin by Deloitte.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal (paid subscription required)

 


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