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There are a many ways in which personality assessments can—and should—be used to help hire the right people. Assessments can contribute to good hiring decisions, and organizations can leverage assessments as a starting point for developmental conversations once a hiring/promotional decision has been made.

Personality has been defined by N. Brody and H. Ehrlichman (1998) as “those thoughts, feelings, desires, intentions, and action tendencies that contribute to important aspects of individuality.” Personality comprises the psychological preferences, temperaments, and predispositions that, in part, motivate and govern people’s behavior, and one of the goals of psychology is to understand these stable traits and effectively measure them through personality assessments.

When considering the use of personality assessments in selection for hiring, remember that not all instruments are created equal—nor are they created for the same purpose. For instance, theMyers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) is intended to generate self-insight and spur development in employment contexts (such as team building and conflict management), and has been validated and shown to work very well in that function. However, it was not designed as a predictor of performance.

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