Job-seekers in nearly every service industry have encountered one or more personality tests during the application process. In the last several years, employers have used them not only in later hiring stages, but also as an effort to pre-screen applicants for job suitability.

But are personality tests an accurate indicator of ability? More importantly, are they fair to all applicants?

An investigation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may change the way employers can use personality tests to evaluate their applicants. While test providers claim that their tests do not have a negative impact on applicants based on their gender or race, there has been little to no prior study on whether individuals with disabilities are at a disadvantage when answering basic personality test questions.

For example, an applicant with a depressive disorder – which they are not legally required to disclose during the application process – may be scored lower on tests that use questions such as “Agree or Disagree: I am happy most of the time.” Because several academic studies that measured the relationship between personality and job performance have concluded that there is only a small connection between the two, many of the candidates that are screened out by personality tests may not actually be the “least qualified” for the job.

That said, some companies have modified or eliminated the personality-focused questions in their tests and choose to emphasize questions that measure a candidate’s aptitude for fulfilling the job requirements and whether they possess other traits (such as creativity and problem-solving) that may help them succeed.

Staffing agencies can benefit from a heightened awareness of applicant personality tests to help their employees find better placements. When beginning work with a new client, temporary staffing company owners should find out what personality tests the company uses and if their temporary staff will be required to take them. Staffing companies can then make more targeted placements, which may increase the number of assignments that become permanent placements.

Understanding the personality tests that are currently on the market can help staffing agencies become more effective advocates for their employees. If your current cash flow is preventing you from making that investment or others in your business, Factor Finders’ staffing funding programs offer the working capital to turn your cash flow around. Contact Factor Finders today to learn how you can finance staffing receivables and request your free quote.