Career Resource

Unlocking the Power of Personality Assessments in the Hiring Process: Insights from Industry Experts
BY 3P Partners | June 5, 2023
Personality assessments have gained significant popularity in the hiring process as companies strive to make more informed decisions about candidate suitability. But how effective are these assessments, and how should they be integrated into the evaluation process?

To shed light on these questions, we interviewed industry experts John Mickelson, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Midwest Growth Partners, a private equity firm with 20 portfolio companies, and Dr. Jake Tuber, Principal at Ticonderoga Advisory and Executive Coach, to gain insights into the value and predictive power of personality assessments.

Choosing the Right Assessment

When considering personality assessments, it’s important to understand the various options available. According to Dr. Tuber, the choice of assessment should be tailored to the specific context and requirements of the company. While the Myers-Briggs test is well-known, Tuber suggests its predictive power is limited and advises exploring alternatives such as the Hogan Suite of Assessments and the Occupational Personality Questionnaire, which offer greater validity and predictive capabilities. On the other hand, John Mickelson favors the Culture Index personality test, which utilizes multiple data points to identify the best fit for both the candidate and the company.

At 3P Partners, the preferred assessment is The Predictive Index. The team has found this assessment to provide accurate insights into the personality traits that align with success in a given role, while also being easy to administer, taking less than 10 minutes to complete.

Tailoring Assessments to Different Roles

The function of personality assessments may vary depending on the nature of the role being evaluated. Dr. Tuber emphasizes that assessments can be more predictive than screening conversations in roles involving rote operations, such as customer service at a call center. Assessments can identify traits like friendliness, affability, and patience, which are crucial in such environments.

However, Mickelson highlights the importance of considering the analytical aptitude of candidates for roles that require analytical thinking or suitability for outward-facing positions that involve extensive interactions with third parties.

Personality Assessments as Complementary Tools

Personality assessments should not replace interviews but rather complement them. Dr. Tuber believes that assessments can shape interviews by providing data that informs how candidates might react to certain situations. Mickelson shared an example where a candidate interviewed well but did not possess the necessary analytical skills for a CFO position at a portfolio company, highlighting the value of additional data points from assessments to avoid relying solely on gut feelings.

They were really friendly and interviewed well but were not cut out to be a CFO. They would not have been positioned for success living in the details, which is what we needed…”


Avoiding Overemphasis on Assessments

While assessments offer valuable insights, they should not be the sole deciding factor. Mickelson warns against over-reliance on assessments or interviews alone. The hiring process should incorporate multiple elements, including interviews, case studies, and background checks. Personality assessments, such as the Culture Index, serve as one more piece of the puzzle that paints a comprehensive picture of a candidate’s suitability.

Maximizing Value from Personality Assessments

Dr. Tuber suggests that organizations can benefit from using personality assessments holistically throughout their operations. By analyzing the results of assessments taken by high performers and lesser performers within the company, trends can be identified, leading to a more precise understanding of what to look for in candidates. However, Mickelson notes that some assessments, like the Culture Index, require subject matter expertise to interpret effectively, limiting their widespread use within an organization.

The Key is Fit within the Role

Ultimately, it is not an individual’s personality in isolation that matters most but rather how their personality interacts with the requirements of the role and the organizational environment. Dr. Tuber stresses the importance of considering how a candidate’s personality will align with the culture and management of the company.

In Conclusion

While there is no universal approach to using personality assessments, integrating them into the hiring process alongside interviews and other evaluation methods can provide valuable insights into candidate suitability. Organizations that leverage these tools effectively will gain a competitive advantage in making successful placements.

At 3P Partners, personality assessments are just one of the tools used to find the perfect fit for clients in agribusiness and CPG executive search.

If you are interested in learning more about using personality assessments in your hiring process or have any comments to share, please reach out to us. We would love to hear from you.

Sources: Direct communication with Dr. Jake Tuber & John Mickelson

Dr. Jake Tuber
Principal at Ticonderoga Advisory and Executive Coach
John Mickelson
Co-founder and Managing Partner of Midwest Growth Partners