When the boss puts your personality to the test

Waiting on a promotion? Well, there are two big names you’ll likely have to impress first: Myers and Briggs.

Driving the news: Personality testing has grown into a ~US$2 billion industry, per The New York Times, with roughly 100 million workers worldwide taking psychometric tests each year.

  • As employers try to drill into what makes their staff tick, personality tests can help inform decisions about things like hiring, team building, and career development.

Both Scotiabank and Canadian Tire have praised their recent advances in personality testing. While in Sweden, H&M made headlines after saying it would use personality and intelligence tests to help choose which 1,500 employees it would lay off.

Why it matters: Personality tests are having a moment as hybrid work makes it harder for managers to get to know their teams. These tests help companies understand their workers while also serving as jumping-off points for discussions about career goals and fulfilment. 

Plus: Tests also offer a new way to stand out in the hiring process for applicants who may have been overlooked when only accounting for traditional metrics like resumes or GPAs. 

  • Scotiabank told The NYT their new campus recruitment program, where personality tests play a large role, has led to hiring more Black and female employees. 

Yes, but: Some tests are about as reliable and scientific as a tabloid horoscope (written with the true skepticism of an Aries), especially as test-takers can lie to manipulate their results.   

Bottom line: While tests can help, experts have warned employers not to rely solely on them for workplace decisions and that they should be just one of several factors considered.