Press Release Archive
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., November 1, 2006 — The latest Spherion® Workplace Snapshot survey conducted by Harris Interactive® shows mixed feelings among U.S. workers on the use and value of personality tests in the hiring process. Nearly one-third of workers (32 percent) agree that personality tests can help determine if a prospective employee will fit in at a company or organization, yet almost half (44 percent) say personality tests are not fair assessments of actual personality.
When asked to think about all factors in the hiring decision-making process (such as work experience and background checks), 35 percent of workers said personality tests should be considered of moderate to high importance. However, in the past two years only 16 percent have taken a personality test to be considered for a job. Males (18 percent) are more likely than females (13 percent) to have taken tests recently to be considered for a job.
“Given the growing use of personality testing in making hiring decisions, we were interested in learning how workers feel about such tests,” commented Nancy Halverson, Spherion vice president of talent development. “We were surprised to find that only 16 percent had recently taken such a test. And while nearly a third of workers feel personality tests can be important in determining their fit with a potential employer, almost half questioned their effectiveness in assessing someone’s personality.”
One reason personality tests are gaining popularity, according to Halverson, is their potential to benefit both employers and employees.
“Considering that a poor hiring decision can result in high turnover costs for an employer, testing a candidate’s motivations and personality traits may be one more way to ensure a good fit,” said Halverson. “Personality tests can be equally useful to job-seekers—helping determine whether they will like their job and new organization and are likely to succeed at their new post. They can help workers avoid bad job choices.”
Other results from the latest recent Spherion Workplace Snapshot Survey:
Workers aged 18 – 24 most likely to have taken a personality test recently to be considered for a job.
- 29 percent of adults aged 18 to 24 say they have taken a personality test in the past two years to be considered for a job.
- Adults aged 50 to 64 are least likely to have done so (10 percent).
According to majority of workers, personality tests should be considered of low or no importance among all elements of the hiring decision-making process.
- 65 percent of adult workers believe personality tests should be considered of no importance or low importance in the hiring decision-making process.
- 35 percent believe they should be considered of moderate or high importance.
Workers split on effectiveness of personality testing.
- 32 percent of workers said personality tests can help determine if a prospective employee will fit in at a company or organization.
- Conversely, 40 percent do not believe personality tests are effective in that regard.
The October 2006 Spherion Workplace Snapshot is based on data from the Harris Interactive® QuickQuerySM online omnibus conducted monthly by Harris Interactive on behalf of Spherion Corporation. A U.S. sample of 1,572 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a poll conducted October 3-5, 2006. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education and region were weighted where necessary to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting adjusted for respondents' propensity to be online.
With pure probability samples, with 100 percent response rates, it is possible to calculate the probability that the sampling error (but not other sources of error) is not greater than some number. With a pure probability sample of 1,572 U.S. employed adults one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- two percentage points. However, that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
Spherion Corporation (NYSE:SFN) is a leading recruiting and staffing company that provides integrated solutions to meet the evolving needs of companies and job candidates. As an industry pioneer for 60 years, Spherion has screened and placed millions of individuals in temporary, temp-to-hire and full-time jobs. Positions range from administrative and light industrial to a host of professions that include accounting/ finance, information technology, engineering, manufacturing, legal, human resources and sales/marketing.
With approximately 650 locations in the United States and Canada, Spherion delivers innovative workforce solutions that improve business performance. Spherion provides its services to more than 8,000 customers, from Fortune 500 companies to a wide range of small and mid-size organizations. Employing 375,000 people annually through its network, Spherion is one of North America’s largest employers. To learn more, visit www.spherion.com. For up-to-date career tips and trends, visit Spherion’s career blog, The Big TimeSM, at www.spherion.com/careerblog.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides research-driven insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what could conceivably be the world’s largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in France and through a global network of independent market research firms. The service bureau, HISB, provides its market research industry clients with mixed-mode data collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and tracking research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com.
To become a member of the Harris Poll Online, visit http://go.hpolsurveys.com/PR.