“Although it is helpful to have a more comprehensive
understanding of each candidate’s personality, a greater
indicator of performance is the success or failure the
candidate had in their last two positions,” Rosenberg said.
“The best rule of thumb is: The best predictor of future
performance or behavior is past behavior.”
One concern with psychological and personality assess-
ments is that their interpretation is subjective, and only
trained professionals should analyze the results. Businesses
have their core competencies and should concentrate their
resources in people, time and dollars on those. Real estate
managers are not psychologists and should not try to be.
“These tools are valuable when the people using them
have the training and expertise to use them correctly,”
Rosenberg said. “The time required for many firms to
have a staff person obtain a certain level of proficiency
may not be worth it.”
Another concern with such tests is the possibility they
can be manipulated. Candidates with insight could manip-
ulate their answers to achieve any profile of scores they
want. Only honest answers will result in honest results.
“These tests may also produce inaccuracies in competitive job markets as individuals may attempt to ‘cheat’ the
tests—providing answers based on what they believe the
employer wants to hear,” said Craig D. McMahon, partner
of Kimball, Tirey & St. John, LLP in San Diego.
Reliability could be another shortfall of personality and
psychological assessments. Reliability means consistent
results. For example, it’s been reported that 47 percent to
more than 50 percent of test-takers change types when
they retake the Myers-Briggs assessment. And regardless
of the tests’ reliability in determining one’s personality,
employers want a reliable indicator of how well a candidate will perform in a job.
“The problem gets to be when the results are used
definitively as a label.” Rosenberg said. “All results are
really degrees, but people tend to go to absolutes. For
example, you may score higher in introvert, but that
doesn’t mean you don’t have extrovert characteristics too.
It’s on a scale of degrees.”
• LEGAL PITFALLS
Aside from concerns about these assessments’ accuracy
and reliability, legal concerns exist too. Personality and
psychological tests risk invasion of privacy, disclosure
of protected elements such as religious beliefs or sexual
practices, and many expose condi-
tions covered by the Americans with
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