Assessing New Team Members: Should we use the MBTI and DISC to predict future performance?
Guest post by Jessica Cella (MATD 2015): Learning and Organizational Development Manager at Leo Burnett Group
We’ve all been there. A position opens up on your team and you have the green light to expand and hire a new teammate. How do you select the right person? In the digital age, applications for a single open position are often number in the hundreds. While there are tools to assist in scanning resumes to narrow the pool of candidates, the interview process can still be exhausting, time-consuming and costly. Many hiring managers lack effective interviewing skills and some have a “blink moment” and decide in the first 30 seconds if they will hire the applicant or not.
Some organizations have turned to assessments to narrow the candidate pool and hire
more effectively. Two fairly well-known assessments are the DiSC (behavior based) and the Meyers-Briggs Type Inventory or MBTI (personality based). Many organizations have tapped into these tools for their hiring practice to the extent that they are hiring influencers for sales positions and avoiding hiring those identified as introverts for similar roles.
When looking for the perfect addition to your team, what you’re really trying to do is predict future job performance. Using an assessment can give an additional piece of information about an individual, but it’s a snapshot of a moment in time. Many individuals who fall into a certain quadrant or type can still be successful in roles that differ from the norm. I am a “C” (Consciousness) and an “I” (Introvert), yet I truly enjoy facilitating training sessions and have been told I’m quite skilled in that area. An organization may look to hire only influencers or extraverts for facilitation roles due to their assessment results and be missing out on a pool of potentially successful individuals. As a side note, there is a TED Talk by author Susan Cain that addresses the unique talents of introverts.
Although many organizations are hiring based on test results, the tool developers themselves do not support the practice. The DISC position on assessment is that the tool offers only one data point in the hiring process. MBTI publishers emphasize that results do not indicate success, and use of the test during pre-employment screening is not considered ethical.
These assessments have been proven to add value to an organization and its culture when used appropriately.
- What do you think is the best way to use tools like the DISC and MBTI?
- Should they be used during pre-hiring to eliminate candidates?
- Is an assessment just a data point, among many others in the hiring process?
- Do assessments only have relevance after a person has been hired, to help team members better understand each other and the culture?