When you recruit, you hope to recruit the ‘right’ person –  someone who is going to ‘fit’ into the role, the business and the culture of that business. Will they work well within the team? Will they add value? And will they be a future star?  Hopefully!

But what is the fit? And who is right for that fit? We talk about a company’s culture and values and then try to match this with the candidate when recruiting, but what someone says in an interview can be very different to how they perform and interact with others in practice.

However, what happens if we don’t get it right?  The impact can be costly to the company, detrimental to a team’s motivation and can ultimately impact the performance of the whole company!  What’s worse? A new staff member who leaves after a matter of days, or a new staff member who slowly disengages with the role, which can slowly affect the business culture?

The recruitment process is different from employer to employer.  Some have in-depth selection criteria, which can include verbal and numerical reasoning tests (which can range from GCSE level to almost needing a PhD to complete!)  With technical and competency based interviews and numerous stages of face-to-face meetings, (assessment centres, presentations etc.) the list goes on. Some candidates have attended up to 7 stages in some cases!

Some organisations still make their decision on a ‘gut feeling’ about the candidate’s ‘fit’ just because they got on reasonably well during the interview.  For example, let’s say you have two candidates with identical technical ability – one of which you were able to find more things in common with which ultimately was successful.  Will those things you had in common still be relevant in 6 months time when you realise that the successful candidate is very different in the working environment? No longer the outgoing, extrovert who thrives on challenges and pressure you thought you’d recruited, who now looks like a square peg in a round hole! But what’s the answer?

Recently, I’ve noticed a significant increase in personality tests being introduced to the recruitment process by many of our clients.  So I asked, ‘why’?  What is it they are looking for?  What do they really think it will achieve?

Mostly, it is just seen as an extension to the interview process but increasingly being seen as an important extension that gives a crucial overview of an individual that just isn’t uncovered through face-to-face interviews.  Whether it is Myers Briggs, OPQ, SHL or any of the numerous tests that are available in the market today, it’s interesting that there is now a clear increase of organisations and cultures wanting to change their recruitment process and it is now common practice to utilise these tests to ensure the best recruits are hired and are more importantly retained moving forward.

Noreen is an Associate Director in Manchester and would pass an MDH personality test with flying colours!