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The Need and Controversies behind Personality Tests

The industry of personality testing has been growing and expanding since 2000’s. In 2009, this industry was worth about $500 million and has been expanding at the rate of 10% per year since then. Today the market is full of companies offering questionnaires for such tests and the number of such company keeps on increasing every year as dozens of new ones appear with something new. These questionnaires or simply called the products are of various types and categories. Some of them are of broad-spectrum type, which helps in classifying basic personality traits. These are either designed to test for a particular job or a particular trait.
The companies who design or produce these tests are very reticent about the methods they use to do so. They never make the crucial information they use in this process public. The methodologies used to develop these tests or the information of how they actually work are kept secret, these companies claim that such details are of proprietary nature. While even the most popular and hugely accepted personality assessment tests is a part of controversial discussion among psychologists.

The Most Widely Used Personality Tests 
  • The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) – It is a personality test which measures preferences among people in the way they see the world and the way they make decisions. The MBTI was developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, in the 1940’s. They thought that by developing something that can help women understand the personality preferences of people can help women to enter the workforce. They wanted to help the women who wanted to identify which type of war-time jobs would suit them the best. The initial questionnaire became refined by the early 1960’s into the MBTI. 
  • The SHL OPQ32r - This test measures the behavioural aspects of a person which are crucial implications of their performance potential. These are very helpful as such an aspect cannot be identified easily by other ways or techniques. The OPQ32r is an online test which is available in around 30 languages. The best part about this test is that it is time saving, as it takes less than 30 minutes for the majority of people to complete the test. It also provides a range of reports which provide clear and concise representation in graphical forms of the summary of performance. 
The popular reports include:
  • The Manager Report
  • The Candidate Report
  • The Sales Plus Report
  • The Team Development Report
  • The Leadership Report. 
Increasing Use of Personality Test
Despite there exists various controversies about some of the personality assessment tests, they still are dramatically successful with wide range of users and uses. In past 10 years the growth has been tremendous. If we have to point out own single reason behind the popularity and increased usage of these tests, it certainly would be the need of a legally proven method of selection. The human resource department and specially recruiters have always been looking for such a selection process which is both reliable and which can withstand legally, these tests fulfil that demand. It acts as a defence mechanism adopted by recruiters to handle the regulatory and legislative norms.
But this isn’t the only reason. The other important factors are that these tests are:
  • Easy to analyse and implement,
  • Time saving, as the results are automatically and immediately processed.
  • Ease of delivering the tests because of its online availability.
  • They are widely accepted among the general public.
  • They are cost friendly as the number of suppliers and the varieties are huge. 

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