Both Personality and Aptitude testing help hiring managers gather candidate data far beyond traditional hiring tools such as resumes, responses to job interview questions, and references.

Together, these two forms of testing make it possible for employers to get a clearer view of how a job seeker may perform in a particular role, while also acting as an objective, evidence-based approach to making hiring decisions.

Occasionally, employers choose to include either personality testing or aptitude testing, but not both, into their hiring process. This might be for a number of reasons, such as keeping hiring costs down, or because they fear losing candidates with a longer pre-employment test. They may believe they’re getting the same value, but this is not the case.

While both personality testing and aptitude testing, individually, can predict a candidate’s chances of success in a role, it’s important to incorporate both because personality testing and aptitude testing are of critical importance in different ways.

Personality Testing Proves Value for Finding Job Fit

Personality tests designed for the workplace, like those offered here at Resource Associates, identify enduring behavioral qualities within candidates. They typically evaluate job seekers on five major traits – known as the “Big 5” – Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Emotional Stability, along with a number of narrow personality facets such as Detail-Mindedness, Assertiveness or Customer Service Responsiveness. The candidate’s responses are scored and a report is provided that aims to give employers a good idea of a candidate’s suitability for a position.

A major benefit for employers is that good test question design makes it hard for candidates to simply give the answer they think an employer wants to see. There are no right and wrong answers, and candidates cannot look up the best responses on the internet. As a result, test results become objective and useful data points for informing hiring decisions.

Add Aptitude Testing to Get a Complete Picture of a Candidate

Identifying the best behavioral characteristics for a job and accurately measuring them is an important hiring tool, but it’s possible to gain an even better perspective on a candidate. Employers also need to know whether a well-suited candidate has the skills and aptitude to perform a job well.

This is where aptitude testing plays an important role. A person who is patient and methodical may have a personality well suited for tedious and difficult analysis work, but the job might also require strong math skills and the ability to learn, retain and apply a large volume of information—qualities measured by aptitude tests, but not by personality tests.

While aptitude tests won’t tell an employer whether a candidate’s personality is suited for a job, they will reveal a job seeker’s mental capacities. It will also give evidence of a candidate’s potential for developing new skills as they grow into the position or as they are promoted into more advanced positions.

Combined with personality assessment results, aptitude test results give employers well-rounded, objective evidence of a candidate’s suitability for a position and their ability to perform well in a job.

We recommend using both personality and aptitude together to help determine a candidate’s potential fit for a role, and we strongly recommend connecting data to other points of evidence, as well.

In Conclusion: Multi-faceted Approaches Are Best

Traditional resumes, interviews, and references have their place in the hiring process—employers have used them for decades for good reason.

Hard-earned credentials, self-presentation skills, management ability, and participation in professional communities may also be important factors to assess for new candidates, depending on the role.

When personality tests, aptitude tests, and traditional hiring techniques like those shown above are used together, they paint a vivid and focused picture of candidates.

The result is time savings for both candidates and employers, cost savings for employers who avoid the cost of making ill-fitting hires, and, most importantly, the potential for a good fit for both parties.