Companies in the mining industry are increasingly including personality assessments – or psychometric testing – in their hiring and interview processes to help them identify suitable candidates for roles. However, how important are these tests in hiring? Do they really help?

According to Forbes, yes, they do – depending on how hiring managers use them. Companies must make sure they give candidates relevant assessments to take; they must apply the findings in the correct way; and they should not choose who to hire based solely on assessment results.

CA Mining’s Retained/Headhunting Service package includes an option of psychometric testing using the Discus assessment and/or the Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment, two online personality tests specially designed to gain insight about job candidates.

The results help us to identify ways in which candidates may suit a role and gain some objective information on them, however the results of these tests are just some of the things we and our clients consider when selecting best-fit candidates.

The importance of personality assessments in mining industry candidate selection

There are various advantages of using personality tests:

1. You can use them to determine whether the candidate will be a good cultural fit

Working in the mining industry, especially for FIFO workers, can be tough due to long hours, changes in shifts, and periods of time spent away from home. What’s more, employees in a positive work environment are more likely to work together well. All of this is key to keeping a mine at optimal productivity.

Therefore, mining hiring managers need to look at whether a candidate seems like a culture fit so they can maintain that positive company culture. A personality assessment will give great insight into this, as a candidate’s personality is one of the main determinants of whether they will fit in with the rest of the employees.

2. They are non-discriminatory

Personality assessments remove biases from the equation as they are not based on human judgement. They are objective and do not discriminate based on a candidate’s ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, or other such aspects.

Using them can therefore make the hiring process fairer and help recruiters and hiring managers identify candidates that will do well on the job, rather than ones that fit a ‘profile’.

3. They can be used as an indicator of job success

Someone’s personality can indeed suggest how successful they may be in a specific job and the kinds of tasks they might have a natural knack for, and the work styles and environments they are most likely to thrive in.

This means that getting insights about a candidate’s personality can be valuable for companies wanting to assess how well the person might perform in the role.

4. They can help to predict whether a candidate will last in the job

Hiring managers can also use information from personality tests to assess the probable longevity of a candidate – that is, if they will stay for the long-term, or leave after a short while.

With insights about a candidate’s personality, a hiring manager can work out if they are likely to enjoy the job – probably the biggest indicator of whether they will stay or go.

If the position lines up with the candidate’s interests and values, and the work environment suits them, they are sure to be more satisfied and choose to stick around.

However, be warned…

You can’t just use any personality test for hiring and choosing candidates

There are a lot of personality assessments out there, but only a few specific ones that are psychometrically validated for hiring and selection processes, such as the Discus and Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment.

Companies must make sure they use these, as they cannot legally use other personality tests in the choosing of candidates.

What’s more, validated personality assessments have been designed and tested in a way that means they are reliable and valid for measuring personalities of job candidates.

To ensure a personality assessment is validated, organisations need to be able to find proof – documentation or certificates – that the assessment has sufficient data to show its reliability and validity. If an assessment does not have such documentation, it may not be validated and thus is useless (and illegal to use) in the hiring process.

In addition…

Only use a validated personality assessment made specifically for candidate selection!

Not all validated personality tests will have been created to measure potential job performance, longevity, and so on – so companies must use ones made for hiring and selection.