Are personality tests “bad” for DEI? An interesting article for Forbes by Csaba Toth, Founder of ICQ Global
In an opinion piece for Forbes Csaba Toth, Founder of ICQ Global, comments on the recent “buzz” on LinkedIn about personality tests being pointless, biased and bad for diversity, equity and inclusion. Toth says that personality tests should not be used for performance evaluation or recruitment as they measure preferences and not skills. So the real issue, he adds, is not the concept but the people who use it for purposes it was not meant to be used for. Discrediting tools that have helped tens of millions of people instead of those who misuse them is not useful.
Good personality tests are about getting to better know ourselves and others who think, feel and behave differently, Toth says. They are about building self-awareness and communication skills that can bridge the gap between our intention and our impact on others. Those qualities are the very foundation for diversity, equity and inclusion, says Toth.
We are all conditioned differently by our environment. Our personality determines how we want to behave, but our environment (culture) determines how we “have to” behave. Therefore two people with an identical result in a personality test may not necessarily act in the same way. The reason, Toth adds, is that even though we have very similar values and needs, we have faced different challenges and found different best practices to get along with ourselves and others.
“Using psychometric assessments without cultural intelligence is like learning how to drive in an empty parking lot and assuming you could manage in a busy city full of road work, cyclists and drivers who view the highway code and speed limit as suggestions”, Toth concludes.
See also, from our blog
“Psychometric tests often have high stakes: how to address potential biases and other challenges when adapting them in multiple languages”
“Psychometric Discrimination: The Polarized And Misunderstood World Of Personality Assessments”, Csaba Toth, Forbes, February 8, 2023