Do not use Myers-Briggs for recruitment

According to CPP, the exclusive publisher of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment tool, the MBTI is not recommended for use in recruitment and selection. However, it has helped many people gain insights about themselves and how they interact with others, so it can be a great tool for team and leadership development or conflict and stress management.

1065_whistle_orangeIf your HR team is using the MBTI to support hiring decisions, ask them to stop. Do not reduce candidates to humorous stereotypes.

Management researchers, William Gardner and Mark Martinko, write in a comprehensive review: “Few consistent relationships between type and managerial effectiveness have been found. The MBTI is not a useful predictor of job performance… the MBTI measures preferences, not ability. The use of the MBTI as a predictor of job or career success is expressly discouraged in the MBTI Manual.”

A Fortune Magazine 2013 article, Have we all been duped by the Myers-Briggs Test, says: “The interesting and somewhat alarming fact about the MBTI is that, despite its popularity, it has been subject to sustained criticism by professional psychologists for over three decades. One problem is that it displays what statisticians call low ‘test-retest reliability’. So if you retake the test after only a five-week gap, there’s around a 50% chance that you will fall into a different personality category compared to the first time you took the test.”5739_clipboard red

Annie Murphy Paul also discredits the use of the MBTI in her book, The Cult of Personality Testing. She writes: “The sixteen distinctive types described by the Myers-Briggs have no scientific basis whatsoever.”

The question is what kind of assessment is actually recommended to support your hiring decisions?

Contemporary personality psychologists believe that there are five basic dimensions of personality, often referred to as the Big 5 personality traits. The five are identified by the theory as extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness and neuroticism. Any psychometric or personality assessment must be based on a Big 5 platform to add predictive value to your selection process.3331_magnifying_glass_red

Here are three excellent Big 5 based psychometric assessments:

  • The company: AAI Assessment (AAI); the product: Work Behavior Inventory (WBI)
  • The company: Hogan Assessments; the product: Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)
  • The company: Saville & Holdsworth (SHL); the product: Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ)

7914_2898_graduate_burgundyIn Grant Thornton, we have worked with AAI Assessment for ten years and have found the WBI the most accurate way of checking personality, leadership style, leave of achievement orientation, initiative and emotional stability; plus other 30 traits. They are all important indicators of future work behavior. Read more.

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2 thoughts on “Do not use Myers-Briggs for recruitment

  1. This is really true. Once 10 years ago when i had my first test profile on MBTI. Until today, my result on MBTI is different than my first test over ten years ago. Time chaned, people changed, experiences gained. I am not the same as i was once when i had less experiences.

    I just been interviewed by a big international company and first assesment was again MBTI. And i asked myself if this is gonna work because the big company where has many thousand of employee, whereby i strongly believe they have all of MBTI profiles in their organization, what organization itself’s MBTI characteristic would be like? And how my assessment itself will determine if i fit into this company. I had so many doubts and believe it won’t work.

    A month later no reply from HR so i had to make a call to follow a result, then reply was my assessment was not fit into the candidate they are looking for, which i was not be surprised. It us something like a blinded-date. So then i told self, okay then i was the one who follow up my own result from my assessment while it should be a hr itself to inform the candidate for the result.

    This company MBTI characteristic profile should be like, slow, intervert, not active which also could be meant a type of company that i want to join. I personally deny to take assessment if that for first interview nowadays, it is a wast my time process.

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