Recent incidents of violence around the country remind us of the fact that people can have dark qualities to their personalities. Those tendencies can hamper performance on the job and interpersonal relations within an organization.
Aptitude tests can help uncover potentially threatening or relevant information about a candidate’s attitude as part of the interview process. The more information you have up front, the less likely you are to be surprised down the road.
Here are a few ways that pre-employment assessments can help you uncover warning signs in your potential hires:
Confrontation and Accountability
Hopefully, you never find yourself in a situation where you need to confront an employee, but if you do, it’s important to know how they’ll react. Will they fly off the handle? Try to pass the buck or shift the blame? Or will they account for their mistakes and try to learn from them?
Behavioral aptitude assessments measure attitude, emotional competence, and personality. You can tell how assertive someone is, how likely they are to confront people, and even how strong their self-esteem is.
Low marks in these areas should serve as a red flag. It does not necessarily mean that someone is dangerous, but it should be cause for further investigation if you want to hire that person for your team.
Right and Wrong
Beyond measuring a candidate’s emotional and behavioral traits, pre-employment assessments can also gauge someone’s logical thinking skills. This is important in understanding their ethical foundation and how they judge right from wrong.
Logic and reasoning tests not only measure what someone knows, but how they use that knowledge to draw conclusions. These assessments also examine critical thinking skills, which are important when it comes to standing up for what’s right in potentially compromising situations.
Watch out for lack of critical thinking or the ability to understand new and different perspectives. Rigid beliefs combined with an assertive personality can lead to conflicts in the workplace.
Poor social interactions can be another red flag. You might be able to discern some of those qualities during an interview, but an emotional competence assessment can provide a window into a whole other dimension of a candidate’s personality.
There’s a natural give and take to interpersonal communication — being able to communicate your own ideas effectively is just as important as the ability to listen to what someone else has to say. Leaning too far in one direction can indicate an unwillingness to cooperate with others or appreciate a different point of view.
The Bottom Line
Again, pre-employment assessments are not going to explicitly tell you whether someone is violent or abusive, but they can give you an insight into whether their personality leans in that direction. They can help you make a hiring decision or serve as a roadmap to watch for other warning signs down the road.
In the end, they should be one tool in your hiring toolbox to help find a candidate who will help your organization grow and thrive, rather than dragging it down with negative behavior.