Social Enterprise

Employment personality tests subject to few government regulations

Personality tests that are employed by companies in their hiring processes are subject to very few government regulations. You'd think that a practice that makes or breaks a prospective employee's bid for a job would face a little more legal scrutiny.

Personality tests that are employed by companies in their hiring processes are subject to very few government regulations. You'd think that a practice that makes or breaks a prospective employee's bid for a job would face a little more legal scrutiny.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Many large corporations use personality assessment tests on prospective employees in order to ensure "good fits." The cost of testing a single job candidate can be from $100 to more than $5,000. But would it surprise you to learn that there are virtually no government regulations regarding how these tests are designed or who can administer or interpret them?

Most large firms will use qualified psychologists to develop and perform assessments. According to a piece from Ask The Headhunter:

"Psychologists abide by codes of ethics and guidelines that ensure tests are reliable and valid, laws forbidding discrimination are scrupulously followed, and test takers are treated with respect. (You can read about psychologists' perspective on The Rights and Responsibilities of Test Takers on the American Psychological Association's Web site.)"

However, if the assessor is not a psychologist, he or she is not necessarily bound by a professional code of conduct.

Wow. Even Good Housekeeping offers a seal of approval. You'd think that a practice that makes or breaks a prospective employee's bid for a job would face a little more legal scrutiny.

The piece from Ask The Headhunter offers this advice when you're being faced with an assessment or personality test upon employment:

"At no time should you be asked any questions about disabilities you may or may not have; this is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Questions about sexual orientation, sexual practices, with whom you live, your religious beliefs or your ethnic background are also inappropriate although not necessarily illegal."

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

Editor's Picks