Convincing reasons for using personality tests for hiring care staff

By identifying staff with the right qualities, who are more likely to stay, personality tests can help you tackle the care industry's retention challenges

Care worker speaking to older person
The framework follows NHS England's plans, announced in August, to recruit 600 more social workers into mental health services.

There are many well-publicised challenges facing the care industry today. Recruiting and keeping hold of the right people is definitely one of them.

With low entry requirements and very little in the way of entry level qualifications, care roles can attract huge pools of applicants. Even so, care still has very high staff turnover – 30.7% in adult social care in 2018, according to Skills for Care’s annual report on the workforce.

With this in mind, it’s very important to have an effective application process that screens applicants to focus on those with potential.

What is personality testing?

Personality tests consist of a series of standardised questions designed to figure out the qualities of a person’s personality.

In recruiting, these tests can be used to figure out if a candidate is a good match in terms of their attitude, work style and areas that might affect their job motivation.

Why are personality tests important in the care industry?

  1. Care work demands some very specific personal traits, with resilience and empathy being among the most important qualities.
  2. Staff without these qualities tend to become demotivated. This in the end leads to high staff turnover and disruption to client care.
  3. Vacancies receive a high volume of applicants. Personality testing in the early application stages is a great way to filter candidates and narrow down the numbers.

The NHS, for example, champions a personality-focused approach as part of its Value Based Recruitment framework. Part of this approach is about using personality tests in the early stages of the process to attract and screen applicants.

How to use personality tests in the recruitment process

Start with marketing roles in the correct way. This involves being clear about your organisation, the job and the sort of candidates you’re looking for. Try to include language that fits the kind of personality you need – if the job is going to be tough and require resilience, make this clear.

Administering an actual test is most useful in the early stages – either using a separate personality test (such as a web-based multiple-choice quiz) or you might include a series of personality-based questions as part of an application form.

For candidates who make it to the final interview stage, the use of further personality tests can home in on particular areas. This might take the form of ‘leading’ value-based questions during the interview, or
it may involve a separate stand-alone exercise or test.

To find out more about using personality tests for hiring, download our guide today.

Comments are closed.