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Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Personality Testing in Recruitment


papyrus and parchment papers


There is no point in using Graphology or MBTI in Sales Recruitment.

They are unreliable and lack validity

In defence of Dr. R.Meridith, or he of the Belbin Teams then it is quite a different matter. Belbin’s original concepts have been peer reviewed, are intellectually rigorous and academically respectable. His studies were, and are, validated by successful prediction, and Belbin Team Types have had wide use and great success.



It should NEVER be used as the basis of recruitment, or promotion. Indeed, BELBIN decries its misuse in the fable of the "Apollo Syndrome” and “Negative selection”. This preferably self-administered and self-interpreted instrument uses self-perception, which gives the individual and the team insight into the contribution range and preferences of the individual. Its basis is in valuing “difference”, in that the ‘Team’ will always outperform the ‘Individual’. Belbin Team Type insight enables the individual to serve the team best, and recognising preferences enables the team to be best served by the individual.

When training Belbin to Managers or to Sales Teams I use the Movie “The Great Escape”,
which highlights individual types, working together to achieve what individuals could not achieve alone.
All of the types are present and easily identified in the film.

  • Shaper (Steve McQueen multiple failed escapee),
  • Resource Investigator (James Garner the scrounger),
  • Plant (James Coburn the manufacturer)
  • Completer Finisher (Robert Desmond the tailor),
  • Implementer (Charles Bronson the tunnel king)
  • Specialist (Donald Pleasence the forger)
  • Team Workers (David McCallum and Gordon Jackson dispersion and intelligence)
  • Coordinator (Richard Attenborough Big X).

    However that rarest of Types:
  • Monitor Evaluator was played by the Hannes Messmer the Kommandant.

So sit back next Christmas and enjoy a classic Movie, but this time with a twist in Perception and Judgement. Apply the lessons back in the workplace, and watch Teams out perform expectations by a mile.

If you insist on using Graphology in recruitment, then combine it with only offering jobs to Monitor Evaluators and Plants, there is at least a correlation between success and them!

1 comment:

    I’m pleased to be able to agree with some of the main points of this post: that the MBTI doesn’t predict job performance, and that it should not be used for recruitment.
    In fact, neither of these are the *intended* use of the MBTI, so you’re quite right to say they would be unsuitable applications of something that is actually a very powerful developmental tool!
    Rob Bailey
    Managing Consultant, Research and Development
    OPP – European distributor of the MBTI