Can your Mr Men personality be used to determine whether to recruit you?

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A recent article in The Guardian highlighted the unusual practice at Timpsons of using a jobseekers closest Mr Men personality to determine whether to recruit them or not. Is this valid?

The article in The Guardian appeared very recently but was a rehash of an earlier post on the BBC website.

In it, Timpsons outline how they compare people's personalities at interview stage to Mr Men, and obviously don't hire Mr Grumpy and the like but focus instead on Mr Happy and like-minded souls. Its hard to argue with results, as Timpsons are a profitable business - but is it valid to use this method of recruitment?

In a company which relies very much on its ability to deliver exceptional customer service, having staff with the right personality to engage with customers and give them the best possible experience is clearly a critical success factor, and you'd expect this attribute to be evaluated at the point of hire.

Labelling it with Mr Men is a quirky but relatable tool and if you can look more at what its testing as opposed to how it labels the results, its a valid instrument and clearly gives Timpsons what they need.

However, as with most recruitment decisions, the more data you have to make a decision, the more sound that decision is. So don't rely purely on personality insights (Mr Men or other), and ensure that you have a wide range of information on which to base your decision.

And its also just possible that a personality can be influenced by a protected characteristic such as a disability, so you need to make sure you're factoring that into any decision and preparing any reasonable adjustments or being able to demonstrate that a reliance on such a test is a proportionate means to a legitimate end...

At Clearlink HR we can help you design the best recruitment and selection processes and manage these for or with you. To find out more, get in touch with us.