Companies have used personality tests to screen job applicants since the 1950s. But now the tests have evolved and, because of advances in information technology, become cheaper to administer and more effective predictors of performance. A recent WSJ article reports that eight of the ten largest employers in the US are using personality assessments to fill some jobs.
Employers are taking longer to fill positions, according to research done by Booth Chicago economist Steven Davis. They see how their best employees do on the tests and then seek applicants who give similar answers. If companies have trouble filling a position, they simply post on more jobs boards until they find someone who is a good fit.
A key benefit of more careful selection is that turnover (both quits and layoffs) has gone down by about 25% over the last 10 years, according to Davis' research.
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