Is it Beneficial to Have Your Employees Take the Myers–Briggs Personality Test?

personality test

Employers in different industries appear to see the benefits of using the Myers-Briggs Personality test as part of employee screening and talent development program process. The full name of the test is the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, which is a self-reported inventory of an individual’s preferences. Taken as a whole, the results of the MBPTI should identify personality type, individual strengths, and task preferences. The test, in a questionnaire format, was designed by the mother-daughter team of Isabel Myers and Katherine Briggs with Carl Jung’s theory of personality types influencing the development and content of the test.

History and Rationale Behind MBPTI

Myers and Briggs studied Carl Jung’s theory intensively and realized that understanding personality types had important applications in the real world. They believed that if people could understand themselves better, they would have a better understanding of individual differences. Identifying personality type would help match individuals with the right occupation and help them achieve greater satisfaction and happiness. The first version was tested on family and friends in the 1940s, but it took at least 20 more years to develop this personality inventory test.

Core Concepts of the Myers-Briggs Test

Personality typing is a way to create meaningful groupings of people based on their tendencies to think, act and make choices under specific circumstances. It is a way to understand how individuals differ and how their differences can be channeled for positive outcomes.

Myers and Briggs postulated that personality typing could be accomplished by using key dimensions presented as dichotomies, which is basically giving individuals an either/or choice between two types. These key dimensions are:

• Introversion(I) vs. Extraversion(E)

• Thinking(T) vs. Feeling(F)

• Sensing(S) vs. Intuition(N)

• Judging(J) vs. Perceiving(P)

Each dimension is identified with a letter code and a combination of these dimensions create the 16 personality types of the Briggs-Myers test. Each personality type is described as a four-letter code referring to the identified attributes, and each four-letter code is matched to the most appropriate occupation in broad terms. The Myers & Briggs Foundation provide an interactive resource for understanding each personality grouping. There are no right or wrong answers, and all personality types are equal.

• ISTP – Crafter

• ISFJ – Protector

• ISFP – Artist

• INFJ – Advocate

• INFP – Mediator

• INTJ – Architect

• INTP – Thinker

• ESTP – Persuader

• ESTJ – Director

• ESFP – Performer

• ESFJ – Caregiver

• ENFP – Champion

• ENFJ – Giver

• ENTP – Debater

• ENTJ – Commander

Real-World Applications

The Myers-Briggs Personality Test provides employers with a tool to determine if an applicant is a good fit for the position, increasing the likelihood of successful placement in terms of the candidates’ job satisfaction and longevity in the position. Hiring and recruitment are some of the biggest expenses in human resources and an inappropriate hire would cost the company even more in firing, re-hiring, and downtime while the position awaits a new employee.

On the flip side, employees who are well-matched to their assignments tend to be happier, more productive and report greater job satisfaction. These are employees who will go on to lateral or vertical promotions through the company’s talent development program. MPBTI results become part of the employees’ permanent file and may be used to identify those who are suited for analytical, manual or leadership roles. Results of the Myers-Briggs Personality test are not keyed to norms, but the test is useful in personality typing, understanding differences and using the information to improve workplace dynamics.

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