Article

Avoid “Psychobabble” When Hiring Employees
by Dr. Larry Craft

As a sales manager, I remember reviewing a number of the reports from psychologists describing my candidates’ personality traits. They used mental health questionnaires to measure personality and motivation. I remember how the language in the reports was biased against salespeople. Some even used the term “narcissist” to describe the applicant’s need for status, prestige, and public recognition. I hired them anyway. What I discovered was that they were great at prospecting for new clients and could be easily motivated by contests and awards that acknowledged their sales success. I also remember the way some psychologists put a negative slant on highly driven salespeople using the term “neurotic” and “hyperactive.” I hired them anyway. What I found was a strong correlation between what some psychologists call “borderline personality disorders” and our most successful salespeople.

As a result of these insights, I have developed three generations of personality tests that avoid “psychobabble” and focus on helping employers hire peak performers who have “fire in the belly.”

If you are depending on psychologists to help you hire employees, I would sincerely recommend that you avoid using a psychologist with clinical or mental health background without extensive experience working in business and industry. Also, make sure your personality test is compliant with the American Disabilities Act if it has been used to measure abnormal behaviors or mental health.