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Should firms be making use of personality tests?

Posted by: Laurence Simons 15/03/17

In recent years an increasing number of firms have been making use of psychometric tests during their recruitment processes, but few have adopted tests designed solely to assess candidates’ personalities.

However a number of commentators suggest that personality assessments help firms to determine how well a candidate might fit within a practice’s culture, and assess the qualities and strengths of their existing teams. 

Baltimore based Miles & Stockbridge, revealed how they make use of a personality test known as DiSC, which assess four principle traits - dominance, inducement, submission and compliance. 

Chairman John Frisch noted that insights from the test identify which of the firms’ partners were more process-oriented, which were analytical and who were more intuitive. 

The test provides senior leaders with insight into individual lawyers’ natural communication styles, and allowed them to refine their behaviour approaches, for example using short concise sentences with professionals, who have a more abrupt communication style.

DiSC is one of many different personality tests which uncover why people behave and communicate in the way they do. The Wall Street Journal says eight in ten private employers now use such tests to make hiring decisions and improve retention. However, hesitant legal firms are slow to adopt the practice. 

Other analytic based tests, such as The Right Profile and the Sheffield Legal Assessment, have been specifically adapted for the legal industry. 

The Right Profile platform runs an online psychological test to ‘leverage the largest performance trait survey of attorneys to match talent to best practice areas’. 

These tests strive to uncover the intangible aspect of an associate’s mind-set, like personal drive or emotional intelligence, that are often hard to gauge in face to face interviews. 
By understanding those intangibles, firms can arguably make far better hiring and placement decisions. 

We are Laurence Simons have also got the psychometric bug. 

Our Global Managing Director, Clare Butler, is a certified practitioner of Lumina Learning – which is unique among psychometric tools because it avoids any stereotyping, while enabling clear communication about personal preferences using memorable colours. 

Clients enjoy using it because it produces clear insight into how individuals can more effectively work with others. 

Individuals love it because it gives a clear, jargon-free perspective on their personality. 

If this is of interest to you or your organisation, please contact Clare Butler at 

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