American companies have been using personality testing tools for both job applicants and staff for years now. For many, personality tests are an integral part of the hiring and employee development practice and have proven instrumental in giving companies an edge in the marketplace.
So the question is should real estate businesses consider using personality tests? Should a broker, who is busy building out their team, begin leveraging the data made available by these tests to improve the hiring and team building process?
Below we give you two primary benefits of using personality tests. In addition, we give you examples of two well-known personality tests you could easily implement for your team in 2017.
Benefit one: Smarter hiring
There are professions that come with a particular set of demands and which take a certain kind of personality to perform well. Sales is one such career that takes a certain kind of person to really succeed and enjoy the work. That said, not all salespeople are cut from the same cloth!
Can a more introverted person perform well in sales? Of course! Personality tests are less about finding a one-size-fits-all template to apply to new hires and more about how to discover the characteristics that can work well for the productivity of the team overall.
Pre-hire personality tests can not only help brokers and team leaders gauge whether the potential hire is a good fit for the job, but they also can be a way to refine the future hiring needs of the business. Top performing agents need not look and sound the same, but a personality test can help you determine the common denominator that will make them successful for your team.
Benefit two: Smoother work environment
Some companies bring in personality testing professionals to run a team building workshop and in the process they assess personalities of the employees that are already part of the team. For brokers who have never used personality testing in the past, this can be an enlightening exercise to say the least.
The key to a successful personality workshop is not to “trick” your employees into taking it or suggest there is a pass-fail consequence. The real goal is to make your workplace more tolerant of different work styles and personality types. It should make employees aware that there is not a “one-size-fits-all” mentality to being successful in real estate. Every agent is unique and may use a different communication style. Building the team’s awareness of the different styles and approaches used by others can only lead to better overall sales performance.
Two popular tests: PI and MBTI
There is more than one personality test on the market. Here are two of the most popular options we found:
The Predictive Index (PI)
The PI employs a free-choice response format. People are presented with two lists of descriptive adjectives. One list refers to what they think describes them best. The other list relates to how they think others see them. Using the responses across these two domains yield what the test designers see as each test takers observable behavior at work.
The beauty of the PI text is that it generally takes only five to ten minutes to complete. The test shows scores in terms of six major categories: dominance, extroversion, patience, formality, decision making, and response level.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The MBTI is based on the idea that there are four principal functions through which people experience the world around them: sensation, intuition, feeling and thinking. Are you an extrovert or introvert? Do you focus on basic information or do you add your own interpretation to things? Are you a logical thinker or do you look at the people and specific circumstances first? Do you prefer for things to get decided or do you remain open to new information? Test takers will end up with one of 16 personalities of the MBTI model. The MBTI assessment takes no more than 30 minutes.
NOTE: The two tests above should be conducted by accredited, professional testers. Trained professionals add value beyond just the execution of the test itself. They can help put the results into a broader perspective and give you tips on how to optimize your real estate team’s overall performance.