Personality tests: 5 for IT teams to try

Whether you want to make better hiring decisions or build a more cohesive IT team, personality tests can be illuminating
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On a dynamic and successful IT team, cutting-edge tech skills will always be important – whether you grow your own experts or you seek out new hires. But culture fit is also a make-or-break factor in how effectively teams work together to meet goals. 

Consider this: In a recent Robert Half survey, 95 percent of IT hiring managers admitted to making a bad hire, and over half acknowledged that it was due to interpersonal issues and poor corporate culture fit. 

How do you determine if someone is a fit for your corporate culture before they are part of your company? How do you organize your teams so that everyone can perform at their best? Some tech companies believe the answer to both of those questions is personality testing. 

“Most tech companies want to understand how to hire the right people for their company culture as well as how to best engage their employees in a way that works best for them on an individual level,” says Adam Tucker, customer success manager for Cloverleaf, an online platform for personality tests. “Tech companies also want to create and cultivate high performing teams, which has little to do with the members' technical skill or experience and a lot to do with the interpersonal dynamics at play.” 

Personality tests can help you identify personality or behavioral gaps on your team so that you can make more informed hiring decisions.

Culture can be especially challenging for companies that experience rapid growth and exist in an environment or industry that is constantly changing, says Tucker, who mainly works with tech companies. “Companies watch employees get burnt out, struggle to keep up, become disengaged, and they are left scratching their heads as to what went wrong. Personality assessments help them begin to understand some of these issues and can give them actionable insights to build culture and develop teams to be effective and efficient and stay cohesive amidst constant change,” he says. 

[ Read also: Build team loyalty with these 3 culture tactics. ]

If you are running into any culture roadblocks, taking a personality test with your team might be illuminating for everyone involved. It can even help you identify personality or behavioral gaps on your team so that you can make more informed hiring decisions going forward. 

Here are five personality tests to check out.

16 Personalities: Can’t decide between the ever-popular Myers Briggs and Big Five personality tests for your team offsite? No need. The 16 Personalities approach combines these and other concepts and models into its own unique test. The test and its comprehensive results are free, offering insights into many aspects of an individual’s personality – from how they form relationships, to how they parent their children, to their workplace habits and career paths. Managers can browse all the personality types to learn what motivates each individual on their team.

Take the test (Free)

DISC: The DISC personality assessment is a favorite among tech companies, according to Tucker. By showing test takers how they stack up in four key areas (dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness), the results predict how individuals will behave in any given environment. For instance, someone who scores highly in the area of dominance is likely to accept challenges and see the big picture, but they can come across as blunt to coworkers – all useful information when building a team. The concept of DISC dates back to the 1920s, so there are many versions of this test online – and plenty of info to help you delve into the results. 

Take the test (Free for basic results; $15 for the extended report)

Red Bull Wingfinder: This test aims to uncover strengths in four areas: connections – how you form relationships; thinking – how you solve complex problems; creativity – whether you sway more innovative or logical; and drive – your ambition. Developed by psychology professors and backed by science, this test has a unique format that uses visual cues, timed games, and puzzles. It’s a long test, taking about 40 minutes, but the results are intriguing, offering clear pointers on how to use your strengths to your advantage in the workplace – as well as how those same characteristics could be your downfall on a bad day. (Beverage-maker Red Bull uses this test in its recruiting efforts but also makes it available for general use.)

Take the test (Free)

Core Values Index: One might argue that the results of a personality test could change daily for the same individual based on their mood. The Core Values Index addresses this with a test that reveals unchanging motivational drivers. The test is quick, and the basic results show which core values (knowledge, power, love, and wisdom) drive the majority of your decisions. Upgrade to the comprehensive report for insight into areas of vulnerability, learning styles, conflict strategies, and more. 

Take the test (Free for basic results; $50 for the extended report)

Color Test: What does the type of car you drive say about your personality? It’s one of 25 questions in this quick test that reveals your top one or two personality traits that determine your career success. Interestingly, once you select an answer in the test’s multiple-choice format, you cannot change your mind and pick another selection – perhaps to help you avoid overthinking your responses. Results reveal whether individuals’ strengths lie in their power, perfectionism, peacekeeping, or enthusiasm. 

Take the test (Free)

[ Want to create a sense of urgency in your IT organization? Take 5 quick steps with our Fast Start Guide: Creating a sense of urgency, with John Kotter. ]

Carla Rudder is a community manager and program manager for The Enterprisers Project. She enjoys bringing new authors into the community and helping them craft articles that showcase their voice and deliver novel, actionable insights for readers.