What Assessments Can Be Used as Alternatives to the MMPI?

The Best Alternatives to the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

When it comes to hiring new team members, employers have much to consider. To start, they need to ensure a candidate has the appropriate qualifications and skills to fill the open position. Of course, it’s equally important that applicants have a trustworthy and dependable character. Vetting potential hires for such qualities eliminates the likelihood of dealing with counterproductive work behaviors (CWB) down the line. Personality assessments can be useful in weeding out candidates with negative attitudes, as well as applicants who are more likely to engage in harmful workplace behavior. When administering psychological assessments, however, it’s critical your company confirms they’re legal. 

There are numerous ways psychological personality assessments can violate a candidate’s right to privacy and unbiased treatment during the application process. FindLaw.com covers the intricate details, but one major thing to watch out for is whether or not your psychological test is medical in nature. Tests that determine whether or not a candidate is suffering from mental illness, for example, could be deemed unlawful. They violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which makes it unlawful to discriminate against applicants for medical reasons.

This is precisely why the utilizing the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) during the hiring phase can be an iffy decision. Although the test can technically be used to determine how a candidate’s personality traits may factor into their work performance, the test’s focus on psychopathology and identifying mental illness could be seen as a problem. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recommends against using tools like the MMPI or Myers-Briggs Testing Indicator (MBTI) for this reason. Fortunately, there are options more well suited for pre-screening applicants and their behaviors.

Alternatives to the MMPI Test

Since using the MMPI test could lead to legal and ethical issues for your company, what other personality assessments can you use while hiring?

Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire: The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire, or 16pf, is often used by hiring managers to assess potential employees. This tool uses 16 different qualities to determine an applicant’s personality, and all of them can be linked back to job performance. This test also meets the requirement to have personality assessments be more about job performance than psychopathology. It’s unlikely any of these factors could be considered discriminatory, since the 16pf isn’t medical in nature.

The Caliper Profile: The Caliper Profile is another assessment that examines personality traits critical to job performance. The test presents applicants with statements and asks them to choose the one that’s closest to their perspective. So, for example, the question might present a situation and have them choose which reaction fits best with their values. The Caliper also has test-takers do the opposite, indicating which sentiments are furthest from their viewpoint.

The Caliper is a useful tool in determining how prospective employees may react to various situations based on their principles. It can also be customized so that employers can examine specific behaviors they’re interested in.

The SHL Occupational Personality Questionnaire: The SHL Occupational Personality Questionairre (OPQ32) is an assessment that uses 104 questions to measure 32 characteristics, all of which can provide insight into how an applicant may behave on the job. The three major categories covered by the OPQ32 are “Relationships with People,” “Thinking Style and Feelings,” and “Emotions.” Naturally, all of these can help predict how a potential employee would interact with others and handle stressful situations. The OPQ32 also sets itself apart by comparing the test-taker’s score to other applicants’, emphasizing where their strengths and weaknesses are.

The Hogan Personality Inventory: The Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI) is another frequently used assessment, dating all the way back to the 1980s. The HPI measures a candidate’s temperament and compares it to the responsibilities of the role he or she is applying for. The test is comprised of 206 true or false questions, which tackle areas including “Service Orientation,” “Reliability,” “Stress Tolerance,” “Clerical Potential,” “Sales Potential,” and “Managerial Potential.” Given its range of categories and focus on specific areas, it’s understandable that the HPI has been around as long as it has.

The DiSC Behavior Inventory: The DiSC Behavior Inventory (DiSC) assesses an applicant’s personality using four personality types alluded to in the test’s name: “Dominant,” “Influential,” “Steady,” and “Compliant.” Test-takers answer a series of questions highlighting their behavior and capacity for teamwork. Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to using the DiSC assessment. For one, candidates are choosing which adjectives and phrases apply to them, which could make it easy to lie. The DiSC also doesn’t compare the applicant’s scores to a baseline, and according to TopResume, isn’t considered a foolproof indicator of one’s work performance.

How Verensics Can Help

Although psychological assessments have often been used to evaluate a candidate’s character, integrity tests are becoming a common way of judging a prospective employee’s values and predicting their behavior. Integrity tests can measure an applicant’s tendency to engage in or avoid CWB, making them lifesavers for companies looking to avoid liability issues and high turnaround.

Verensics offers the best of both types of assessments, combining the typical integrity test with the longtime experience of corporate investigators and organizational psychologists. The result is an online assessment platform that can guide candidates to reveal values and behaviors they normally wouldn’t. The Verensics assessment is also uniquely designed to manage one the most noted criticisms of assessments, which is faking.

Verensics’ platform is a useful tool to have in your reservoir, especially if you’re looking to gain a full picture of prospective employees’ values and behavior. Non-traditional tools like these can be game changers for those looking to replace older ones, like the MMPI and MBTI. Verensics uses the most advanced technology and appears to be most cost efficient alternative to the MMPI.

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