Defense in Depth: Personality Tests in the Workplace

As a cybersecurity leader, should you use personality tests for hiring and managing a team? Does it create diversity, understanding of communication styles, or does it just create more conflict?

Check out this LinkedIn discussion to read the basis of our conversation on this week’s episode co-hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), producer of CISO Series and Allan Alford (@AllanAlfordinTX). Our guest is Ursula Alford, psychologist, Department of Neuropsychology, Baylor Scott & White Institute of Rehabilitation.

Got feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn.

On this episode of Defense in Depth, you’ll learn:

  • There is plenty of debate as to whether a security leader should use personality tests, such as Myers-Briggs, for hiring or managing employees.
  • Almost universally, no one wanted to use the tests for hiring as it creates bias, but many saw value in using them for managing employees.
  • About half of the people who participated in the discussion just wanted to steer clear of personality tests altogether, never wanting to force their employees to take them either.
  • The tests reveal individuals’ preferred communication styles which can be helpful for customizing employee management. This is the main reason they’re used.
  • Don’t mistake these tests as defining who you are in the future. It’s a test to measure personality and communications in a moment in time. People are often asked to take these tests repeatedly and we often score differently with our personalities changing. Meyers-Briggs definitely has issues with validity and reliability.
  • One significant value to any personality test is to see if you’re getting a variety of thought patterns on your team. If you’re not, then you may be building the wrong team.

Defense in Depth