Should You Use Personality Assessments in Your Physician Hiring Process?

physician taking a personality assessment as part of the hiring process

Medical systems, hospitals, and practices are always seeking innovative ways to quickly identify physician candidates who possess the necessary skills and who will also seamlessly blend into their culture in the long term. Finding the right talent is a critical aspect of building a successful team, and personality assessments have gained popularity as a tool to aid this process. By examining the benefits and potential drawbacks of personality assessments, you can determine whether you should incorporate this tool into your physician hiring process.  

The Pros of Incorporating Personality Assessments in a Physician Recruiting Process: 

  • Reducing Unconscious Biases: Personality assessments can help mitigate unconscious biases that may influence hiring decisions, such as certain keywords in a CV. Assessments provide a more comprehensive view of candidates beyond their qualifications. 
  • Examining How the Candidate Balances Team Dynamics: Personality assessments provide insights into a physician candidate’s behavior, communication style, and work preferences which can help determine if the physician will complement existing team members and help cultivate a more harmonious working environment. 
  • Predictive Success: Successful physicians often share a certain set of traits. By identifying these traits through assessments, you can potentially make more informed predictions about a candidate’s performance. 
  • Directing Professional Development Opportunities: Understanding the candidate’s ambitions and motivations can aid in creating tailored onboarding and professional development plans, leading to higher job satisfaction and retention rates. 

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The Cons of Relying on Personality Assessments During a Physician Hiring Process: 

  • Inaccuracy Potential: Personality assessments might not always accurately predict job performance or cultural fit. People are complex, and a single assessment may not capture the entirety of a physician’s potential. Furthermore, candidates may feel pressured to answer questions in a way they feel employers want them to, leading to inauthentic responses.  
  • Stereotyping and Labeling: Relying too heavily on personality assessments can lead to pigeonholing candidates based on certain traits and potentially overlooking other valuable qualities they possess or undermining their potential to change or improve upon others. 
  • Prolonging or Delaying the Hiring Process: Personality assessments tend to be lengthy and could deter qualified candidates from proceeding in the hiring process, which is often already comprised of multiple interviews and site visits. 
  • Legal and Ethical Concerns: Personality assessments must comply with equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws and avoid discrimination based on protected characteristics. 

How to Integrate Personality Assessments into Your Physician Hiring Process: 

  • Remember it is a Supplementary Tool: Assessments are only to be used in tandem with interviews, reference checks, and skills assessments. Making decisions solely based on assessment results can negate its value to your overall hiring process. Your hiring team should be trained to interpret assessment results effectively and avoid making snap judgments solely based on scores. 
  • Choose Reputable Assessments: Using verified tests from established, reputable providers will help ensure the accuracy and reliability of the results. 
  • Share How the Assessment Fits into Your Overall Hiring Strategy: Inform your physician candidates of your hiring process and how the assessment informs your decisions. This transparency fosters trust and authenticity and lessens the chance that they will provide false answers or prematurely bow out of the process. 

While assessments can help rule out candidates or assist in deciding between two similar physicians, they should be used carefully and only in conjunction with other evaluation methods. They can be an invaluable tool as long as you remain cognizant of their limitations and focus on curating a holistic hiring process that considers skills, experience, cultural alignment, and future potential.


If you’re looking for a physician to round out your team, connect with our dedicated consultants who have candidates ready to send your way.