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The 10-Day Difference Between Digital & Manual Personality Tests

- 27 May 2021 by Yehezkiel Faoma Taslim

Conducting pre-employment assessments used to be so complicated and time-consuming. Printing sheets, booking rooms, grading this and that. But it doesn’t have to be.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, online digital assessments have been on the rise simply because they’re much more expedient. Now that social distancing is a thing, it’s more or less the only option to assess candidates for hiring.

Just how much can digital personality tests make life easier for recruiters? Let’s go through the steps of both manual and digital tests to see the difference.


Comparing the time required to perform manual personality tests (pen and paper) and online, digital personality tests. Manual personality tests take a total of 11 days: 1 day of test preparation, 7 days of test administration, 1 day of manual scoring, and 1 day of test and result interpretation. Digital personality tests (such as Dreamtalent) take a total of 1 day: 1 day of test administration, instant algorithmic scoring, and instant result interpretation.


What’s the difference?

There’s more to it than the fact that one is done with pen/paper and the other on computers or smartphones. What truly separates manual tests and digital tests is the degree of human involvement.

In manual personality tests, you still need people to do mundane administrative tasks that could’ve been automated instead. This includes things like data entry or scheduling that waste the recruiter’s time.

Digital personality tests only require the human touch in decision making. Everything else is taken care of by algorithms, saving time and resources for the recruiter.

This is what makes it a true decision support system, one that makes the recruiter’s job easier instead of harder.

Manual Personality Tests

It can take up to 11 days.

Besides being time-consuming (as we’re about to see), the main problem of manual personality tests is the unoptimized data flow. It’s difficult to look back and utilize physical paper results — you’ll have to rummage through the archive room, if you even bother keeping stacks of candidate test results. These results are also vulnerable to loss or damage.

With manual tests, the results stop there and cannot be analyzed for further use (promotions, rotation, etc.)

Perhaps the bigger worry is the risk of human error. Since grading, analysis, and interpretation are all done by humans, human error is bound to happen — or worse: unconscious bias.

1. Pre-test preparations (1 day)

First and foremost is the test material itself. You’ll need to buy the license for the test then print those out yourself. If you have 100 candidates in a batch, then you’ll print 100 booklets for them.

Next you’ll need to plan ahead for the actual test day. This involves booking test rooms, checking which of your staff are free to invigilate for the day, sending out invitation emails to candidates, answering their questions, providing hand sanitizers, etc.

2. Physical attendance (7 days)

Most traditional pen-and-paper tests can take up to 8 hours to complete. This means you’ll have to watch the room for 8 hours, for a single batch of candidates.

Needless to say all of this will drain the manpower and time of your HR department that could be used for something else.

Bringing outsiders into your office also poses a real health risk to your existing employees in the building, considering the strict COVID-19 protocols we need to follow.

3. Manual scoring (1 day)

Just like how the candidates did it, recruiters would need to grade the tests manually one by one. You may follow a curriculum provided when purchasing the test license, but in the end it’s still done by hand.

Even if you’re using Excel, it’s still considered manual because you’re inputting the scores one by one. This will be a massive resource sink for your HR department, even more for large companies with bulk candidate batches.

Yet even after that, all we’ve got now are scores and numbers that have no meaning behind them. This calls for the next step: interpretation.

4. Test & result interpretation (2 days)

In order to understand what those scores are trying to say about your candidate’s personality, you need to analyze and interpret them.

But before that, you also need to interpret the test questions themselves, since different items (questions) may carry different weightings or measure different facets.

For this, you need a qualified psychometrician in your team, the same person you need if you want to build your own assessment from scratch. Alternatively, you can consult a psychometrician outside of your company.

This involves a few days of meetings just to make sense of the numbers you get from these tests. The more candidates you have, the more meetings you’ll need. And let’s not forget the risk of human error and bias occurring in these critical stages.

Digital Personality Tests

It can take as little as 1 day.

Digital personality tests only need human involvement for decision making. Everything else, from administration to calculations, are taken care of by algorithms.

The data flow for digital tests is also much more optimized. Stored in the cloud, personality assessment results are ready to be further analyzed if this candidate ends up being nominated for a promotion in the future.

Unlike humans, algorithms don’t make errors and aren’t biased, giving you much more accurate results.

Most importantly, digital personality tests save valuable time and resources for the HR department to focus on more important things than booking rooms or typing into Excel.

1. Cloud preparations (1 day)

There isn’t much to prepare for if you’re using digital, online personality tests.

All the recruiter needs to do is invite candidates via email. The online platform takes care of everything from there. For example, in Dreamtalent candidates receive an email with the link and complete instructions to complete the personality assessment from their own home.

Recruiters need only to wait until they’re finished.




Dreamtalent’s assessments take only 1.5 hours, so you can test as many candidates as you can in a single day if that’s the deadline you’ve set for them in the system.

2. Result analysis & interpretation (instant)

Unlike with manual tests, all calculations and analysis are done instantly by the system. In Dreamtalent, our algorithms are built on the research done by our expert psychology team and immediately transforms raw data into readable information.

While manual tests only give you meaningless numbers, digital tests give you detailed explanations on the candidate’s personality profiling, predicted behavior, and how well they fit with the job and your company culture.




All the information is processed and laid out for you. The recruiter needs only to make the decision: to hire or not to hire?

This is how digital personality tests can be more powerful than just a measurement tool, but a decision support system for HR.

Transform your Human Capital Today

The pandemic has forced everything to move online, and that includes pre-employment personality assessments. Dreamtalent makes it easier for HR to assess and recruit candidates quickly and accurately, with scientifically proven psychometric tests, without having to meet face to face.

Register your company now for a 14-day free trial or contact us for a meeting today!