It’s important that we first come to terms with the rigidity of personal behavior. It just doesn’t change much after the age of 12 or so.

The Right Orbitofrontal Cortex (ROC), which is the part of the brain directly above the right eye, contains the master plan for our behavior. It controls what we do and say each day. Studies indicate that traits and behaviors start to cement between the ages of 8 and 12. By the time we reach adulthood, the malleability is lost, and our personality is imprinted on our brain.

We can alter or modify behaviors for a period of time, and the length of the alteration varies widely among individuals. Some just can’t do it at all. However, no matter the duration, eventually the situation will become stressful because it is not an effortless fit.

“Burn out” is caused by having to maintain those altered behaviors for too long.

Dr. Ann Edworthy, who has studied stress among teachers, medics and police, said behavioral tests should be carried out to eliminate those whose are psychologically wrong for their chosen profession.

Dr. Edworthy, director of the new centre of Applied Research in Psychology and Counselling at Swansea Institute, has been studying stress in different jobs for more than two decades. She warned that employers could not tell whether someone was up to the job through interview, qualifications and curriculum vitae alone.

And people can also waste years training for jobs to which they are ill-suited.

“Why is there so much stress? In some cases it’s the job and in others it is that the wrong person is in the job,” said Dr. Edworthy.

“You might be a brilliant doctor, but if you can’t communicate at the bedside there will be stress.”

“A lot of employers spend a lot of money on training and they should consider spending more time and money getting the right person, which might include psychometric tests, not just looking at qualifications on paper. I would like to see a system which tests the most appropriate person for the job…”

Dr. Mike Peters, head of Doctors for Doctors, a support department of the BMA, said, “Stress is alluded to in doctors’ training and people know it’s tough, but it’s difficult to prepare people for the reality. The question is, how early do you do psychometric testing?

“Do you do it when people enter medical school? You may weed out the people you want. The test may say you’re obsessive, but you want doctors to be obsessive to some extent.”

Tony Charles, from Cardiff recruitment consultancy Tony Charles Associates, said employers and job candidates should use personality testing more.

Mr. Charles, who uses personality tests in career coaching and recruitment, said, “Smaller companies tend not to have the expertise, but the cost of getting the wrong applicant is actually greater than money spent on a consultant to get the right person.”

“Psychometric testing is also important for the candidate. Everyone thinks they know who they are but they may be wrong. Psychometric assessment is a very important facility in getting more data. So many people make recruitment decisions on a relatively short interview. Interviews are quite unreliable. Employers can come to quick conclusions from them and find out six months later that the candidate is not what they thought they were.”

Author's Bio: 

Dave Eisley has over 15 years of experience in building high performing sales teams. His experience in startups, franchise development, and inside and outside sales in both residential and commercial settings have put him in front of thousands of salespeople. He knows what works, and more importantly, what doesn't.