Goldman Sachs to use ‘personality test’ to help with hiring decisions

Goldman Sachs Group Inc plans to use a "personality test" as part of the hiring process for trading, banking, finance and risk divisions

Matt Jahansouz, Goldman’s global head of recruiting, said that the bank will begin piloting the test on U.S. summer intern candidates who would be starting in 2018.

Future job candidates will be given the test before their second round of interviews at the bank. Their answers will be compared with those of current Goldman employees, who have already been identified as exhibiting traits that mark high performance such as teamwork, analytical thinking and judgment, Jahansouz said.

The test complements traditional hiring processes and the results will be just one factor in the final hiring decision, which also includes in-person interviews.

Banks like Goldman Sachs are turning to non-traditional ways of evaluating new hires at a time when they are under pressure to attract and retain top talent. Wall Street has been struggling for years to compete for the best employees with Silicon Valley, hedge funds and private equity funds which often have better hours and workplace perks.

“We’re shifting from a world where you just used to look at a GPA and resume and walk out with a feeling about an individual that you might want to hire,” Jahansouz said. “We can now capture characteristics and data that might not be as obvious to make smarter hiring decisions.”

Last year, Goldman made moves to help them identify strong candidates who may not attend Ivy League schools by abolishing first round interviews on college campuses in favour of a video platform.

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