Goldman to use 'personality test' for hiring decisions

A Goldman Sachs sign is displayed inside the company's post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc plans to begin using a “personality test” as part of the hiring process for positions in its banking, trading and finance and risk divisions, a senior Goldman executive said on Wednesday.

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

He said future job candidates would 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.

Candidates’ results on the test will be just one factor in the final hiring decision, which also includes in-person interviews, Jahansouz added.

It was not immediately clear how the test would be administered or the types of questions that would be asked.

Banks like Goldman are turning to non-traditional ways of evaluating new hires at a time when they are under pressure to lure 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.”

Goldman last year also made other moves to help it identify strong candidates who may not attend Ivy League schools by scrapping first round interviews on college campuses in favor of a video platform.

The bank began reviewing its hiring process in the summer of 2015.

Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Tom Brown