We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Does a Personnel Psychologist Do?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A personnel psychologist assists employers with hiring new employees, assigning them appropriately, and promoting them as they develop experience and skills. This differs from the role of organizational psychologists, someone who address ongoing issues with work culture and facilitate the development of a healthy working environment. Personnel psychologists may play a role in workplace development, but their focus is on recruitment and retention of staff members. It is usually necessary to have a psychology degree, typically a postgraduate qualification, to work in this capacity.

Some companies like to administer simple psychological screening tests to prospective employees. A personnel psychologist can design tests that can be administered with a form or computer program. They can also develop more rigorous testing performed through interviews, where a trained staff member meets with a prospective employer. These tests need to adhere to any guidelines set by government regulators, including anti-discrimination laws.

Job descriptions can also benefit from a consultation with a personnel psychologist. These psychology professionals can review positions and determine what kinds of skills and traits are best suited. The information can be integrated into job advertisements and descriptions to allow people to find the best matches for given positions. Applicants reading ads that call for an “outgoing personality,” for example, know whether or not a position is a good fit for them. Human resources personnel meeting with applicants can consider recommendations for traits like “attention to detail” when they discuss the job with candidates.

Information from interviews and testing can help a personnel psychologist determine where an employee fits within an organizational culture. Such testing is often used prior to entrance to organizations like the military. It can rule candidates in or out of specific positions and can become part of an employee’s record. This information can be useful to have when people are considered for promotion and officials want to know if an employee is suited to a position with more responsibility or authority.

In some cases, a personnel psychologist may meet directly with employees. In others, the job requires the development of screening tools that other staff members can use at job fairs and in interviews. These employees may also meet with organizational psychologists to talk about the demands of the workplace, the kinds of employees that fit into different positions, and how to promote a healthy and functional workplace environment. As the personnel psychologist contributes to the recruitment of suitable candidates, the organizational psychologist provides ongoing support to increase retention.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Practical Adult Insights researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.