If you've landed on this page it's probably because you have some familiarity with the use of assessments for selection, hiring or promotion. Or, perhaps you're new to their usage. The purpose of this page is to offer some foundational information about assessments in general and more specifically about the assessments we use in our practice.
I would tend to put assessments in two categories -- those that are more casual and those that are more psychometric and validated. By the way, they are often referred to as tests. I would caution against calling anything related to personalty or behavior a test. These tools are true to their name -- they assess or survey vs. test.
One of the tools we use that's more casual is the SELF profile. It's a simple tool that gives an easy to understand framework for common behaviors displayed related to personality. I use it for team building workshops, identifying natural leadership styles, communication and collaboration styles. Similar to this would also be Colors.
I've been using it for about 15 years and it's been proven to be consistent and very useful in my coaching as well. I also use it in conjunction with a fun interactive personality activity to identify 4 key types in many of my workshops. You can access the tool here: SELF Profile
Psychometric & Validated
These assessments are more complex in design and therefore offer more dimension in the results. They tend to be more scientifically based.
Psychometric defined:The branch of psychology that deals with the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative tests for the measurement of psychological variables such as intelligence, aptitude, and personality traits.
There are popular tools on the market that reflect that definition and some more dimensional and validated than others. Validity can be defined as follows: the appropriateness, meaningfulness, and usefulness of the inferences made from test scores. Validity is the scientific way of verifying that the specific use of the results of a psychological assessment is conceptually sound.
Here's a great article from the Harvard Business Review that offers useful advice:
An additional feature to consider is reliable. Here is a link to explain both in more detail - more information
As A User & Decision-Maker - What Should You Be Mindful Of?
The answer is primarily related to what will be the use.
To create general awareness of various personality types or work and collaborative styles, the SELF Profile or similar type (DISC) is a useful tool. It's easy and inexpensive to administer. Additional tools are the Myers Briggs, Kiersey (a cousin of the MB). Of note is the vast number of tools on the market -- would you believe 2,000+?
For hiringmake sure that the tool you use is EEOC compliant. Did you know that some of the most popular personality tools on the market are not compliant -- Myers Briggs being one? Many hiring professionals use some of the tools referenced above for hiring not realizing they do not comply. Here is a resource page for further explanation: EEOC compliant fact sheet
Tools that do comply and that we've review are Hogans, Predictive Index and PDA International. For a variety of reasons the one we've settled on to represent is the PDA International tool. The owners/originators of this assessment are extremely diligent and vigilant in all categories discussed above.
An Additional Component
As someone who has worked with assessments for many years, one of the coolest features of the PDA assessment is the results provided. Multiple reporting is provided from one base assessment and surveys the following:
1. the behavior preferences in the context of work
2. the perception of how they think they should be behaving
3. how they are adjusting or adapting to #2.
These results are difficult to decipher by natural observation and yet can be uncovered with this tool for coaching, promotion other talent management needs.
Cost vs. Benefits
So it's up to you to choose how you will use these tools. Many are sometimes hesitate due to cost considerations. I can tell you from experience that the benefits far out weigh the cost. I've come to see that hesitance to invest in these tools is rooted in a lack of knowledge of financial benefits from using them
This comes down to the need, skill and practice of measuring. Many HR professionals and leaders just don't do, don't know how and are perhaps intimidated by the thought of it. If this describes you, then you'll want to get our white paper: The Big Disconnect - How The Lack of Measuring is Undermining Your Profits.
Learn more about the PDA Behavioral Assessment tool => click here