In the last issue of this newsletter, we provided an
overview of personality assessments. We defined what a
personality assessment is and how it is used in practical ways
during selection and career-development discussions. A personality
assessment provides important insights to ensure individuals have
found the right fit. The next logical step in this topic is what to
look for when selecting a personality assessment system.
With the wide variety of assessment systems in the marketplace,
it's beneficial to determine criteria when selecting an assessment
system. Defining the criteria you want and need in an assessment
tool will help you narrow your assessment choices and reduce your
time in weeding through all the options. Here are some commonly
asked questions designed to get you thinking about what criteria to
establish before embarking on your search for an assessment system.
Does the assessment meet EEOC guidelines? Is it
supported by validity and reliability studies?
Federal law demands that tests or surveys used in the selection
process not discriminate based on race, color, creed, religion,
sex, national origin, age, handicap, or sexual orientation. Only
consider an assessment tool that is highly invariant across race,
sex, and occupation. Also, ask about the research supporting the
tool including the validity (construct, content, concurrent, and
predictive) and reliability studies (internal consistency and
Can an individual "trick" the system or manipulate the
Look for an assessment system with built-in
measures that detect inconsistency, defensive or evasive responses,
and attempts at favorable self-presentation.
We have a limited budget. What is the cost of
implementing a personality assessment?
are various options available. Some pricing strategies are based on
a cost per report. This pricing strategy discourages consistent
usage to a cost-conscious company. The most cost-effective solution
is a system that is based on an annual subscription fee. This
approach gives access to unlimited reports and pricing is typically
based on the size of an organization. (For example, smaller
organizations generate fewer reports and they pay a smaller fee.)
By having unlimited use of reports, your organization will be
likely to use it more rigorously and maximize the investment.
How easy is the system to administer?
companies do more with less people, an important consideration is
how much time and administration is required to run the assessment
system. A web-based system that is accessible from any location
with an Internet connection allows instant access. Look for a
system that automatically populates your database, doesn't require
manual input, and provides reliable results instantly.
Will it be a positive experience? How much time does it
take to complete the assessment survey?
range from 15 minutes to 2 hours. Look for an assessment that is
completed quickly, and provides the respondent with a brief
snapshot of the results. This effectively relieves any anxiety
about what the assessment revealed about the individual and will
ensure a pleasant experience for candidates and employees.
Should we rely on external consultants to interpret the
results or should we build internal expertise?
Generally, relying on external analysts is more costly. For
organizations that are moving toward a performance-consulting
model, certifying internal experts makes the most sense. After all,
people within your organization know it best, combining a basic
knowledge of behavioral tendencies with an understanding of your
company culture, management team, and employees will allow you to
make a real impact within your organization. In addition, look for
an assessment provider that is helpful and readily available to
assist you when needed.
How can we get the most out of an investment in a
personality assessment system? What other areas could it
In addition to hiring, selection, and career
development, look for a personality assessment system that has
specific capabilities in succession planning, new-hire integration,
teambuilding, and coaching. Look for a system that offers reports
focusing on individual and team comparisons such as peer-to-peer,
manager-to-direct reports, and entire teams. Insights gained from
comparative reports are powerful tools and support increased
understanding in resolving conflict and enhancing communication.
Blending the accuracy of personality profiling with the power of
behavioral science, a personality assessment system provides
objective, reliable, and valid insights useful in recruiting,
interviewing, integrating new hires, coaching, succession planning,
and building teams. It's a practical solution to help you put the
right person in the right role so your organization can achieve
bottom line results through increased employee productivity and
reduce costly turnover through increased employee retention.