Behavioral assessments are commonly used in hiring, and are particularly useful in the final interview stages for a position. They are an effective tool employers can use to determine how a candidate’s characteristics will fit in with others in the company, the company culture and what their strengths and weaknesses are. They help companies gauge an individual’s style of thinking, leadership potential and even work ethic.
What do you need to know about these personality tests to make sure you’re using them to their full potential? Here are some surprising facts you probably didn’t know.
1. A candidate’s assessment can be compared against the hiring manager’s assessment.
Since the employee will report to the hiring manager, companies will do a side-by-side comparison of the assessments to show how their personalities align. This will give the hiring manager an idea of how well they will work with their new employee, and areas where they need to improve. These results provide valuable insight for the hiring manager’s decision and can help them avoid making the wrong hire.
2. Assessment results help hiring managers with communication.
Hiring managers want to see certain characteristics—such as adaptability, accountability and honesty—in their hires. Yet the results of a behavioral assessment are more about helping a hiring manager understand how to communicate with those individuals rather than simply categorizing someone into one personality or another. It helps shape the full picture of what the candidate’s thought process is like beyond what they’ve discussed in their interview.
3. Behavioral assessments help hold hiring managers accountable.
A hiring manager provides key traits a position requires when a company uses a recruiter to find candidates. When the recruiting firm presents the results of behavioral assessments, it shows the company that based on the logistics of the assessment, they found candidates with the requested traits. From there, the hiring manager can evaluate how to proceed based on the findings.
4. There is no right or wrong answer on a behavioral assessment.
While they are used to make hiring decisions, candidates can’t give a right or wrong answer on a behavioral assessment. Instead, answers are scored against benchmarks to help the company determine whether the candidate fits in with the culture and the hiring manager, and if they possess the qualities necessary for the position. For example, the Big Five personality test determines characteristics such as whether someone is an introvert or extrovert — an important assessment if the candidate will be working in sales or interacting with clients. On the flip side, introverts may do well as an independent contributor working on solitary projects. The Myers-Briggs test helps characterize individuals into one of 16 types, which are typically inherent traits that cannot be changed. These are only a few of the many available assessments out there that can be used to measure personality traits. While most assessments measure 5-15 personality traits, Job Suitability Assessments can measure up to 175 traits. These assessments provide an objective insight into a candidate’s personality traits that are intrinsically linked to workplace performance and often are an indicator of aptitude, job satisfaction and long-term retention.
Each assessment offers different ways to evaluate a candidate and can weigh into your hiring decision. But remember that while these assessments reveal inherent traits about an individual, they cannot show everything about what it will be like to work with that person. It’s up to the hiring manager to determine what factors are most important when viewing the results. Some results may appear to be negative traits, but could actually be a positive for the position. For instance, being a challenger may not be a favorable trait for a customer service representative, but would be ideal when hiring a lawyer. It all comes down to what the position needs; behavioral assessments can help hiring managers determine what the position needs most.