You know that feeling when you’ve found something that stands out – like an exotic car, tailored clothes, or one-of-a kind art? It’s worth admiring because of how different it is, because of the detail and effort invested to make it stand out from everything else.
The same thing applies to personality assessments. There are many imitators, but a few leaders have invested decades of science, testing and support to ensure that the final product stands out and meets today’s rigorous business needs. When you’re looking at assessment tools to help your organization find and select the right candidates, keep an eye out for these 3 major differentiators:
Trust Science, Not Your Gut
Many people think recruiting is an art, not a science. Other way around. The absolute best personality assessments are both scientifically valid and measurably fair.
Scientifically valid means the assessment tool is based on decades of industrial psychology science that is established and proven. Be careful! Some tools measure personality, but are not intended for hiring. A personality assessment designed for hiring should always be scientifically valid and should be clearly designated for hiring purposes.
Fairness means that the tools don’t discriminate across gender or ethnicity, which means that everyone taking the test has the same opportunity to highlight why they’re the right candidate. Biases, whether conscious or unconscious, need to be removed from the equation completely in order for the tool to be most effective. To get this information, ask your potential assessment provider for a copy of their research documentation and ensure it was written or approved by a licensed psychologist.
Benchmark, Benchmark, Benchmark
Measuring quality means having a standard to compare others against. Michael Phelps, for example, is considered to be a benchmark within his areas of competition. Any swimmer who competes in the same kinds of races as Phelps will be measured against his medal count and race time.
Same goes with assessment tools. A good tool creates a profile of candidates – but a great tool provides the opportunity to benchmark a top performer so that there’s a way to compare candidates and select the person that best measures up. Want to win the war for top talent? Benchmark.
Hello? Anyone there to help?
Last year I was shopping online and bought something, thinking it was a great deal. The price was much cheaper than other retailers, and quality looked to be the same or similar. About 6 months later, something broke and I needed to contact the company for help. The problem was, there was no one to call or contact online. My only solution was online FAQs. It was incredibly frustrating knowing there was no one to help. Clearly, there was a correlation between price and value over time.
The same thing applies with personality assessment vendors. Many companies sell assessment tools online at a cheap price, but won’t provide real support when you need it. Think about it: when the time comes to hire a new employee, what happens if you have questions about the tools you’re using? Being stranded by your assessment tool vendor at game time isn’t worth the cheap starting price – the costly effects of a bad hire will drastically outweigh a few bucks saved at the start.
When shopping for an assessment solution, it’s important to ask if live support is provided. Questions regarding the tool are often more than the yes / no answers covered in the FAQ document. They require someone who can help analyze the results or share knowledge about new functionality, and translate that information into a way that makes sense for your organization.
Personality assessments are the new HR best practice when building a high performance organization. Make sure to select a vendor that stands out with a scientifically valid & fair solution, job benchmarking capabilities, and live support. We’ve learned over time to tell what indicates lasting quality for standout cars, clothing, and art – and by watching for these three things in your assessment tool options, you’ll find that some tools stand out from the pack as well.