Discover Why Assessments Are the Missing Piece in Your Hiring Strategy 

February 14, 2024

Matt Gainsford

Matt Gainsford

What if there was a tool that could predict how someone would act, fit into your team, and even thrive in your specific company culture? Dive into our blog to learn more.

the predictive index

Hire Smarter, Not Harder:

Finding the perfect candidate feels like searching for a needle in a haystack: countless resumes, interview rounds, and still, uncertainty lingers. Is the candidate who they say they are? What are they like in a crisis; how do they handle pressure and rapid change? How do you motivate them during the dark days and tap into what motivates them for the long haul? So many questions… 

What if there was a tool that could predict how someone would act, fit into your team, and even thrive in your specific company culture? Enter the world of personality and behavioral assessments – your secret weapons in the battle for top talent. 

But wait, Aren’t they the same? Not quite! 

Personality assessments delve into underlying traits and preferences, like introversion vs. extroversion, or conscientiousness vs. impulsivity. They offer a glimpse into the candidate’s natural tendencies and how they might approach problems, interact with others, and handle stress. 

Behavioral assessments focus on past actions and future predictions, asking candidates to reflect on real-life situations they’ve faced and how they responded. This paints a picture of their problem-solving skills, decision-making abilities, and growth potential. Behavioral assessments take the markers laid out in personality assessments and expand on them.  

The PI (Predictive Index) Behavioral Assessment emphasizes individual results, prioritizing the alignment of one’s behavioral drives with the demands of the work environment rather than comparing personality traits to others. This approach keeps comparable validity and reliability to traditional assessments while offering the advantage of predicting how a person is likely to behave in a work-related context. It does this by measuring a person’s natural behavioral drives and needs. 

Think of it like this: personality reveals the “why” behind someone’s behavior, while behavioral assessments show the “how”. Both offer invaluable insights and using them together paints a holistic picture of the candidate. 

The Past Informs the Future: A History Lesson of War-Winning Proportions 

So why is it so important, and how did these assessments win a war? Stay with us for a moment as we take a fascinating historical detour. During World War II, the US military needed a fast and reliable way to assess thousands of recruits. Enter Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers, the mother-daughter duo behind the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a now-famous personality assessment based on Carl Jung’s theories. The MBTI helped identify suitable candidates for various roles, from codebreakers to pilots, highlighting the power of understanding personality in high-pressure situations. Through the MBTI, assessors were able to effectively put the right people in the right seats; positions they would thrive within and that would contribute to the overall success of the war effort.  

From a business application standpoint, the results of putting the wrong person in the wrong seat can be disastrous; morale is affected, culture suffers, performance drops, and Chapter 11 looms.  

Having the right person in the right seat results in increased retention and engagement, elevated levels of fulfillment, and unstoppable performance, not to mention the rise in unicorn and rainbow sightings in and around the office. 

If you want to find a unicorn, use an assessment.  

While the MBTI isn’t the only assessment tool out there, its historical significance underlines the enduring importance of personality and behavioral analysis in talent selection. 

So, why should you consider these assessments? Here are just a few reasons: 

Four recruiting consultants at Titus Talent Strategies working together on a project.

Reduced bias: Unlike resumes riddled with conscious (or unconscious) biases, these assessments focus on objective data and past behavior, ensuring a fairer selection process. 

Improved fit: Matching personality and behavioral traits to the specific demands of the role and company culture leads to happier, more productive employees who stay longer. 

Targeted interview questions: Insights from the assessments help you tailor your interview questions to delve deeper into relevant areas and get a clearer picture of the candidate. 

Enhanced team dynamics: Understanding individual working styles helps you build diverse and complementary teams that collaborate effectively. 

Remember, these assessments are just tools, not magic bullets. Use them responsibly, ethically, and alongside other evaluation methods for a well-rounded understanding of each candidate. 

While Myers-Briggs paved the way for personality assessments in hiring, another tool has emerged with a laser focus on behavior prediction: The Predictive Index (PI). What started as an experiment during World War II to assess officer compatibility, and refined in the 1950s, the PI is now widely used by companies to evaluate work style, drive, and decision-making capabilities.  

Why is focusing on behavior instead of personality crucial?  

Imagine two candidates with an “ambitious” personality trait. One might channel that ambition into relentless hard work through galvanizing a team, while the other might take it upon themselves to drive a project from an individual perspective. Neither is right or wrong, but the impact on the team or the project can be huge. Personality tells how someone might behave, while behavior reveals the why. This understanding of motivation can be a game-changer when helping develop relationships with employees or from a collocational perspective amongst peers. 

This actionable data is far more valuable in predicting future performance than simply knowing someone “prefers autonomy”. By focusing on observed behavior, you gain a concrete understanding of how a candidate will contribute, collaborate, and thrive within your specific company culture. 

So, consider this your call to action: embrace the power of personality and behavioral assessments, but remember, when it comes to hiring, past behavior is often the best predictor of future success. Let these tools illuminate the “how” behind the “why” and watch your talent acquisition strategy transform. 

At Titus Talent Strategies we don’t see the assessments as a pass/fail but as an indicator to establish the specific questions we need to ask a candidate, questions that will illuminate the alignment they will have on the team relationally and behaviorally, and how these relationships can be optimized. 

The benefit of using The Predictive Index is that it also offers a cognitive assessment that is geared towards gaining an understanding of how quickly a candidate will ramp up into a new role, and what support they are likely to need to flourish in their new position. 

Ready to revolutionize your hiring process? If you’ve been on the fence about using assessments in your hiring process, or if you’re worried that this extra step will put candidates off, while adding to the data headache that’s already throbbing, let us offer some relief. Our team of Talent Optimization experts will be able to point you in the right direction. The more informed you are, the better placed you are to make game-winning decisions. Click here to learn more about how our Whole Person Hiring approach will help you hire quality candidates more effectively or talk to one of our team. We’d love to connect. 

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