As organizations focus their efforts on finding the right candidate or identifying in-house talent, behavioral assessment tests can provide valuable data-driven insights. In a recent report, 75% of respondents indicated that their organization currently uses or plans to use behavioral assessments during the hiring process.

It is a common mistake to interchange the terms behavioral assessment and personality test. However, the tests and what they measure differ considerably.

What do Personality Tests Measure?

Behavioral assessment tests that characterize personality types are only useful if employers have a practical way to apply the results to the workplace. Unlike behavioral characteristics, unique genetic makeup forms personality traits, and they are hard-wired. Personality tests give a multi-faceted yet slim understanding of what makes someone tick. For instance, some people are introverted and others are extroverted. However, these one-dimensional traits do not help predict future work performance.

What do Behavioral Assessments Measure?

Behavioral assessment tests measure how individuals adapt to their surroundings and predict how they will behave in the workplace. Behavioral assessment tests also evaluate test-takers more thoroughly by determining how a given personality will react in certain situations or circumstances. For example, behavioral assessments can help managers understand how employees will react to stress, what type of energy they will bring to the position, how they will communicate and more.

Personality Type Alone Cannot Predict Job Performance

Personality tests are commonly misused to assess candidate fit and job placement. According to the publisher of one of the most widely-known personality tests—the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI)—the test is not intended to be used in the hiring process. “Measures of psychological type are not designed for, and should not be used in, hiring applications.

Furthermore, the Myers Briggs Company previously asserted(although it is now removed from the company’s website), that “it is not ethical to use the MBTI tool for hiring. Furthermore, people of many different types excel at the same job for different reasons. Individuals should not be pigeonholed based on their personality preferences.”

Unlike behavioral characteristics, personality types have are not accurate predictors of future job performance, and it is not advisable to use them for hiring or personnel decisions.

Why Use Behavioral Assessments and Not Personality Tests for Hiring?

There is much more to ascertain from understanding how a person will adapt and behave in a particular job and working environment than merely identifying personality traits.

Personality traits do not exist within a vacuum: An individual generally described as "calm, warm and friendly" may become "tense and explosive" in a stressful situation. Another individual that seems to have the same personality traits may thrive and do amazing things in the same situation. It all depends on how the individual’s personality traits play out in different environments. So, measures of extroversion or introversion do little to predict potential workplace performance accurately.

Identify candidates that will succeed in a role: With a reliable behavioral assessment, employers can gain valuable insights into how potential hires will behave in a given role or work situation. This helps ensure they hire and onboard the best-fitting candidates. 

Develop targeted training programs: Organizations can use the results of a behavioral assessment test to make decisions beyond initial hiring. Following a hire, employers can use behavioral assessment tests to determine the type of coaching a new-hire may respond best to and identify candidates who have the potential to learn new skill sets.

Reduce Turnover: Behavioral assessment tests not only identify applicants that are best suited for a particular position but also offer the best way to understand how an applicant will behave once placed in a role.

Develop a Comprehensive Evaluation with Behavioral Assessments

Behavioral assessments used in conjunction with job-relevant skills tests give organizations a complete picture of a candidate before they hire. eSkill, an industry leader in employment testing, has helped thousands of organizations administer valid and reliable employment assessments. eSkill’s systematic approach to creating and administering assessments provides organizations with quantifiable data that improve hiring outcomes.

It is important to recognize that whenever an assessment is used as a part of an employer’s hiring process, organizations must establish that the assessment is both valid and reliable to be legally compliant. Therefore, it is wise to partner with eSkill when developing and administering any pre-employment assessment. eSkill has a nearly 20-year record of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission compliance without any litigation--the best record in the assessment industry.

When used properly, behavioral assessments are a fair and objective way of measuring core behavioral characteristics. eSkill makes the assessment process simple and effective by providing clients with access to dedicated U.S.-based Client Success Managers who provide unlimited training and support.

Interested in Behavioral Assessment Tests for Hiring and Training Employees?

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Author's Bio: 

Nancy is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content and own a blog. Read her amazing content on