If you’re still winging it and relying on your gut to make important hiring decisions at your organization, then it’s time to look to data and science for less risk and more predictive hiring outcomes. Through the use of pre-employment assessments, you’ll be able to make accurate, data-driven selection decisions. In fact, 82 percent of companies now use predictive personality assessments, revolutionizing how they select new hires, especially when filling executive-level positions. When you begin to think of the hiring process as a science, not an art, you’ll be able to maximize the long-term, positive outcomes of selecting the right candidates for your business. That said, not all assessments are created equal and scientific credibility matters.

The Rise of Pre-Employment Tests 

From multi billion-dollar testing monoliths to Buzzfeed quizzes, personality assessments have been on the rise, even those lacking scientific validity. For example, nearly 90 percent of Fortune 100 companies use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to assess their employees. Unfortunately, there is no correlation between the popularity of this test and accurate job performance predictions.

The MBTI and other fad, unscientific personality assessments neglect to establish a link between a person’s test results and their job behaviors, meaning they are of little predictive value regarding job performance. Personality is a highly complex connectivity of over 15,000 human behaviors, so tests that rely on broad categories versus a spectrum of different traits are overly simplistic and vague. Further, when trying to validate, they are unpredictable, generate different results when taken by the same individual multiple times and in general are not endorsed by psychology experts.

“Every assessment should be based on a theory (i.e., why did this person develop this personality versus another). The problem with the MBTI and other less credible assessments is the lack of moving the theory closer to reality,” explains Dr. Jared D. Lock, founder and CEO at The JDL Group.

So, while these theories may resonate with a lot of people, and it might be a comfort for the individual to know if they are “The Thinker” or “The Idealist”, the personality assessments rarely say anything about how that person will behave in a given situation while on the job.

The Difference is in the Data

Scientific pre-employment assessments and fad “tests” are not one and the same. A legitimate assessment uses extensive datasets linking individual qualities to real world outcomes. It makes accurate predictions about a candidate’s job performance based on how people with similar qualities have behaved in the past. The bigger the dataset, the more accurate the predictions will be. Reports vary based on which pre-employment assessment is used, but the in-depth psychological reporting may include how the candidate will behave in your organization, what their strengths and weaknesses are, how they will react when things inevitably go wrong and what motivates them. The process is inherently objective, reducing concerns over hiring bias, while also matching companies with their ideal candidates.

With science on your side, you’ll be able to find high fit candidates, decrease turnover rates and streamline your organization’s culture. But even when using a legitimate employment test, you may not be gaining insight into the “whole person”. Research shows any single test or assessment sold today measures, at most, 30 percent of a person’s characteristics and overall make-up. Further, 95 percent of all assessments that measure traits, personality, competencies, types, behaviors, etc. measure the same 30 percent — they are just marketed differently.

The JDL Group’s Whole Person Assessment Difference

The JDL Group has spent more than 25 years working to perfect the executive assessment and performance prediction process. By researching and using over 2000 different assessments, evaluating the technical manuals of 600, leaning on others’ findings and conducting our own world-class research connecting assessment results to actual job performance, we’ve identified a best in class talent assessment process that, quite frankly, is the most comprehensive in the world.

“Assessment has a job to do and that is to predict job performance. By combining multiple assessments and looking at combinations between them, we are able to measure (and predict) more executive performance than any other organization,” says Dr. Lock.

Our Whole Person Assessment process is backed by assessment results and job performance data for over 500,000 working adults data linked to real world outcomes. In fact, it is the only one to measure:

  1. Motives and Values. What’s in the individual’s heart and how he/she perceives leadership and motivates others on a daily basis. This ties closely to culture fit.
  2. Positive Personality. How the executive leads and, in general, tries to get their motives and values met on a daily basis.
  3. Derailment. The JDL Group has one of only two proactive measures of executive derailment available on the market today. We predict and help you manage how the executive will handle stress and pressure, and how they will react when things do not go as planned.
  4. Technical Experience. Until recently, organizations simply relied on job descriptions to assess whether or not the executive could “do the job”. The JDL Group has created a world-class Experience Map process that provides the organization a very specific glimpse at how the leader will work and lead on a daily basis.
  5. Judgment. At The JDL Group, we have created one of the world’s only measures to not only assess cognitive complexity (ie., intelligence), but also identify the connection between cognitive workings and personality to understand how the leader will solve problems, make decisions and generally use their judgment.
  6. Influence Style. Motives and Values, Positive Personality and Negative Personality all work together to give us a solid interpretation and understanding of how the executive will influence others or try to get their way.

How much of the “whole person” your organization decides to assess is fully customizable depending on the needs of your business and the level of hire (entry-level, technical professional, manager, executive, etc.). That said, the pieces we measure are not orthogonal — they are three dimensional and play off each other (e.g., what the candidates want out of life, how they plan to get it, what they will do to screw it up and how they solve problems and make decisions along the way). Our research has found with each additional piece measured, the level of accuracy in predicting how they will perform on the job increases by 15 to 20 percent.

Science and Art Pulled Together

Upon completion of The JDL Group’s Whole Person Assessment, customized, yet consistent, automatic scoring and reporting is generated for the candidate. The information in the report is used by our clients with varying levels of support provided by The JDL Group.

  1. Automated. The JDL Group generates an automated report sent directly to the client.
  2. Psychologist Review. Our system generates the candidate’s Whole Person Assessment report, which is then reviewed by one of our licensed I-O psychologists before going to the client.
  3. Psychological Deep Dive. The automated report is reviewed by one of The JDL Group’s licensed I-O psychologists, who then speaks with the participant via phone or face-to-face meeting.

For organizations who absolutely need to get the employee selection process right, The JDL Group Psychological Deep Dive offers unparalleled insight and predictive power when combined with our pre-employment assessment. The interaction between the candidate and one of our licensed I-O Psychologists truly drills in to what your organization wants, how a candidate meets those expectations (or not) and helps both parties see how the organization must support the candidate in order to set him or her up for success. Learn more about the Psychological Deep Dive here.

There is a whole lot more to predicting employee success than what you can learn from an elevator pitch and a few rounds of interviews. And while different organizations may have similar career opportunities based on necessary skills to do the job, every business has its own unique culture, that’s why comprehensive, accurate information is an important ally to not only hire the right person for the job, but understand how to manage them, increase productivity, reduce turnover and improve culture fit. By using a pre-employment assessment that measures the whole person, not just their personality, your organization will gain a lot more (and a lot more accurate) information. With a 95 percent accuracy rate at predicting the human side of the business, The JDL Group is “prescriptive” not just “descriptive”.