Behavioral Assessments – A Beginner’s Guide

Written By Natasha Augustine
Certified Executive Coach

Behavioral Assessments – A Beginner’s Guide

Finding great people, keeping them and inspiring them to do great things is a top concern for any business owner.  Many have turned to behavioral assessments to help make hiring, promotional, and development and engagement decisions. 

If you’re thinking about implementing a behavioral assessment in your organization, there are several you can choose from.  Did I say “several”?  Let’s be real.

There are over 700 behavioral assessments on the market.  Yes, over 700!

So how do you decide what will work best for your organization?

A good behavior assessment will give you insights into:
  • Hiring decisions

  • Employee motivation

  • Job feedback

  • Managing conflict

  • Team dynamics

  • Performance management

  • Coaching

  • Structural changes

Behavioral assessments come in many different forms, but for an assessment platform to truly transform organization, it must be:
  • Simple to administer

  • Quick to take

  • Grounded in science

  • Validated in workplace psychology

  • Accessible to everyone in the organization

When these criteria are met, you’ll be able to map each individual’s behavioral traits and understand how they like to work, what drives them, and what it will take for them to thrive.

While most think an assessment is only used for hiring, a reliable and validated assessment will have applications everywhere in an organization.

  • Business owners and executives concerned with corporate performance and employee productivity.

  • Recruiters and HR who are measured on the quality of talent they attract, and how smoothly they onboard new employees.

  • Project managers and team leaders responsible for assembling and retaining high-performing cross-functional teams.

  • Direct managers eager to find the right team members and coach them to success.

  • Employees seeking an organization or role that allows them to grow and thrive.

When begin to research assessments, the amount of information will be mind blowing.  The key is knowing what you want to get out of the assessment itself. 

Not all assessments are created equally.

Here are 10 questions every assessment vendor should be able to answer for you.

1. Is this assessment designed for the workplace?

Is this a behavioral assessment, revealing information about how people act and interact in their work environments? Or is it a personality assessment?

2. Is the assessment validated and reliable?

Is the solution scientifically proven to yield consistent, accurate, and repeatable scores over time? Does the assessment effectively predict important workplace behaviors that drive metrics such as sales, customer satisfaction and turnover?

3. What is the pricing model?

Is the solution priced as subscription-based, pay-per-user, or pay-per- assessment? Are there caps on how many assessments can be sent out? Limits on number of users? Can you re-assess employees as they develop in their careers?

4. How long does it take to complete?

Will the test take closer to 5 or closer to 60 minutes complete? Will your job candidates and employees find the test intrusive or burdensome?

5. How is the data gathered?

Is the test free choice (test takers select only what they feel applies to them) or forced choice (a set number of answers from which testers are required to pick one)?

6. How are the assessment results presented?

Are results available as written reports and as visual graphics to support different learning styles?

7. What level of support is required?

Can the test be delivered through an online platform or does it need to be delivered by someone certified within your organization or by the test company? Will there be ongoing support from the test vendor, and will that company understand your business challenges?

8. Is the assessment global?

Are the assessments and results available in all relevant languages for your business?

9. Can the data be used with groups and teams?

Can the assessments offer insights into group dynamics? Can you compare two behavioral patterns, or even entire teams, to get a better understanding of what makes a top-performer in your organization?

10. Is the assessment fair?

Is the test free of bias with respect to the respondent’s age, gender, or ethnicity?

Behavioral assessments offer particularly powerful insights into what drives us at work. When built on a proven scientific foundation, they can predict how each employee is likely to act and interact in a professional setting. You’ll gain valuable information into how an employee likes to work with others, what motivates them, and the skills they can add to your team. Sharing this information can help assign tasks, allocate responsibilities, and assemble and manage more harmonious teams.

Natasha Augustine is a certified executive coach, talent optimizer and the most down to earth person you’ll every meet.  If you would like to contact her to discuss your talent strategy, she can be reached at or call 678-640-8868.

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