As experts in providing people assessments, we understand that assessment is not yet as prevalent as other human resources tools. Before you start your journey to find an assessment that addresses your needs, or to implement any assessment, we would like to equip you with the basic yet crucial weapons and armours – information – from credible sources.

*** Before you start, be noted that Assessment here only refers to Psychometric Assessment.

  1. “Test” and “Assessment” are often used interchangeably in various context. However, it is not the correct usage of these two terms. This table summarises the main differences between Test and Assessment.

     

    Test

    Assessment

    Who can take it

    Selective, not everyoneEveryone

    Purpose

    Answer “What do you know?”Answer “Who are you?”

    Information collected

    Knowledge, comprehensionBehavioural tendencies, interests, personalities, preferences

    Results

    Correct/Incorrect
    Pass/Fail
    No correct/incorrect answer
    You cannot fail yourself

    Applications

    Review and feedback on one’s acquired knowledgeAwareness and Development

    Example

    University entrance exam
    Technical skill test

    Personality assessment
    Occupational interest assessment

    Assessments aim to measure attributes like behaviour, aptitude and personality, providing insight into how someone might cope with stress, how well they work with other people, and how ambitious or risk-averse they are, etc.

    The ultimate aim of assessments is to assist people in finding where they can contribute most happily and productively.

  2. You may have heard about many “correct” ways to take an assessment. This section is to clarify those information.

    • The first time yields the best results.

    It is considered true most of the time. When you have not any idea about the assessment in advance, you most likely just answer the question as they pop up in your mind. When you gain more experience with an assessment, you will, more or less, subconsciously change your answer to a more “desirable” result.

    However, if the first time you take an assessment, you are not in your best condition (health, mental, environment, etc.), the results might not be the most correct.

    • The first answer is the best answer.

    It is true. Not everyone has a clear-cut preference or tendency in all aspects. Sometimes, you may ponder between option A and option B of a question, wondering which is more like you. In such cases, the first idea popping up in your mind when you read the question is most likely the correct one.

    • People can fake their results by choosing the options describing their ideal self, not their true self.

    It depends on the assessment. Some assessments take this into account when they create the questions, some do not. Therefore, some can tell whether there is distortion in the answers, some cannot. However, it is common for people to choose the “desirable” option rather than the “true” option, consciously or subconsciously. Therefore, to avoid this situation, assessment users should complete the product training of the assessment or hire an expert to interpret the results.

    • If there is no deliberate changes or accidents over time, the results will mostly stay the same for every person.

    Again, it depends on the assessment’s reliability. Assessments with higher reliability level will ensure the consistency of the results over a period of time, but no change is mostly impossible. Even if the person do not take any action to change himself/herself, the environment in which he/she lives, works and behaves will subtly affect him/her.

    • The results from an assessment should only serve as a reference since everyone can change in any direction if they know how to do it.

    Yes and no. The results from an assessment is indeed a reference since it provides more information about a person. However, not all measured factors can be changed easily nor as much as one would like. A person may learn how to adapt, how to modify their styles to better fit with a team, a job, an environment; but their natural characteristics are still in place and may take over when they are under stress.

  3. To understand how to best apply an assessment, we need to know what an assessment can provide, when it should be used and who should use it.

    - What can assessment provide?

    Assessments provide a wide range of work-related information about a candidate or an employee that can help companies predict and analyse his or her job performance. These include:

    • Learning Ability: The ability to learn, assimilate, and apply new information of the candidate as well as their preferred learning and communication style.

    • Occupational Interests: Indicates the types of work that interests a person, aiding focus, enthusiasm, and performance.
    • Core Behavioural Traits (Who They Are): Describes a person’s core behaviours.
    • Behavioural Tendencies “Actions” (How They Will Act on the Job): This is the way a person acts in various work situations.
    • Development Needs: In what area does this person needs more training and coaching to better themselves and achieve greater results?
    • Team Interface: As a team member, how will this person interact with the other members of the team?
    • Compatibility: Will this person fit in with organisational culture, job, manager, and team?
    • Response to High-tension Situations: How will this person cope with conflict, stress, and frustration in the workplace
    • Perceptions of Management Skills: How do a person’s boss, peers, and direct reports perceive his/her management skills?
    • Perceptions of Leadership Competencies: How do a person’s boss, peers, and direct reports perceive him/her as a competent leader?
    • Job Standards: An empirical measurement of the attributes required to do a particular job well. Helps companies realistically set standards for jobs and design more accurate job descriptions.

    - When should assessments be used?

    • Assessments should be an integral part of every business, from pre-hire through retirement: Good decisions are possible only when executives and managers have good information upon which to base them. The information provided by assessments can be used to allocate a company’s “human capital” most effectively.
    • The goal is to address people challenges before they impact business operations (be proactive not reactive): With the right information, the negative impact of problems can be diminished or avoided altogether.
    • If you are hiring, assessments can be used to help you put the right person in the right place.
    • For Your Current Workforce:
      a) Determine if all people are well placed: Answers questions about the most effective assignment of a company’s human capital.
      b) Gain insight on all employees to better:
      + Coach: Helping employees improve their job performance
      + Manage: Helping managers improve their management skills and practices
      + Motivate: Finding the keys that unlock the motivational power that lies within every individual
      c) To develop an ongoing improvement programme for:
      + All Employees
      + Management
      + Leadership
      + Building an ongoing and positive succession plan

    - Who should use assessments?

    Everyone with “people” responsibilities. They must understand themselves and their people by knowing their capability, capacity, style, behaviour, compatibility and perception of management.

  4. Information uncovered from assessments helps leaders and managers rely less on gut instinct and make smarter people decisions. Do you find your needs in the list below?

    • We want to hire the right person for the right job
      • 95 of 100 applicants will “exaggerate” to get a job during an interview
      • More than half of all job candidates misrepresent their qualifications on their résumes
      • Most hiring decisions are made in haste – during the first five minutes of an interview
      • This means decisions are made on first impressions and many people become employees for the wrong reasons – leading to a multitude of problems. During interviews, interviewers often confuse someone they would like as a friend with someone who will be a good employee
      • Two of three new hires will disappoint in the first year.
    • We want to increase productivity
      • People are most productive when their work matches their thinking style, occupational interests, and behavioural traits.
      • These are attributes measured by The ProfileXT™
      • Teams and departments function better when their leaders have information about team members’ strengths
      • Factors that negatively affect productivity, such as stress, tension, and conflict, are significantly reduced when assessments are used.
    • We want to reduce the rate of employee turnover
      • Two out of three employees would rather work somewhere else
      • Turnover costs thousands of dollars for every departing employee
      • Many business owners have overlooked the enormous costs of employee turnover and how it steals directly from their bottom line
      • Eighty percent of employee turnover is avoidable
      • Almost every employer will cut the costs of expensive employee turnover when they use Profiles assessments.
    • We want more effective use of their human capital
      • Assessments give information that managers can use to coach, motivate, and manage people more effectively
      • Assessments help companies find untapped talent within their organisations
      • A good employee may not be performing well simply because of poor Job Match. Put the same person in a job for which he/she has an affinity and watch their job performance soar
      • Assessments reduce a company’s “people problems”
      • Assessments helps companies achieve better employee cooperation
      • When employees have good Job Match they are far less likely to become stressed, be unhappy, complain, or have grievances against their employers
      • 60% of a manager’s time is spent fixing people problems and 40% reach companies’ goals
      • Reducing people problems give managers more time to work toward achieving the company’s goals.
    • We want to achieve the efficiencies that result from “Job Fit”
      • Assessing behavioural traits yields a 38% assurance of Job Fit
      • Adding a thinking abilities assessment results in a 54% Job Fit
      • Adding assessments for occupational interests increases Job Fit to 66%
      • Adding the use of a Job Match Pattern and you get outstanding employees 75% of the time.
    • We want to improve their decisions
      • Better decisions result from having more complete information about job candidates and employees
      • Good decisions are reached faster, saving time and money
      • Assessments are important tools in promoting and succession planning decisions
      • Training programmes become more effective when tailored to the specific needs and characteristics of an individual
      • The idea that a cross-section of employees will respond positively when provided with the same type of training is passed. To be effective, training must be tailored to each individual.

    We hope you have enjoyed your reading. You can explore more information in our Blog, Whitepaper, Blook or Case Study.