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What Is a Behavioral Assessment & How to Conduct It

 

what-is-a-behavioral-assessment-how-to-conduct-it

Behavioral assessments in the workplace are becoming increasingly important. In addition to ensuring that you hire people who are a right fit for the positions you’re hiring for, such assessments at regular intervals help you retain employees who are suitable for the current job market, skill requirements, and modern work culture.

Whether it’s behavioral assessments for employment or training and performance appraisal purposes, an online quiz tool can fulfill such needs.

According to the most trusted source for employment opportunities and advice, CareerBuilder:

  • 74% of employers admitted they selected the wrong person for a position before
  • Companies lose $14,900 on every bad hire on average

This is something you never want to experience.

In this post, you’ll learn about behavioral assessments – what they are, their benefits, the types of behavioral tests, and finally, how to conduct such an assessment.

Continue reading to find out more about it.

Watch: How to Create an Assessment Online

What Is a Behavioral Assessment?

A behavioral assessment is used for observing, analyzing, describing, and predicting human behaviors. It has its roots in the field of psychology. In the context of employment, organizations rely on these assessments to gain insights into employees’ behaviors outside the clinical settings.

This assessment can throw light on employees’ personality traits, attitudes, working styles, adaptability, willingness to learn, and leadership capacities. This enables companies to not just hire but retain and promote the right individuals confidently after assessing their suitability for a position.

Apart from other aspects, the assessment predicts how employees will behave in certain work situations. It identifies their likes, dislikes, abilities, aspirations, fears, and personal and professional challenges and sees how they fit into a new role. In this sense, it’s a type of personality test or psychographic test.

For example, a candidate with poor time management skills will not thrive in an environment that works on time-sensitive tasks and emphasizes timeliness and strict deadlines.

You can also deploy such assessments before conducting conflict management training by analyzing the nature of conflict in the workplace and your employees’ conflict management styles.

Plus, you can use this type of assessment for annual performance reviews or succession planning.

According to Dianne Crampton, the founder & president of team-building and leadership development consultancy, TIGERS Success Series, Inc,

A behavioral assessment measures how people perform and act both emotionally and professionally in common, everyday situations…For example, if you are looking for a collaborative work culture suite of behaviors as opposed to an internally competitive work culture, how people behave within these distinct work culture personalities is important.

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Why Are Behavioral Assessments Important?

Your beliefs don’t make you a better person. Your behavior does.

In the past, companies generally hired or promoted people based on their educational qualifications and work experience. But these methods didn’t give recruiters a full picture of the candidates.

Of late, there’s been heightened competition in the job market primarily due to a shortage of employable candidates. This leads to a paradigm shift in skill requirements and work culture in almost all organizations.

This is where behavioral assessments become a viable method for assessing a person’s suitability for a job role. They are a must considering the time and effort that go into hiring the right candidates. 

These pre-employment and pre-training behavioral assessments help you measure the following in employees:

  • Attitude
  • Adaptability
  • Team player
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Leadership & management skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Personality traits

The average cost of a bad hire equals up to 30% of the employee’s first-year earnings as per the U.S. Department of Labor

Employee retention is a major concern these days. On top of that, a hiring mistake for a job position can cost you monetarily and in terms of lost time and missed opportunities. A behavioral assessment can be the best solution for this issue.

It enables you to make informed hiring and promotion decisions so that you hire, develop, and retain the right employees without bias and bring the best results to your employees and company.


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5 Types of Behavioral Assessments

If you’re wondering about the available behavioral tests for employment, here are five top ones you can use. Find out what each of them tests and how they work.

  1. DISC Test

The DISC test is attributed to William Moulton Marston, an American psychologist. DISC stands for dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance. The test dissects a person’s personality into these four areas and assesses them.

How It Works: It works through self-evaluation in the following areas:

  • Dominance: How strong-willed or confident they are about their work
  • Influence: How influential or inspiring they are to others and capable of building meaningful professional relationships
  • Steadiness: How stable, consistent, and dependable they are
  • Compliance: How task-oriented, cautious, and accurate they are based on their expertise

The DISC test identifies the main personality type of an employee and how they are likely to behave in the workplace. It enables employees to understand themselves better and how they interact with those around them.

Example Questions

  • I am always confident about my work
  • I like meeting new people
  • I am dependable in the workplace
  • I prefer doing a task right, not just finishing it

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(Source)

2. Big 5 Test

Also known as the Five Factor or OCEAN Test, the Big 5 test is another personality test based on self-evaluation. It’s derived from the five-factor personality model that assesses personality in five areas.

  • Openness: How open they are to new ideas and activities
  • Conscientiousness: How aware they are of their actions and consequences; a sense of responsibility
  • Extraversion: How outgoing and sociable they are
  • Agreeableness: How friendly, cooperative, and likable they are
  • Neuroticism: How emotionally stable they are and what their stress, frustration, and irritability level is

How It Works: Participants self-assess by rating themselves on a scale of 1 (very inaccurate) to 5 (very accurate) on a series of statements about their personality. The test gives you a better understanding of the personality types and whether a person will fit into a particular role.

Example Questions

  • I get irritated easily
  • My colleagues like to be around me
  • I like participating in team activities
  • I weigh all pros and cons before executing a task
  • I welcome new ideas and challenges

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(Source)

3. Culture Add Test

This test measures an employee’s personal values and how they align with a company’s values. It helps you check their likelihood to adapt or conform to your organization’s core values. This test lets you identify employees who will positively impact your company culture.

How It Works: You share a survey listing all the beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, and values that resonate with your organization. Participants take the survey and select all the values they think matter to them and uphold. They can even elaborate on why they are important to them.

As already mentioned, this test lets you assess how an employee aligns with your organizational values, and whether they will be a culture fit or misfit in your company.

Example Questions

  • What are your career goals?
  • How do you measure success at work?
  • What values do you generally endorse?
  • If you were to hire someone, what values would you consider in a candidate?
  • Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

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 (Source)

4. Enneagram Test

Bolivian philosopher Óscar Ichazo came up with this system of personality assessment. It identifies nine different personality types on a diagram known as an enneagram.

The test is designed to help you understand core beliefs and motivations in people and how they affect different areas of life, including emotional intelligence, team dynamics, leadership, and conflict resolution.

How It Works: This personality typing system identifies patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions. It shows how the nine personality types relate to one another.

For this, it uses a numbers system to designate each personality type, and individuals may relate to more than one type. Each type comes with its motivations and fears that guide people’s actions and decision-making.

Test takers must choose from two opposing statements, helping evaluators understand their personality better.

Example Questions

  • I’d describe myself as a go-getter OR I am a dreamer and always content with life
  • I like reconciling conflict situations OR I don’t usually give in but fight till the end
  • I like to help people around OR I believe people should seek things out by themselves

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(Source)

5. 16 Types Test

The 16 Types test is based on the work of Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. It’s an introspective and self-evaluation questionnaire to assess participants’ preferences in real-life situations. They can select their choices based on four different dimensions:

  1. Introversion versus extraversion
  2. Intuition versus sensing
  3. Feeling versus thinking
  4. Judging versus perceiving

How It Works: Test participants must choose between two statements and select the statement that best applies to their personality. The test gives an idea of their likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and key motivators. This, in turn, helps you see how they may fit into your organization.

Example Questions

You focus on:

  • Specifics and facts OR Patterns and relationships

What do you find most attractive in other people?

  • Intelligence and integrity OR Beauty and charm

How do you affect people positively? 

  • I make them feel relaxed OR I motivate & energize them

What do you value most?

  • Timeliness OR Spontaneity

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(Source)

Online and Offline Behavioral Evaluations

In addition to the above five methods, there are two broad categories of assessing employee behaviors or personalities. They are:

Online Evaluations Offline Evaluations
Case study simulations: They help you diagnose common workplace issues and recommend suitable solutions Competency-Based Interviews: These interviews help you prepare a detailed description of an employee’s understanding of common business situations.
Inbox exercises: These exercises test a candidate’s ability to prioritize and tackle tasks similar to those accumulated in a mail inbox. Group Activities: They help you assess a person’s ability to communicate and work in groups.
Caselets: Short versions of a case study, caselets let you see how candidates can solve problems in a real business scenario. Case Presentations: Like in a clinical setting, these presentations evaluate a presenter’s understanding, clarity, communication skills, and convincing power on a subject.
Situational Judgment Tests: SJTs enable you to assess a person’s analytical and decision-making ability in different situations, real or hypothetical. Role Plays: Role plays put different individuals in different roles and assess how they enact those roles in a specific business scenario.

How to Conduct a Behavioral Assessment

Most companies still use traditional methods of employee assessment, such as face-to-face interviews, telephonic interviews, and written tests. But these methods lack objectivity at times and cannot fetch the details of a candidate accurately.

So, what’s the best way out?

The easiest and one of the most accurate behavioral assessment tools is an online quiz software.

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Online quizzes are versatile. You can conduct a variety of assessments using different quiz types, such as:

  • personality quiz
  • emotional intelligence quiz (empathy, adaptability & teamwork)
  • analytical skills quiz
  • cognitive ability quiz
  • physical ability tests (for jobs requiring strength, stamina & flexibility)
  • integrity tests

For this, you just need to use one versatile online assessment software. Such tools serve as a one-stop solution for all your assessment needs.

Let’s see how to conduct a behavioral assessment using assessments and a tool like this in five easy steps:

Step 1: Understand the Job Positions and the Types of Employees You Expect

Before you conduct a behavioral assessment, understand the job roles you want to fill in and the sort of employees you expect for them.

For example, if you have an opening for a middle manager, one of the qualities you would expect to see is coordination skills, as they would act as an intermediary below top management and lower-level management.

They should also be good at implementing directives from senior management, goal-setting, supervising subordinates, and running day-to-day business operations.

Along with this, they should be able to work under pressure, work with employees with different personalities, and lead others through motivation and confidence.

quiz-12-min

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Step 2: Choose the Best Quiz-Making Tool

Remember, choosing the best quiz tool for your assessments is half the work done. Ideally, the software application should have the following characteristics:

  • Easy to understand and use
  • Support easy assessment creation (from scratch or with ready resources)
  • Variety of quiz templates and questions bank
  • Customization options for themes, colors, styles, and branding

In addition, the quiz software you choose should provide reports and statistics on quiz results. This will enable you to make informed decisions on participants’ performance.

For example, ProProfs Quiz Maker provides quiz participants’ details, assessment date, score, time taken, and result. You can share the quiz results via email, embed them on your website, share them on social media, and even print them.

quiz-9-min

Wondering how to select such a tool? This video below can help:

Step 3: Add the Right Assessment Questions

Just like in surveys, choosing the right questions to ask in an online quiz is paramount.

But searching for such questions can be a pain, right?

Not really.

Your assessment tool should provide a library of questions arranged under different assessment areas to make things easy for you.

You should be able to customize these questions based on what exactly you want to ask your respondents.

You can even use the examples of question types discussed in the five behavior assessment methods above.

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Interested in Ready Questionnaires?    View Similar Questionnaires

What’s more, you can choose from different question types to assess a candidate or employee in different ways and make the assessments engaging for them:

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Watch: How to Create a Video Interview Question

Step 4: Share Assessments With Your Participants

Sharing assessments with your participants should be seamless.

As mentioned before, you can share the assessment link through emails, as a direct link on your website and social media platforms.

Ideally, the software application you choose should let you keep your quizzes public or private, depending on your preference and audience type.

Also, make sure the tool supports quizzes on different devices and platforms so that participants can make quiz attempts any time, anywhere, without time, place, and device becoming a hindrance.

Watch: How to Share Your Quiz With Learners

Step 5: Evaluate Test Results

Now, we’ve come to the final step in conducting a behavioral test.

A cloud-based quiz tool, such as ProProfs Quiz Maker, provides reports of individual quiz takers and stats showing the aggregate data of all quiz attempts. You can review them to arrive at the right decisions.

Here’s how you can evaluate:

  • You can filter the quiz results based on the attempt, score, or result. You can also choose the columns you want to see in a quiz report.
  • Even better, you can download different reports, such as quiz answer reports, score summary reports, and time taken per question reports.
  • A grade book report shows the total points and average scores of all participants. It gives an idea of their overall performance.

A detailed quiz report like this gives a comprehensive, accurate, and objective view of participants during your pre-employment and pre-training behavioral assessment tests. This lets you make up your mind about these assessments quickly and confidently.

If any participant didn’t complete a quiz, you can ask them for a retake to proceed with the selection or promotion decisions.

Important Note

You may behavior assessments to understand the personalities of your employees to check their suitability for different job roles, promotions, succession planning, performance reviews, and challenging workplace situations such that require skills such as conflict management, analytical thinking, and leadership & team-building.
Having said that, you should abstain from using these assessments methods or tools unethically, bordering on bias and discrimination during candidate selection.
For best results, use these assessment methods and tools alongside other evaluation systems, such as interviews, written tests, and 360° assessment.

Know Your Employees Better With Behavioral Assessment Tests

Getting the most competent people to work for a company is a priority for HR departments and corporate managers everywhere. It lays the groundwork for future success as the right employees will contribute to your organization’s mission and grow with you.

It also removes the need for re-hiring and re-training — saving time and cost.

In this effort, science-backed employment behavioral tests can help you. They are based on different human personalities and use leading and probing questions. They let you examine the personality type you expect for your jobs and check workplace skills, emotional intelligence, problem-solving skills, and other competencies.

As you must’ve understood by now, top assessment or quiz software can help you conduct these assessments easily and quickly. They let users create, design, and share custom quizzes online and pull real-time reports on individuals and groups. What’s best, they provide purpose-built and ready-to-use quiz questionnaires and templates so you can get started in minutes.

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About the author

Kamy is an eLearning & training expert. He has been published in eLearningIndustry, TrainingMag. As a corporate trainer at ProProfs, he has been instrumental in building an awesome eLearning management system that has simplified learning and training for thousands of customers across the globe. Follow Kamy @kamyanderson