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Leadership Assessment Guide for Succession Planning, Hiring & Training


Bad leaders can be a business’ worst nightmare!

From a lack of appreciation to workplace toxicity, poor leadership provides plenty of fuel for employee turnover. 

To avoid such consequences, you must take special care when choosing people for key leadership roles. This means ensuring your hiring, training, and succession planning processes are top-notch and feature effective leadership assessment

By improving your leadership selection and development processes, strategic leadership testing boosts productivity, enhances workplace positivity, and helps you achieve your business goals.

In this guide, you’ll learn all you need to know to leverage leadership assessments for better business outcomes. 

Let’s start with understanding what leadership assessment is and how it can help you.

What Is Leadership Assessment?

Leadership assessment involves evaluating an individual’s leadership ability or suitability for a particular leadership role using tools such as online scored & personality tests, structured interviews, and employee surveys.

A comprehensive leadership evaluation assesses various characteristics related to leadership, such as:

  • Knowledge of what it takes to be a good leader 
  • Key leadership skills, such as communication, motivating, planning & decision-making, delegation, etc. 
  • Cognitive abilities, such as critical thinking, abstract reasoning, and problem-solving 
  • Personality and behavioral traits 
  • Domain knowledge
  • The individual’s leadership style

You can conduct leadership assessments for various purposes, such as:

  • Hiring for leadership and managerial positions
  • Implementing effective succession planning
  • Conducting leadership development training 
  • Helping leaders and managers with self-improvement 

Leadership assessments can help you maintain and grow your business in various ways. Scroll on to the next section to learn how. 

Benefits of Leadership Assessment

Here are the advantages of incorporating leader assessments into your leadership hiring, succession planning, and training processes. 

  • Hire Better Leaders 

Establishing an effective leadership assessment process lets you make better, more informed decisions when hiring for critical leadership and management positions. 

For example, you can create an online skill test to quickly and easily screen candidates based on how they score on core leadership skills, such as team management, communication, domain knowledge, etc. 

Then, you can follow it up with another test to assess their personality, and finally, conduct a structured interview to bring it all together. This way, you can hire faster while ensuring the selected candidate is the right fit for the role and the company’s work culture. 


  • Identify Employees With Leadership Potential

Promoting existing employees to leadership positions may provide many advantages, such as improved employee loyalty and retention, a smooth leadership transition, and lower expenditure. 

Leadership assessments let you create a solid succession plan by providing a streamlined and effective way to identify potential leaders in your organization. You can utilize various online tools to assess leadership potential, including online tests, 360-degree feedback surveys, video interviews, and more. 

  • Deliver Effective Leadership Development Training 

Leadership assessment plays a key role throughout a leadership and management training program. Here’s how:

  • Before the training: Assessments help you identify the competencies you need to train potential leaders on. So, conducting a leadership needs assessment before you design a training program lets you tailor the training material to the employee’s requirements. Such targeted training sees better return on investment and helps reduce wasted training costs.   
  • During the training: Leadership training courses featuring formative leadership development assessments are more engaging since they provide an interactive learning experience and let learners track their learning progress. Plus, online tests during training can also help boost comprehension through instant, question-wise feedback. 
  • After the training: You can conduct an organizational leadership assessment immediately after the training to check the effectiveness of your training program and make any necessary adjustments. You can also conduct tests a while after the training as a knowledge refreshment tool. 

Related Read: How to Evaluate Learning with Pre and Post-Training Tests

  • Help Leaders With Self-Improvement 

Whether to get better at managing themselves or others, leaders must regularly engage in self-improvement activities to sharpen their leadership skills. Leadership self-assessments can help them in their leadership development journey by enabling them to easily evaluate their progress. 


Besides tracking progress, leaders can also use leadership quizzes to learn new leadership strategies and better understand their leadership styles and preferences. 

Pro Tip: You can also help your leaders self-improve by providing them with online training courses that they can take in a self-paced way. 

You can create your online leadership courses quickly and easily using a learning management system, such as ProProfs Training Maker, that comes with professionally designed, ready-to-use, and customizable courses on leadership and management

Watch: How to Create an Online Course

  • Create Productive Teams 

Leadership is central to team development and success. Leaders help bond the team, resolve conflict, provide direction, and inspire team members to strive for excellence. 

By enabling you to improve the leadership in your organization, leadership assessments help you create stronger and more effective teams. 

View Leading Successful Teams Training Course & Assessment 

  • Create a More Positive Work Environment 

Effective and empathetic leaders can help create a positive organizational culture that fosters open communication and boosts employee engagement, productivity, and creativity. On the other hand, poor leadership is the biggest driver of workplace toxicity



Leadership assessment enables you to accurately assess personality traits and ensure that you hire or promote positive and empathetic people committed to promoting positivity and eliminating toxicity in your organization. 

In doing so, leadership tests can also drastically bring down employee turnover since workplace toxicity is the number one reason employees leave their jobs (over 10 times more important than dissatisfaction with compensation).



  • Achieve Long-Term Organizational Goals 

Leaders must be adept at strategic ‘big picture’ planning, effectively implementing a business’ vision and values, fostering innovation, and motivating employees to go above and beyond. This way, your company’s leadership plays a key role in achieving long-term business objectives. 

Conducting leadership assessments for hiring and promotion will ensure that you fill top leadership positions with people who have the skills and temperament required to push your organization toward its goals.

So, those were the various benefits that effective leadership assessment brings to the table. Now let’s look at how you can conduct such assessments in a structured way to enhance your organization’s leadership.

How to Conduct a Leadership Assessment 

Here are the steps for implementing a successful leadership assessment process.

Step 1: Understand the Role

If you’re conducting a leadership effectiveness assessment to find a replacement for a leadership role, you must gain full clarity about that role. Here are the things you must know:

  • The leader’s goals and responsibilities
  • The activities they’ll perform 
  • Their team’s/department’s and superiors’ expectations of them
  • The departments that’ll be indirectly affected by their leadership 
  • The competencies and personality traits required for the role

Step 2: Test Core Competencies 

Once you’ve analyzed the role and its requirements, you can start with the leadership assessment process. 

First, you must assess candidates on the key leadership abilities needed for the role. Here are some of the top leadership skills you must consider evaluating with your skill test: 


  • Vision & Planning: Creates an effective shared vision and formulates plans based on it to achieve business objectives 
  • Change management: Can help team members adapt to major organizational changes through systematic planning and implementation 

  • Self-awareness & self-management: Can consciously assess their thoughts and feelings to manage time, tasks, goals, and stress accordingly 
  • Social skills: Builds trust and relationships using effective interpersonal skills

  • Team building: Fosters team spirit and helps team members bond and collaborate 
  • Coaching & mentoring: Helps employees understand the work, the workplace, and themselves 
  • Conflict management: Helps employees in disagreement find common ground using best practices for conflict resolution

  • Creativity & innovation: Builds a culture of innovation that encourages new ideas and unconventional approaches to improve products, processes, and customer experience 
  • Feedback & performance management: Helps employees improve or maintain their performance by giving empathetic and actionable feedback
  • Cognitive abilities: Employs cognitive abilities, such as critical thinking, logical reasoning, and abstract reasoning, to come up with quick and creative solutions to problems and devise strategies for business growth

  • Delegation: Effectively delegates tasks and decisions to streamline day-to-day operations and groom potential successors 
  • Presentation skills: Delivers impactful presentations to communicate vision and strategy and motivate subordinates 
  • Influence & Negotiation: Uses influence, persuasion, and negotiation skills to change people’s opinions and convince them to do things that are in everyone’s best interest 


  • Safety & compliance knowledge: Promotes a culture of compliance in the organization to minimize risk and ensure employee safety 

Once you’ve identified the required competencies for your leadership role, you can assess candidates or employees on them using online assessment tests. 

Watch: How to Create an Assessment Online 

Step 3: Assess Personality 

Testing personality traits as part of your leadership assessment offers many benefits, such as:

  • It lets you find out if the candidate has the personality and behavioral traits required for leadership 
  • Lets you make better hiring decisions by checking for work culture fit
  • Ensures role alignment 
  • Helps leaders improve their interpersonal skills 

Here are some of the personality traits you must look for in candidates for leadership positions: 

  • Honesty & Integrity: Good leaders lead honestly, fairly, and ethically, remain true to their values, and display high levels of conscientiousness 
  • Accountability: They take responsibility for their actions and decisions to ensure unhampered productivity 
  • Highly positive attitude: Are highly positive and energetic, which lets them accomplish challenging tasks and encourage others to do the same
  • Decisiveness: Make critical decisions in a well-informed, unbiased, and timely way using excellent analytical skills 
  • Adaptability: Are flexible and resilient, enabling them to easily shift gears when things don’t go as planned
  • Extroversion: Have an extroverted personality that helps them engage and motivate employees and build relationships 

  • Emotional stability: Can maintain their emotional balance in stressful situations 
  • Discipline: Have good self-discipline so they can manage tasks and deadlines effectively and promote a culture of discipline
  • Confidence & assertiveness: Can communicate and act assertively to inspire trust and effectively execute the organization’s vision 
  • Emotional intelligence: Understand their own feelings and that of others, enabling them to create deep bonds and lead with empathy 
  • Learning orientation: Have a strong zeal to learn new skills and increase their knowledge so they can lead better 

For your leadership assessment, you can use popular personality tests such as DISC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, & Compliance), Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Enneagram, Big Five, etc.

Or, you can create your custom personality test with online assessment software.

Watch: How to Create a Personality Assessment

Important note: Personality tests are an effective way to ensure role & culture fit. But you must ensure your personality assessment is consistent with a business necessity and relevant to the role. Also, you mustn’t use personality assessments as the sole hiring or succession criteria or even as a screening tool. 

Step 4: Conduct Structured Interviews 

In a structured interview, you ask all the candidates the same leadership assessment questions, enabling you to compare them easily. You can conduct structured interviews to understand candidates’ skills, knowledge, and personality. 

They are especially useful for assessing confidence, speaking skills, and nonverbal communication elements, such as body language, facial expressions, and eye contact.

You can conduct structured interviews for leadership assessment in different ways, such as:

Among these methods, video questions offer the most flexibility since they let you easily interview candidates or employees from any time zone. 

Watch: How to Create a Video Interview Question

Step 5: Collect 360-Degree Feedback 

Feedback from an employee’s subordinates, peers, and superiors can help you better understand their leadership style and capabilities. 360-degree feedback can also help potential leaders improve their leadership capabilities so they are ready when the time comes to assume the new responsibility. 

You can easily collect 360-degree employee feedback for your employee leadership assessment by creating and sharing a survey using online survey software, such as ProProfs Survey Maker, that offers ready-to-use employee survey templates and lets you ask survey questions in 20+ formats. 

Watch: How to Create an Online Survey 

Step 6: Assess Leadership Style 

If you’re conducting a leadership assessment for succession planning, you must assess the leadership style of your potential successors. Knowing their leadership style can help your future leaders reinforce their unique leadership qualities and become authentic leaders. 

Finding Your Authentic Leadership Style Training Course 

Step 7: Provide Constructive Feedback 

Whether you’re assessing job candidates or existing employees, you must provide them with honest and clear feedback once you’re done with the assessment. You must explain to the people who didn’t get shortlisted why they weren’t a good fit.

For the candidates, this would mean a positive recruitment experience which can improve your brand image. Meanwhile, the existing employees can use the personalized feedback to work on their leadership abilities so they’ll be eligible for leadership roles in the future.

So, that was the process for conducting a leadership assessment. As you can see, online skill and personality tests play a central role in the assessment process. So, let’s quickly look at how you can create your tests using an online assessment tool. 

How to Create Online Tests for Leadership Assessment 

Here’s the process for creating online leadership tests in five easy steps.

Step 1: Pick a readymade test or start creating one from scratch


Step 2: Add questions or import them from a question library


Step 3: Set up scoring/personality mapping

  • Assign scores to questions & answer options for skill/knowledge tests 
  • Map answer options to personality outcomes for personality tests 

Step 4: Configure security and other settings


Step 5: Customize your test and add your logo


Check out our ultimate test-making guide for an in-depth look at the creation process for skill and personality assessment tests.

Tips to Create the Best Leadership Assessment Tests

Creating leadership tests with online testing software is quite straightforward. But you must do a few more things to get the best results. Here they are: 

  • Tailor Your Questions to Role Requirements

As mentioned, you must gain clarity regarding your requirements before starting your leadership evaluation process. The same holds true for crafting your leadership test questions. Each question in your leadership tests must be relevant to your requirements and leadership assessment parameters

  • Use Various Question Formats

Using various question formats in your leadership tests is a great way to make them more engaging and insightful. You can use question formats, such as multiple-choice, checkbox, true/false, matching, video-response, and more. 

Watch: Types of Questions in Online Assessment

  • Add Media to Your Test

Adding media to your leadership assessment tests is another excellent way to make them more interesting. You can add media to your questions in various ways, such as:

  • You can add an image to the question statement 
  • Add images as answer options 
  • Add a video to the test and ask questions based on it 

Watch: How to Create a Video Quiz

  • Ask Situational Questions

Situational questions can be a great addition to your leadership tests. They’re highly engaging and great for assessing practical knowledge and decision-making skills. 

For your situational questions, you can create a different scenario for each question or create a comprehension-style question where you present a single scenario and ask multiple questions based on it. 

Here’s an example of a situational question for leadership assessment.

  • Ask Open-Ended & Video-Response Questions

Besides asking objective questions, you must also ask open-ended questions that let the candidate express themselves freely. This will help you better understand who they are as a person.

Depending on your requirements, you can ask for a text, audio, or video response to your open-ended questions.

Video-response questions can be a particularly great option since they let you check the candidates’ non-verbal communication abilities and are a convenient way for them to answer your questions.


  • Configure Security Settings

Top leadership assessment software tools let you ensure your exam’s credibility using secure settings for privacy and cheating prevention. Here are the settings you must configure:

  • Make your tests private and add password protection
  • Enable question and answer option shuffling 
  • Enable tab-switching prevention 
  • Enable remote proctoring 
  • Prevent copying and printing of test content 

Besides configuring the above settings, you can also prevent cheating by creating a question pool and using it to automatically present each candidate with a different set of questions.

  • Tag Questions to Analyze Competencies

Question tagging can be very useful if you’re creating a single test to assess candidates on multiple leadership skills. By assigning a tag to each question, you can get a competency-wise breakdown of the overall score in the test report, enabling you to thoroughly and accurately analyze the candidate’s competencies.

  • Choose the Right Leadership Assessment Tool

To easily implement all the test-making best practices shared above, you need good assessment software. Here’s what you must look for when deciding on your assessment tool:

  • Ease of use 
  • Diverse question types
  • Automated scoring and grading 
  • Privacy and anti-cheating settings 
  • Compatibility with mobile devices
  • Advanced reporting with statistics
  • Ready-to-use resources to create tests quickly 

Watch: How to Choose the Best Assessment Software

Refine & Redefine Leadership With Online Assessments 

Good leadership plays a vital role in the success of individual teams and the organization. This makes it crucial to establish an effective process of building and maintaining competent leadership at all levels. Online leadership assessment tests make this seamless by letting you hire, train, and promote in a structured way. 

To get the best results from your assessments, ensure that you choose the right assessment tool for your requirements. ProProfs offers the simplest yet most feature-rich testing platform for leadership assessment. It lets you ask questions in 15+ different ways, configure your tests with 100+ settings, and comes with a huge collection of ready-to-use tests and questions

Do you want free Quiz Software?

We have the #1 Online Quiz Maker Software for complete learning & assessment

About the author

Vipul Bhagia is an e-learning expert and content creator, specializing in instructional design. He excels in crafting compelling e-learning modules and designing effective employee training assessments. He is passionate about leveraging digital solutions to transform work culture and boost productivity. Vipul enjoys exploring emerging tech innovations and sharing his insights with fellow industry professionals.