Behavioral Assessment: The Ultimate Guide

The hiring process can be time consuming and potentially even more difficult now due to the changing landscape of the working world. With more people working from home or utilizing various programs to communicate, the need for personality and behavioral assessments has become commonplace. 

In this ultimate guide, we’ll discuss why you should think about using a behavioral assessment when hiring, what they actually measure, and advantages and disadvantages to consider throughout the process. By the end of this, you’ll be well-versed in the world that is behavioral assessment. 

Opusuna’s Take On: Behavioral Assessment

  • Why is behavioral assessment important?
  • What do these tests measure?
  • What are the types of tests commonly used?
  • What should I choose?

Why is Behavioral Assessment Important?

There are probably dozens of reasons why a behavioral assessment is important. The main reason being a great fit for the team that needs to be filled. Long interview processes may yield information about personality and other necessary skills, but without an assessment, many employers and employees alike may not know their behaviors and collaboration ability in the workplace. 

By choosing to utilize a behavioral assessment,  a company is deciding to better understand the behaviors traits that make up current employees or a candidate and if they add to the team's strength or effectiveness or if they take away or will take away from it. It’s interesting to note that these assessments are not only utilized in a hiring process. They can be used for current employees to build teams or restructure roles based on skill or personality. 

What Do Behavioral Tests Measure?

The overall goal is to measure behaviors that help a company look at how applicants or employees not only work, but how they go about tackling their work. This means that often behavioral tests are measuring a variety of,  talent, habits, and of course behaviors. 

how different people think  and behave

How Does The PI Behavioral Assessment Work?

A Predictive Index assesses suitability for a specific job. This can be broken up into two similar, yet separate tests known as the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment (PIBA) or the Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment (PICA). The PIBA is based on personality traits and measures a person’s behavior and motivation. This comes in the form of various questions that ask about work style and values among other questions. 

Can You Fail A Behavioral Assessment?

You should think of this more about answering questions in an honest and consistent manner. Think of this less like “pass or fail” and more about gauging if someone is the right fit for the role. The goal of a behavioral assessment is to find the best fit for the role at the moment. However, you should not let the specifics of a role deject you from taking the test. 

Just as an employer is looking for a fit, the potential candidate should be doing the same. Both parties should look at this assessment as an honest way to approach personality and habits before jumping into a role. 


What Do You Learn From The Test?

An employer may learn more about a candidate’s personality and skills based on how they answer the questions. In a traditional sense, a behavioral assessment is measured for factors such as: dominance, objectivity, formality, extraversion, and patience. While each test may have differences in questions, they are largely designed to reveal drives or predictors to understand workplace behavior. 

This can also be extended to current employees, not just prospective employees. Many choose to use behavioral tests to better understand how a team can be formed or to better structure interpersonal relationships among existing teams. 

Types of Behavioral Assessment Test

There are a variety of tests to consider when tackling the subject of behavioral assessment before hiring. Below we’ve included some examples to consider such as:

  • The DiSC Test - This assessment helps to understand leadership style and teamwork. DiSC stands for (D)ominance, (i)nfluence, (S)teadiness, and (C)onscientiousness. These make up the personality profiles of the test and have a hand in improving teamwork, training, and even self-awareness. Each person taking the test will fall within a range of these personality types to reveal work styles and other pertinent information. 
  • The Big 5 - Psychologists have used the “Big 5” as a means to understand personality within 5 traits: extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. These 5 serve as the building blocks for a range of other personality types with most people falling between many of these categories. While there are many factors to consider, such as experience and upbringing, this assessment has been commonly used in various industries over the years. 
  • The Enneagram Test - This test gets its name from the greek word, ennea which means “nine,” and gramma which means “written” or “drawn.” This has largely evolved from a basic model of personality to become nine types with characteristics. These include: Reformer, Helper, Achiever, Individualist, Investigator, Loyalist, Enthusiast, Challenger, and Peacemaker. These types make up a figure with three parts, almost like a star within a circle for the top triads of three types. This just means that each person will always have three centers for intellectual, emotional, and instinctual patterns. 
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) - This test asks questions to figure out how people make decisions based on these categories: introversion or extroversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. After the questionnaire, a letter from each category is assigned to result in a four-letter type such as INFJ or ENFP among many other combinations. The test was actually created by a mother, Katharine Cook Briggs, and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, after taking interest in Carl Jung’s work with cognitive functions. 

Pros And Cons Of A Behavioral Assessment Test

As with any test, there are pros and cons to consider. Below are some advantages and disadvantages to a behavioral assessment test. 

What Are The Advantages Of Behavioral Assessments?

  • Equity - This provides a fair approach to hiring or understanding employees. There is no need to overperform, but the focus is rather on honestly answering questions to understand potential future behavior in a job. 
  • Relevancy - Not only will you learn about a candidate or co-workers, the person taking the test will learn about their own strengths and weaknesses or at least more about their working personality type. This means that you now have relevant knowledge in order to fill roles with candidates that match your work style and overall vision for company growth even. 
  • Utility - A behavioral test may prove to be seriously advantageous to your company’s growth and in fostering better relationships with employees. Currently, there is more being done to understand how certain work styles benefit certain employees. With the rise in work-from-home options, many companies are looking to better understand how relationships and efficiency can be retooled. Considering a behavioral assessment may be a useful tool for keeping retention rates low. By incentivising candidates and employees to better grasp their role in the workplace, you can foster an even more positive environment that is willing to adapt based on how your employees work best. 

What Are The Disadvantages Of Behavioral Assessments?

  • Anxiety - Any type of test usually makes most people nervous. It may be better to fully explain that this test is looking at behavior and potential patterns and not necessarily on specific skills. 
  • Time - It may take a longer amount of time to gauge a candidate’s answers, especially if they are being asked by an interviewer. You may be able to bypass this by allowing a candidate to take an online test. However, again this may take some time for them to complete, so you should factor this in. 
  • Misunderstanding - While each candidate is different, this may make it difficult to fully explain what the results mean. Some may be straightforward and fully understood by a candidate, while others may take longer to understand how this then impacts their day-to-day work. It’s best to explain the test and the results in detail to avoid confusion or misunderstanding. 

how the mind behaves

Behavioral Assessment Tools

Aside from the use of tests, there are additional behavioral assessment tools to consider from team building to online questionnaires. However, there are qualitative tools that differ from that mishmash of other assessments that can be confusing.

At Opusuna, our assessment draws heavily from physics and the dynamic systems theory of how humans interact and operate. It was developed from the ground up to be a team-building strategy to measure teamwork and interactive behavior and explain:

  • How people behave under stress 
  • How people collaborate to achieve common goals
  • How do people add value to their teams and their organizations

And in an effort to modernize older methods of behavioral assessment, Opusuna was designed and validated to be free of bias (age, race, gender, nationality, and culture). 

We’re proud to say that the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law singled out Opusuna as bias-free and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. 

What’s Your 10? 

Collaboration within a team is crucial to bettering your business and offerings. If you’re on the fence about the roles and responsibilities that each member plays, it could become confusing and inefficient as  you grow. This is where behavioral assessments truly shine. As research shows, the most important indicators across all types of industries are an employee's ability to collaborate on a team and work toward common objectives. 

If you’re looking to fill roles that are aligned to the needs of the team’s mission, why not check out the Opusuna 10 Modes of Services (Roles). This assessment will work to:

  • Build stronger, higher performing teams
  • Streamline your hiring
  • Get a high-quality, short list of candidates faster
  • Help employees find responsibilities and work they’ll excel at 
  • Avoid wasting money on training people who never improve
  • Reduce risk of bad hires or reorganizing teams
  • Standardize your hiring process
  • Reduce stress 

With 10 modes of service (roles), you and your team can:

Make Better Hires with Better Information - Within an hour Opusuna tells you a person’s teamwork role and their behavior and how best to lead or coach that person.

Use Role-Based Attraction to Hire Team Players - The ability to make teams better is an essential capability and a mission-critical skill set worth measuring. 

Build Team Chemistry and Improve Teamwork - Team performance analytics are the keys to the “who” and “why” in selecting the best person for the job and the team. 

There are two options to get started if you’re looking for assessment plans or TeamQuest Advisors Consulting Services. You can also book a demo or consultation with Marci Schnapp, Opusuna’s founder for more information before getting started!