Grace Smith
March 18, 2024

65% of companies use behavioral assessment tests to make their hiring foolproof.

This could mean that in terms of hiring, they're ahead of the rest of the 35% who don't use any sort of pre-assessment tests on their candidate pool.

The latter misses out on the advantages such assessments bring to the table, like checking the candidate's emotional intelligence and how culturally fit they are for the company.

So in this blog, we'll discuss what behavioral assessment tests are, what they're used for, and how to conduct one.

What is a Behavioral Assessment Test?

Behavioral assessment tests examine a person's behavior, mental qualities, and psychological traits in different contexts.

These exams assess a person's social skills, conduct, and overall behavior. Clinical psychology, employment screening, and schools are commonly where behavioral assessment tests are utilized the most. A key aspect of behavioral assessment exams is that they measure visible activities.

Direct observation or objective examination of specific actions is common in behavioral assessments. Unlike self-report measures, which rely on biased self-descriptions, this technique is more fair and consistent than self-reporting since there is less prejudice and error.

In the workplace, these tests are essential for gauging job compatibility, with situational judgment tests presenting hypothetical scenarios and personality assessments evaluating qualities like leadership, teamwork, and communication.

This information helps employers hire, build teams, and develop employees.

What Do Behavioral Assessment Tests Measure?

Behavioral assessment tests aim to measure:

  • Social Skills: Evaluate how individuals interact with others and manage social situations.
  • Behavior Patterns: Identify repetitive behaviors and their triggers.
  • Cognitive Abilities: Understand how an individual processes information, solves problems, and applies logic.
  • Emotional Responses: Gauge emotional regulation, stress tolerance, and reaction to various stimuli.
  • Personality Traits: Assess characteristics that influence behavior, such as extroversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

Why Should Companies Use Behavioral Assessment Tests?

Companies use behavioral assessment tests for many reasons because they give them useful information about how people act, how they talk, and their mental traits. There are a number of reasons why businesses choose to use behavioral assessment tests as part of their hiring and training processes:

1. Informed Hiring Decisions

Behavioral tests give more candidate information than resumes and interviews, making them vital for recruiting. They analyze how individuals manage problems, get along, and adjust to new workplaces. This comprehensive approach helps organizations evaluate candidates' talents and culture.

Companies may be able to forecast a candidate's compatibility with business goals, stress management, and team dynamics by focusing on small behavioral changes.

2. Enhanced Team Dynamics

Team dynamics improve with behavioral testing showing how team members interact and function best. These tests assess a person's strengths and weaknesses and interpersonal abilities, which affect teamwork.

Knowing this, leaders and team members may change how they communicate, distribute duties, and build the workplace to match everyone's talents. This promotes collaboration and appreciation for diversity, making the workplace more enjoyable and productive.

3. Potential for Leadership

Behavioral tests assist firms in building leaders. These tests detect boldness, decisiveness, and impact to show how individuals lead.

Strategic succession planning uses this data to identify and promote leaders. These behavioral insights can help ambitious leaders get the training they need to improve their skills and develop the company.

4. Tailored Professional Development

Professional development is individualized using behavioral evaluations. Companies may construct training and coaching programs beyond skill-building by analyzing workers' strengths and limitations. This customized approach tackles certain behavioral patterns for longer-term success. Staff perform better, are happier, and are more fulfilled when offered solutions that fit their natural tendencies.

5. Conflict Resolution

Business success depends on conflict management and prevention, and behavioral testing can help. Organizations may avoid team conflicts by recognizing communication styles and conflict triggers. This preparation enables focused conflict resolution methods that improve communication, reduce misunderstandings, and increase results via teamwork.

6. Increased Employee Engagement

Behavioral assessments help uncover and use employees' skills and preferences, creating a workplace culture that values their individual contributions. This appreciation improves employee engagement by making them feel valued and understood. When their abilities fit their duties, employees are delighted. This boosts creativity, collaboration, and job satisfaction.

7. Career Pathing

Behavioral assessments help workers find careers that match their skills and interests. This focused job growth method helps individuals and companies. Meaningful work that fits an employee's skills promotes job happiness and loyalty. Strategic people management puts employees in situations where they can flourish and contribute to the company.

8. Promoted Diversity and Inclusion

Behavioral evaluations can enhance diversity and inclusion in organizations when used effectively. These personality tests remove hiring bias by focusing on personality rather than credentials. This method makes workplaces more inclusive and respectful of diverse backgrounds. By using diverse approaches, behavioral testing encourages diversity and creativity, strengthening a company.

9. Strategic Succession Planning

Finding employees with certain behaviors is crucial. Early leadership identification and development prevent others from entering key company jobs. Decision-making, leadership, and adaptability are shown via behavioral testing. These surveys help organizations build a strong talent pool through succession planning. This keeps operations running smoothly throughout leadership changes.

10. Holistic Talent Management

Behavior testing and traditional talent management change how people are evaluated and employed. Professional and social skills are considered in this comprehensive approach. Shows everyone at work. This standardized approach to promotions, team placements, and organizational growth makes the workforce more adaptive. Understanding skills-habit interactions helps firms optimize talent. It maintains prosperity and advancement.

Importance of Behavioral Assessments in Hiring

Companies learn employee behaviors, personalities, and communication styles using behavioral tests.

1. Behavioral assessments shows how well a candidate's natural tendencies match the company's ideals, is their specialty. This promotes a positive, integrated workplace.

2. Behavior assessments can identify adaptable and resilient personnel. Learning how people handle change and difficulties may help firms build risk-taking teams.

3. Innovation and process efficiency will increase. Exams can help resolve conflicts by displaying how individuals handle arguments. With this understanding, firms may prevent team difficulties and promote open communication and dispute resolution.

4. Behavioral tests indicate creativity and help establish varied teams. A culture of innovation where workers may openly share their ideas helps the firm adapt and improve.

5. Behavioral assessments improve judgment and interaction. They show how individuals make decisions, especially under duress, helping organizations find smart, strategic leaders. This insight helps businesses flourish in challenging situations.

All in all, behavioral assessments provide employers with a clear picture of candidates.

DISC Behavioral Assessment Test

The DISC behavioral assessment is a widely used tool designed to measure and categorize an individual's behavioral preferences and communication styles. The letters DISC represent domination, influence, stability, and conscientiousness. The 1920s DISC model by psychologist William Moulton Marston underpins this exam.

The DISC test is commonly used by employers for candidate evaluation and team fit, as well as in professional development and team-building exercises to foster better understanding and collaboration among team members.

A short glance at each DISC model part:

  • Dominance (D): Dominants are confident, goal-oriented, and decisive. They want control, are confident, and are driven to succeed. In a group, they may take the lead and enjoy an activity.
  • Influence (I): Influential people are polite, enthusiastic, and persuasive. They make good friends, work well together, and are optimistic. Influence factor experts motivate and communicate well.
  • Stability characterizes calm, patient, and helpful people. They value safety, peace, and cooperation. High-Steadiness people listen well, collaborate effectively, and keep things going.
  • Consequentiality (C): Conscientious people plan, ponder, and pay attention to details. Precision, quality, and thoroughness guide their work. They are considered diligent, organized, and detail-oriented.
The DISC behavioral assessment.

Participants of the DISC assessment evaluate statements or questions to reflect their behavior or preferences, resulting in a detailed report highlighting their primary and secondary DISC profiles. This insight is valuable for enhancing leadership skills, teamwork, personal development, and communication.

What Makes DISC a Great Choice for Companies?

The DISC assessment is highly favored by organizations for its simplicity, effectiveness in enhancing teamwork, and versatility in application. Here's why DISC stands out:

  1. Simplicity and Accessibility: The DISC framework, with its four primary traits—Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness—is straightforward, making it easily understandable for both employees and managers. This accessibility ensures widespread adoption across various job functions.
  2. Enhancing Team Dynamics: DISC categorizes individuals based on their predominant traits, facilitating a deeper understanding among team members of diverse communication styles. This insight fosters improved teamwork, effective communication, and better problem-solving, leading to a more cohesive work environment.
  3. Adaptability to Business Needs: Whether it's for recruitment, team building, or leadership development, the DISC assessment's flexible nature makes it a valuable tool for addressing a wide range of organizational needs. It supports strategic talent management and employee development, making it a versatile choice for dynamic business landscapes.
  4. Facilitating Personal and Professional Growth: By identifying individual strengths and areas for improvement, DISC enables targeted personal development plans. Organizations can leverage these insights to tailor training and development initiatives, aligning employees’ growth with business objectives.
  5. Promoting Employee Satisfaction: Effective use of DISC insights can lead to higher job satisfaction, increased employee engagement, and better retention rates. By aligning job roles with employees' natural tendencies and providing growth opportunities, DISC contributes to a positive and fulfilling workplace culture.

In summary, DISC's appeal lies in its ability to offer a clear, actionable understanding of behavioral styles, enhancing individual and team performance while aligning with an organization's strategic goals.

How to Design a Behavioral Assessment Test?

Designing a behavioral assessment requires a structured approach to ensure it's both effective and relevant:

  1. Define Objectives: Clearly identify what you intend to measure with the assessment, such as specific behaviors, skills, or emotional responses.
  2. Choose Appropriate Tools: Select or develop tools like questionnaires, interview guides, and observation checklists that align with your objectives.
  3. Ensure Reliability and Validity: Validate your tools to ensure they accurately measure what they're supposed to and produce consistent results across different populations and contexts.
  4. Pilot Test: Conduct a pilot test of your assessment with a small group similar to your target population to identify any issues or adjustments needed.
  5. Train Assessors: Ensure those conducting the assessments are properly trained in the tools and techniques to maintain consistency and reduce bias.
  6. Implement Ethically: Consider the ethical implications, including confidentiality, informed consent, and the potential impact of the assessment findings on the individual.

How Do You Conduct a Behavioral Assessment?

Conducting a behavioral assessment involves multiple approaches to gather comprehensive data about an individual's behavior. Here's how to do it effectively:

1. Preparation and Planning

Before starting the assessment, define the specific behaviors to be observed and the goals of the assessment. This step involves selecting the appropriate tools and methods for observation, questionnaires, and interviews based on the individual's context and needs.

2. Training for Observers

Ensure that those conducting the observations and interviews are trained to recognize, record, and interpret behavior accurately. This might involve sessions on understanding the behaviors of interest, ethical considerations, and how to use assessment tools effectively.

3. Data Collection

Implement the chosen methods for data collection. This could include scheduling observation periods, distributing questionnaires to relevant observers, and conducting interviews. Make sure to collect data across different settings and times to get a well-rounded view of the behavior.
Here are 3 ways to collect data,

  • Observations: Utilize timelines to record specific instances when behaviors occur, noting the environment and circumstances. This helps identify patterns and triggers for certain behaviors.
  • Questionnaires: Deploy questionnaires to collect retrospective insights from various observers, such as family members, colleagues, or teachers, who have noticed the behavior. These tools can quantify behaviors and provide a broad perspective.
  • Interviews: Conduct detailed interviews offering open-ended questions to explore the individual's perceptions, feelings, and responses to different situations. Interviews can uncover deeper insights into behaviors not readily observable.

4. Analysis and Interpretation

After collecting the data, analyze the information to identify patterns, triggers, and the impact of the behavior on the individual's functioning. This stage may involve statistical analysis of questionnaire results and thematic analysis of interview transcripts.

5. Feedback and Report Writing

Compile the findings into a comprehensive report that outlines the observed behaviors, analysis results, and potential recommendations for interventions or supports.

Provide feedback to relevant stakeholders, such as the individual, their family, or their employer, in a careful and constructive manner.

6. Action Planning

Based on the assessment findings, work with the individual and other stakeholders to develop an action plan. This plan might include strategies for modifying the behavior, support mechanisms, and goals for improvement.

7. Follow-Up and Review

Schedule follow-up assessments to monitor progress and adjust the action plan as necessary. This ongoing review process ensures that the assessment continues to meet the individual's evolving needs and goals.

Take the Right Hiring Decisions with Behavioral Assessments

These tests unlock deeper insights into candidates' personalities, work styles, and potential for cultural fit, providing a clear advantage in making informed hiring decisions. By focusing on attributes like emotional intelligence and adaptability, businesses can foster a workplace culture that not only thrives on diversity but also drives innovation and performance.