Understanding the personalities in your workforce - the psychology of assessment


Being a specialist in psychometric assessment, I'm always pleasantly surprised by the extent to which people are fascinated by what I do. I'm part of a team in our Talent and HR Consultancy that specialises in applying organisational psychology to business problems

For the last three months we've been developing a psychometric catalogue. We reviewed all the major psychometric tests on the market and scored them on five criteria:

  1. Ease of administration
  2. Ease of use (for the candidate and untrained manager)
  3. Validity
  4. Reliability
  5. Comparative cost

This has helped us to identify the best psychometrics on the market that can help businesses when they're reviewing the following areas:

  • Talent lifecycle (including recruitment and succession planning)
  • Learning and development
  • Performance management
  • Coaching
  • Cultural and behavioural assessment

A lot of companies don't realise how cheap it is to implement personality assessment, or how effective it can be. There’s so much evidence to show that the personalities of individuals in a workforce can have a major impact on so many aspects of work. For example, even at a high level, conscientiousness, one of the "Big Five" personality factors, has been found to predict career success regardless of the industry or type of job.* Going into slightly more complex waters, individuals who are also high on extraversion and agreeableness, two more of the Big Five, have higher social investment in work, which has been shown to increase profitability.**

There's huge potential for organisations who can make use of this knowledge. It's a really exciting area, and I'd love to talk to anyone who has an interest in it - please just get in touch or leave a comment below.

*Barrick, M., & Mount, M. (1991). The Big Five Personality Dimensions and Job Performance: a meta-analysis Personnel Psychology, 44 (1), 1-26 DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-6570.1991.tb00688.x

**Hudson NW, Roberts BW, & Lodi-Smith J (2012). Personality Trait Development and Social Investment in Work. Journal of research in personality, 46 (3), 334-344 PMID: 22822278


David Lurie | PwC Psychologist
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