Psychometric tests are an important process in conducting background checks on an employee.
It’s also important in the long term for defining, assessing and growing productivity, ensuring the employee will be well suited to your business needs and your team’s overall satisfaction. An article in the Harvard Business Review (May, 2009) showed that productive teams lead to greater harmony and satisfaction, not the other way around. This is important as both employees and business owners attempt to find personal meaning and growth through their work in the business.
Hence the best overall advice in using these tool sets is to first have a clear definition of the objectives of the role, then understand the behavioural characteristics and personality traits best suited to the role, to allow you to assess and recruit the people who will be most effective, and pleasant to work with.
DISC refers to the four behaviour types the test assesses: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Compliance. Based on Harvard psychologist Dr. William Marston’s thesis on how normal human emotions lead to behavioural differences among groups of people, this test uncovers four quadrants of behaviour. Whilst it has similar Jungian psychology roots to MBTI (Myers Briggs Typee Indicator), DISC focuses more on behaviours stemming from the person’s perceptions of self in relationship to his or her environment.
Our view: DISC can take be a oversimplified approach to human behaviour – particularly in the presence of highly trained, empathic individuals (as in healthcare) who understand there are times to “act Red” and times to “be Green”. It’s a good starting place, and the free test at Tony Robbins gives a more detailed insight beyond just the simple DISC test.
Paid: seek local DISC profile / psychologist for psychometric testing
There are a variety of assessments to measure cognitive abilities or personality, but the Kolbe A Index measures one’s instinctive way of doing things, “method of operation”. It focuses on a person’s conative strengths and validates an individual’s natural talents.
Our view: great for knowing personal strengths. At an advanced level, the Kolbe has a sophisticated means of building understanding in owners and employees alike as to how people like to work within a team and their instincts that drive behaviours (and ultimately your business results!)
Paid resources: http://www.kolbe.com/assessments/
GeniusU states that its aim is to allow business people to follow the right role models and build the right team. The four geniuses (e.g. Dynamo, Steel, Blaze and Tempo) refers to the way that people relate to one another. Their assessments are targeted at entrepreneurs and business leaders to find their natural path and the best fit for their team members.
Our view: GeniusU is strongest in easily explaining how people prefer to think or interact with others. The Wealth Dynamics test (paid) gives greater clarity as to the generics of behaviour but isn’t as nuanced as the Kolbe test for personal strengths. Where this test comes into its own is in the Talent Dynamics – this gives a framework that is easy to understand of how one relates to others in a team
Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
This test assesses preferences along four polarities (eg extroversion / introversion and thinking / feeling) but can be difficult as it often doesn’t account for situational behaviour or allow users to comprehend the strategies for its application easily.
The test identifies your top 5 strengths out of a possible 34. It’s more of a personal strengths test and good for career development, rather than team cohesion.
This model looks at social behaviour motivators, covering the five domains of human social experience: Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness